The Five Reasons Why Romney/Ryan Must be Defeated in 2012 – And Why Conservatives Should Hope They Are.

The GOP must be stopped in 2012. The future of America’s ideals of democracy – and of the Republican Party itself – could well be at stake.

Contrary to how it might seem, I am not a partisan bomb thrower. Throughout most of my adulthood, I have been just as likely to vote for a Republican as for a Democrat – in local, state and national contests. I have cast my ballot in presidential races for both Republicans and Democrats. But in the last four years, the GOP has transmogrified into something ugly and vicious and, more important, something wedded to the politics of fantasy and ignorance. It has rushed so far from its moorings that I cannot conceive of voting for members of this party until, hopefully, they pull themselves back from the precipice of self-destruction, paranoia and delusion.

Today, for Republicans, up is down and front is back. Lying has become so ingrained into the conservatives’ national dialogue that they are now dangerously demagogic or, worse, severely unhinged. Blind rage at the election of Barack Obama has wrecked a once great political party. Its leaders have made so many deals with the devil in their almost pathological obsession with unseating Obama that they have pushed the GOP into its own version of political hell – unable to speak truths to their now-rabid and conspiracy-addled base and unable to right the party back onto a path of responsibility.

Only through the disinfectant of defeat can the Republicans, and the two party system, be preserved. And so, the campaign of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan must be consigned to the ash heap of history. Defeat must not only be decisive, it must be crippling. Here are five reasons why:

I. They are liars. Most of the major newspapers and networks have adopted Marquess of Queensbury rules when addressing the utterance of utter falsehoods by Romney, Ryan and their surrogates. A velvet glove doesn’t deter deliberate deceit, and it certainly hasn’t here. Calling the words of Romney and Ryan “at odds with the truth” and “not factually accurate” is the coward’s way of communicating that the entire GOP campaign is based on lies, innuendo and more lies. There is a dramatic difference between the usual nip-and-tucking of the presidential campaign season and the flood of prevarication pouring out of the mouths of Romney and Ryan. To name just a few:

a. Obama and welfare. In a not-so-subtle dog whistle to the racists of the GOP, Romney and Ryan have repeatedly stated that Obama has tried to remove the “workfare” requirement of welfare. This, one of the campaign aides has said, has proven to be Romney’s most effective campaign ad. The fact that it is a complete lie seemed irrelevant: All Obama has done is accepted appeals from governors to allow them to try out some workfare ideas more suited to their local situations, rather than be obligated to follow the federal cookie-cutter rules. Fine, Obama said, so long as the number of welfare recipients going to work stays at least the same. There is no removal of the requirement, just an acceptance of the usual GOP philosophy that states should be allowed to act in their own interest. The question for Romney: Would he rescind the waivers, and force states to follow the federal dictates rather than allowing them to come up with their own means of reaching the same results? Don’t bother wondering about the answer. He would just lie. And don’t think that other Republicans will avoid joining in on this racist strategy: three weeks ago, Newt Gingrich (who once called Romney a liar) pronounced that there was “no proof” to back up the welfare claim; at the convention, the same Gingrich climbed the podium to attack Obama for “gutting” the workfare requirement. Guess he finally read the memo from the Romney campaign that truth is not a factor in this election.

b. Obama robbed Medicare of more than $700 billion. This is one of those lies that works because explaining the truth is complicated. The obvious implication – and in fact, the frequent statement by the GOPers – is that Obama took money from seniors to pay for Obamacare, and in the process put Medicare at risk. It. Is. A. Lie. As has been stressed again and again – without effect on the liars – there is no benefit cut for any beneficiary. The $700 billion is not a cut – it is the value of savings. By the GOP argument, people who buy shoes on sale are cutting back on their shoe purchases – they aren’t, they’re just using their money wisely. So is Obama: the money comes from providers who are accepting the decrease because the payments will be offset by the influx of new patients that will come from Obamacare. Other savings come from eliminating overpayments to Medicare Advantage. Then more will come from raising Medicare taxes on the wealthy. This not only doesn’t hurt Medicare, it extends the lifetime of the program. “The Affordable Care Act doesn’t steal anything from Medicare,” Henry Aaron, a health-care expert at the Brookings Institution, told Business Week. “It actually improves Medicare’s finances. No matter how you slice it, the Affordable Care Act strengthens medical hospital insurance.” Check out the Businessweek article for the full run-down on the Medicare lie.

c. The GM factory closing in Janesville, Wisconsin. Ryan has made big waves about the plant closing, laying it on Obama’s doorstep. And there is no possibility that Ryan doesn’t know he’s lying. Obama became president in January 2009. On October 23, 2008 – in other words, before the election — Paul Ryan sent out a press release bemoaning the fact that GM had decided to accelerate the pace of the closing of the plant. Right now, Ryan’s local newspaper is selling an iconic image: factory workers gathered at the plant assembly line standing behind a sign that reads, “Last Vehicle Off the Janesville Assembly Line…December 23, 2008.” For those who think Ryan is a truth teller, here is where you can order the picture. Oh, and by the way, don’t think this is a mistake on Ryan’s part. The fact that this statement is a lie has been pointed out every time he has said it. Didn’t stop him from burping out the same falsehood in his nomination acceptance speech. And more important – when did Republicans begin to think that the government is supposed to decide what plants an auto company should keep open.

d. “You didn’t build that.” Stop and think for a moment – not based on partisan lunacy, but just on logic. Any presidential contender stands up and tells business people that they didn’t build their own businesses? It takes an enormous level of self-delusion and irrationality to believe that someone is that stupid. And, of course, the truth is that Obama said no such thing. The statement came in the course of a litany about how everyone has others to thank for their successes – he cited, for example, a teacher or a coach. In the sentence leading up to “businesses” he referred to the roads and bridges that are necessary for business to function and, yes, the businesses did not build that. Now, if Obama had said “those” instead of “that,” the ability of the GOP to lie about what he said would have been minimized. But it speaks to the shallow dishonesty of the modern GOP to know that an entire evening of its convention was built on exploiting a finding a grammatical loophole to drive their truck through.

e. “Obama wants to prevent the military from voting.” This has to do with the attempts by the Ohio GOP to impede voting by blocks that tend to cast their ballots for the Democrats. A rule was adopted by which limits were placed on the ability of locals to vote, cutting into the time where there is the highest turnout of minority voters. However, an exception was made for members of the military. This was challenged by the Obama administration, not to stop members of the military from voting, but to allow everyone else to have the same rights. Rather than admitting they were trying to favor one block of voters over the other, the GOP turned reality on its head. And P.S. – the courts agree that Obama is right.

f. Obama is on a spending spree. Never happened. I could lecture on this for a while, but instead let’s turn to the words of that bastion of liberal thought, the Wall Street Journal through its Marketwatch site. A 2012 article entitled “Obama spending binge never happened,” reports that “federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s. Even hapless Herbert Hoover managed to increase spending more than Obama has.” But that doesn’t stop Romney from moaning that Obama has created a “debt and spending inferno.” Read the whole article – it points out that there was a huge growth in spending in Obama’s first year, but that was meaningless; 2009 was the year of the last budget of the Bush Administration. (For more on the debt lies, see the section below on economics)

g. The stimulus failed. This is not only a lie, it makes no sense. If any country spends $700 billion on infrastructure and other projects, employment will go up. Three million people got jobs from the stimulus; Wall Street firms say, without hesitation, that it worked. I’m not sure how anyone could think it wouldn’t. Some may disagree whether it was the right thing to do (although, for a variety of reasons I will explain below, it was) but to claim it failed is simply wishes replacing reality.

h. Obama raised taxes. Hard to address this, since it has no basis in reality. Obama proposed and signed the largest middle class income tax cut in history. Tax rates for the wealthy are the same. There’s nothing else that can be said about this lie.

i. “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” This one deserves special recognition. Romney’s first major ad featured a clip of Obama making this statement. Sounds pretty devastating, right? Except this was a clip from the 2008 campaign, and Obama was quoting his Republican opponent. The full quote is: “Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.’’’ When this was pointed out to the Romney campaign, they not only dismissed the fact that they were lying, one of the aides said they were going to keep doing this kind of thing because Obama had to be held to account for the words he spoke – as if words and meaning were two different things. “You didn’t build that” is just a continuation of that cynical, un-American philosophy of Mitt Romney.

I could keep going with this for a long, long time, but these are the high points. It makes quite clear why a recent headline on the Fox News website is so humorous, “After the convention: What lies ahead for Romney, Ryan?” Fox didn’t mean it the way I am interpreting it, but there are only two answers. The way Fox meant it, the correct answer is “lies.” The way I interpret it, the correct answer is “outrageous ones.”

II.  They are demagogues. What is it about the state of Wisconsin? First it brought us Joe McCarthy, now it brings us Paul Ryan – two men willing to say anything, tell any lie, appeal to any fear, if it means advancing their political careers. The willingness to lie is bad enough, but when it is used to play on people’s ignorance and passions, a politician has crossed the line from dishonest to dangerous. The distant drums of demagoguery are growing ever closer. They began with Sarah Palin’s mantra about “real Americans.” They started their inexorable approach when GOPers bowed down to the conspiracy theorists in their own party – the same people who considered fluoridation of water to be a communist plot – with winks and nods that maybe Obama wasn’t an American citizen. Forget the fact that, as the son of a parent who is a citizen, he is a citizen. They allowed this fear to spread without ever calling bullshit. “I accept the President at his word” was considered a strong response, instead of “Don’t be ridiculous.” (Imagine how outraged – rightfully – the GOP would have been if the Dems had reacted to the loons in their midst who said Bush orchestrated 9/11 by saying that they took the president at his word that he didn’t arrange the attack.)  We have had the birth certificate since 2008, the Hawaiian State Health Department says its real, and no one has ever come up with a reason why this question is even being asked in the first place.” But the rabid mobs liked the idea of the black man as foreigner, and so it continues. Add in the other mantras – Obama hates America, Obama wants to give your money to minorities, Obama wants to let gays destroy the sanctity of marriage – and the GOP has successfully created the “other,” the internal enemy that threatens to undermine the country. First it was the communists, then the fundamentalists, and now Obama. (In fact, since I started with McCarthy, look at history: Truman, large swaths of the GOP intoned, was a Communist, deemed the central enemy of America. Now that conservatives see the new enemy as Islam, Obama, large swaths of the GOP intones, is a Muslim.)  The modern GOP has used lies to appeal to irrationality and a lack of knowledge – I have had Republicans tell me that they are scared for their parents because Obama is going to euthanize them, that Obama is planning to plant tracking chips in all Americans after the election, that a civil war is coming, that Obama had advanced warning of 9/11,  and on and on. This is a form of mass delusion that can only end badly, if allowed to fester or be validated in any way. GOP leaders have stoked this furnace of hate, and in the process have both trapped themselves with a new base of voters divorced from reality and allowed for the empowerment of the reckless and dangerous people who used to be at the fringes of the Republican party. Demagogues depend on hate and fear; once they are unleashed, though, those emotional forces are hard to put back in the bottle.

III. They are economic arsonists. As someone who has spent much of my career reporting on business, finance and other money matters, I have had a lot of trouble in recent years figuring out if the GOP really is as ignorant of basic economics as their words make them out to be, or if they are intentionally willing to upend the American economy for their own interests. I’ve come to believe that it is a little bit of both – that they are so blinded by philosophical fidelity that facts and knowledge are just pushed aside. It is either intentional, or willful blindness. The evidence is overwhelming:

a. The glory of tax cuts: Should taxes be cut? Of course. Should taxes be raised? Of course. Should interest rates be raised or lowered? Of course. And I am not contradicting myself. Each of these answers is correct depending on the economic circumstances at the time. Now, this topic is both so important and so involved that I need to break it down into pieces:

1. The Reagan tax cut mythology, part 1: Reagan’s tax cuts did not trigger an economic boom. In 1981, Reagan was correct that taxes needed to be cut; the American economy was facing an unprecedented beast called “stagflation” – inflation (normally associated with a runaway economy) and high unemployment (normally associated with low inflation.) The Federal Reserve, under chairman Paul Volker, needed to squelch inflation with a huge increase in interest rates, and did so (to see the horrors of this interest rate path, take a look at the historic rates for 20 year an 1 year Treasury bonds. One month before Reagan took office, the Prime Rate hit is all-time high of 21.5 percent. With the cost of money at the highest rates in history, economic activity had slowed to a near crawl. Outside of monetary policy, the other lever available to the government was fiscal; attempting to get more money in the hands of Americans — any Americans – was important to prevent the economy from falling off a cliff. Now, in the fantasy retelling of the Reagan years blathered out by modern Republicans with no knowledge or concern about economic history, the Reagan tax cuts passed in 1981, and the economy transformed into paradise. But that story is fiction. Instead, the tax cuts of 1981 went through – with carnival barkers like Arthur Laffer proclaiming that economic growth would rush in before the ink on the law was dry – and then precisely nothing happened. By 1982, the economy was in such bad shape that the GOP talking point was not “Reagan the magnificent,” it was the plea (a principled one) that Americans should “stay the course,’’ despite the fact that there had been no evidence of growth. In fact, the economy had grown significantly worse – beginning the first full quarter Reagan was in office through the 1982 election, the growth in Gross Domestic Product was negative 8.9 percent. (By way of comparison, for the comparable period in Obama’s term, GDP growth was positive 15 percent.) A few months after the 1982 election – in February 1983 – the Fed had finally cut the Prime Rate below 11 percent, less than half of what it was when Reagan took office. (PS – presidents don’t have any role in raising and lowering interest rates.) And, surprise! Economic growth returned. With the cost of money significantly cheaper, corporations and consumers unleashed a flurry of economic activity – by the end of the first half of 1983, GDP growth had reached positive 5.1 percent. By the 1984 elections. GDP had grown by just under 34 percent since January 1983.  Now, did tax cuts help? Sure – they lessened the damaging impact of high interest rates and, when the economy turned around, they helped increase the amount of cash available for economic activity. But if interest rates hadn’t have fallen? Reagan would have been a one-term president and shuffled offstage by the GOP forever.

2. The Reagan tax cut mythology, part 2: One of the most revealing moments in the entire modern tax-cut debate occurred during Leslie Stahl’s interview of Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, on 60 Minutes. Actually, revealing isn’t the right word – terrifying is. Here was a man whose knowledge was critical in how this country would move forward, and he was woefully lacking. At one point, Stahl points out, despite Cantor’s protestations that Reagan never compromised, that Reagan in fact did raise taxes multiple times, with the biggest being in 1982 (before economic activity took off.) Cantor’s people were outraged by Stahl’s truthful recounting of history – outraged! ­– because it contradicted their Fairy Tales version of the Reagan years. “That just isn’t true,’’ one of Cantor’s aides yelled from off-camera, “And I don’t want to let that stand.” Cantor did nothing to correct his loudmouthed – and wrong – aide. In 1981, Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act – the tax cut law that GOPers slobber over to this day. The following year, in the bit of history excised from the Republican mind, Reagan signed the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA). While Americans still received tax cuts when aggregated with the prior year’s law, TEFRA constituted the largest tax increase in American history at that time. Why did Reagan do it? Because he wasn’t, contrary to some GOP revisionists, a blind ideologue. After the adoption of the 1981 tax cuts, government analyses showed that the impact on four-year average impact on federal revenues would negative 2.89 percent of GDP. (Remember the whole supply side scam, that tax cuts pay for themselves? Well, they don’t.) After TEFRA, the four-year average was positive 0.98 percent. You see, it seems that when you increase tax, tax revenues go up. Funny, that. But, because the tax cuts were cumulative negative, deficits went up. The first time in American history when deficits exceeded $100 billion was in 1982. The deficits stayed above that number until 1998, during the Clinton Administration. The first surplus came in 1999. (For those who don’t remember economic history under Clinton, he raised taxes in 1993, and – surprise again – higher tax rates increased federal revenue and allowed the government to reduce the amount of publicly held debt outstanding. Funny, that.)

3. Reagan tax cut mythology part 3: At a meeting in the Oval Office, Obama commented on the fact that tax rates are lower now than they were under Reagan. After the meeting, Rep. Michelle Bachmann – one of the dangerous Republicans whose certainty to knowledge ratio might well be the first to exceed 100 percent – scoffed that Obama was fibbing. Of course, as the mantra goes, we have been pillories with higher taxes in the years after Reagan. But no – Obama was right. The total Average Federal Tax Rate for all income quintiles was between 21 and 22 percent in the Reagan years. When Obama took office, it was 17 percent. If the Democrats introduced the “Ronald Reagan Tax and Fairness Act” (I made the name up) calling for a return to the tax rates under Reagan, we would be talking about a 23 percent tax increase. Tax rates are at historic lows, which is why it is perfectly reasonable, in the face of massive federal debts, to raise them.

4. Laughing at the Laffer Curve: This has lasted for decades since Reagan, and I have touched on it above. But now let’s really delve into the most destructive mythology.  In my opinion, Arthur Laffer has done far more damage to the future of America than Osama bin Laden. Here’s why: Laffer came up with his little device called “the Laffer Curve” which stated that tax revenues increased and then decreased once you moved up the rate scale from 0 percent to 100 percent. While there are some technical arguments about why the last number actually isn’t correct, theoretically, Laffer is correct. So, by his logic, there is a point where cutting taxes increases federal revenues. For now, I’ll accept that as true. But there is one huge problem with that argument: the Laffer Curve has no numbers! In other words, assuming Laffer is right, there is a point somewhere on the scale where tax rates bring in the highest amount of government revenues. And where is that number? Nowhere close to where it is now. The empirical analyses conducted by people who are less polemical than Laffer have come up with 68 percent, 70 percent and 35 percent. Whichever number you choose, they are all higher than the current rate of taxation. You see, what Republicans ignore is that it is the Laffer Curve, not the Laffer rising vector. There is some point – even if you want to assume that Laffer is right – where tax cuts decrease the amount of federal revenue. Since 1981, there has been a direct correlation between tax cuts and increases in the deficit. In other words, empirically, the tax rate was below the peal of the Laffer curve before cuts even started. Supply siders will bitch and moan at those numbers, but they are fact, not fantasy. Deficits went up under Reagan, down under Clinton and up (dramatically) under W. To argue that tax cuts pay for themselves is about as logical as saying Jesus rode dinosaurs – it is a statement made to justify a desired outcome, and not something based on any truth.

5. The Lucky Duckies who Pay No Taxes. The Wall Street Journal once wrote an editorial bemoaning the luck of the impoverished, since they don’t pay federal income taxes. At first, I thought it was a joke, and now it is a GOP talking point. They decry the lack of fairness to rich people, who are paying so, so much when others are getting a free ride. And this, as you might imagine, is utter bull. Here’s why: the Americans who are in the top 20 percent of income earners pay about 70 percent of federal taxes – but guess what? They also pull in about 60 percent of total pre-tax income, according to the Congressional Budget Office. In other words, they pay more in absolute dollars in income taxes because they have more income. The argument is akin to complaining that people living in mansions pay the majority of a town’s real estate taxes, while people renting apartments pay nothing. It’s both illogical and knowingly misleading. The statistics cited by the GOP speaks to income disparity not tax fairness. Now, there are 46 percent of Americans who pay no federal income taxes. The reason: they don’t make enough money. The income for twenty three percent of Americans is so low that, once they apply the personal deduction (which is taken by all taxpayers), their tax obligation goes to zero. This group includes the poor, the elderly, students, etc. The only way to bring in more cash from them, if it was possible, would be to cut the personal exemption (which the GOP would never do, because that would affect everyone) or dramatically increase taxes on low-income Americans. The other 23 percent who don’t pay taxes have enough income to pay after the personal exemption, but qualify for tax breaks that bring their bill to zero. This is seen at every income level – in fact, because of this, 1,470 millionaires paid no taxes in 2009. GOPers still moan that everyone should pay taxes by picking and choosing what they want to call a tax. Federal income taxes, in their lexicon, are the only ones that exist, ignoring payroll, state and local taxes. When actual tax burden – rather than bits and pieces of tax burden – are assessed, the bottom 20 percent of income earners pay 17 percent of the total tax bite, versus an effective rate of 30 percent for top earners. And guess what? Those numbers result in all the share of total taxes paid roughly matching the share of total income for each of the income groups.

6. The “Job Creators”: Let’s do the two-second version of this. A millionaire gets a $340,000 tax cut. And this translates into a job how? Maybe he’ll hire another housekeeper, maybe buy some more from Tiffany’s, but the vast majority of that money will not be spent on goods that drive the economy – it will be put into savings. Usually, that can be a good thing, but in a stagnant economy, the people whose financial activity creates jobs are the middle class. Give a middle class family $10 during a rough economy, they spend it. And that is how an economy gets moving. What we need is more tax cuts for the middle class, not tax cuts for the wealthy. (And, again, you have to look at actual numbers. The Bush tax cuts went into place in 2002: employment remained fairly stagnant until the financial crisis of 2008, when unemployment skyrocketed. They cuts have remained in place throughout the Obama Administration; so if the tax cuts fuel hiring, where the hell are the jobs?

7. The GOP is the party of tax cuts: I was horrified by something I saw in Obama’s first State of the Union in 2010 (not the GOP congressman who yelled out “you lie!” which should have led to his being sanctioned by Congress.) Instead, it was a point in Obama’s speech when he mentioned that the stimulus had given the middle class the greatest tax cut in history. It’s true – it did. This was not something I figured would be controversial. The Democrats jumped out of their seats and applauded. The Republicans did nothing – no applause, nothing. That was the moment that really put me on a path of contempt for a party I had once supported: they didn’t care about tax cuts, only about tax cuts for the rich. I had long considered that something of a canard, but from what I witnessed, I no longer had any doubt that Republican economic philosophy had nothing to do with economics (which was why so much of it was illogical) but instead was about one thing: their constituents wanted money. That’s it. The Laffer Curve, the fictionalization of the Reagan years, job creators, lucky duckies – all of that was no accident. It was a means of obfuscating the truth so that the middle class would sit by as the wealthy looted the federal treasury. And my realization was only reinforced in the years that followed: GOPers ranted and raved about the need for tax cuts for “job creators” but when the time came for a renewal of a payroll tax cut – which helped the middle class enormously but did almost nothing for the rich – the GOP fought it. When Obama proposed allowing the Bush tax cuts for the middle class to be renewed, the GOP refused, instead taking the proposal hostage in an attempt to force through tax cuts for the rich.

b. The debt. No matter how many times it’s said, the truth on this one struggles to become part of the American understanding. When George W. Bush assumed the presidency, the budget was in surplus and the projections showed that the government would be able to pay down much of its debt within the next six years. Then, came the Bush tax cuts. Beginning in 2002, the Federal government fell into deficit again – and hasn’t recovered since. The deficit is the annual contribution to the total debt owed by the federal government, and that number began climbing in 2002 in ways that are unprecedented in the history of the world. In 2002, the year that the first Bush budget was effective, the total outstanding debt of the United States was $6.2 trillion. It had barely budged in size from the previous year. By the end of the final Bush budget, the total outstanding debt had almost doubled, to $11.9 trillion. In the first two years of Obama budgets, the debt climbed to $13.6 trillion. But why? GOPers like to blame the stimulus – contrary to all available evidence. The stimulus did add an amount – extremely small as a percentage – in the short term. But Obama continued to have to work with the Bush tax cuts and the wars. The Bush tax cuts and the wars have been the single largest factor in the continued growth of the debt by far – both under Bush and under Obama. If the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire at the end of this year, the Congressional Budget Office projects that future deficits will be cut in half. There is no way to accomplish that amount of cutback on the deficit by simply going after expenditures – particularly now that Romney and Ryan are pretending that they can kill Obamacare, leave Medicare untouched and increase military budgets. The numbers are simply impossible – there is no money there. Non-defense discretionary spending – areas like foreign aid, education and food safety that GOPers attack as being some huge driving force of deficits – account for only 15 percent of the budget. In other words everything the government does that isn’t military or Medicare only would provide $560 million if cut in its entirety. And the deficit would still be $800 billion – an unsustainable amount. Taxes must be increased if America is going to survive.

c. The debt ceiling “debate”: There has never been a more irresponsible and reckless act on the part of any political party than the financial crisis engendered by the GOP in 2011 in its refusal to raise the debt ceiling limit without a fight; the real possibility was raised that America would, for the first time since its founding, default on its debt obligations to the world. The debt ceiling is nothing more than the legal limit on borrowing allowed for the federal government. Both houses of Congress have to approve the limit and have done so repeatedly since 1917. Usually, raising the debt ceiling was a perfunctory matter – it had been done 74 times since 1962. Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times and Bush II raised them 7 times – tax cuts have to be paid for with borrowings, after all. Put another way, Reagan raised the debt limit every five months, Bush every 13 months, and Obama every 15 months. (Clinton was every 24 months.) So, without the possibility of contradiction, the presidents who needed the debt ceiling raised the most often were Reagan and Bush, and the Republicans burbled happily as they did it. Suddenly though, in the middle of a global financial trauma, those same GOPers decided that now raising the debt ceiling mattered. And, somehow, they portrayed this as being representative of out-of-control spending by the Democrats. (I showed why that was bogus up above.) There were a few other things that the Republican talking points hid from America – raising the debt ceiling wasn’t about allowing future spending, it was about paying past bills. In other words, the money had already been spent – demanding cuts in future budgets did nothing to affect the structural debt. Now, American debt has been considered the safest investment globally for decades. Whenever international financial markets are rocked, investors take a flight to safety by buying American debt. Treasury bonds are part of untold thousands of investment strategies, used as a means of diminishing the risk profile of a portfolio. All of this works solely because of international faith that America would never default on its debt. But once the economic illiterates known as the Tea Partiers came into office, their hopes, wishes and assertions became the other side of an economic debate about facts, figures and reality. Oh, investors wouldn’t care about America not paying its obligated interest on the debt, they intoned, as the actual investors who owned the debt squealed about the impact of such a delay being disastrous. The Tea Partiers seemed to believe that the holders of American debt were little old ladies in Idaho, picking out breadcrumbs from their tea cozies while waiting for the next check from the government. And that ain’t reality. The vast majority of American debt is held by sophisticated international investors who, as I said, use Treasuries as part of a complex portfolio of investments. If the cash doesn’t arrive as planned, the investment strategy dies. If people trading Treasury bills know that there is a default, the value of those Treasuries would crash through the floor. The debate – which in truth was over nothing real  — put at risk the global financial recovery, simply so the GOPers could score a few points and work to appease the economic idiots they had helped usher into government. That’s why, in the middle of this pointless debate, S&P downgraded American debt from the first time in history – something that Romney and Ryan blame on Obama, which is, of course, a lie. The real reason? That the debt ceiling had been turned into a political football. S&P wrote:

The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.

Moreover, the country’s rating had been damaged because of the GOP’s apparent insistence to keep the Bush tax cuts in place. S&P wrote:

Our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.

If Americans understood what had really happened in the debt ceiling debacle, and the possible horrific damage it could have inflicted on the country, they would – hopefully – run these people out of Washington and instead replace them with either Republicans more interested in governing than in rage or, if they can’t be found anymore, with Democrats.

IV. They are threatening American democracy. In 2008, when Norm Coleman was said to have won the Senate election by 215 votes, Sean Hannity of Fox News slammed the Democratic nominee, Al Franken, for pursuing a recount. Never mind that the recount was required by law; Coleman, Hannity intoned, had won fair and square. That set in motion the conservative meme – Coleman won, and Franken was trying to steal the election. Franken was slammed as a crybaby who should now to the wishes of the electorate, concede and stop wasting the state’s money. Then, whoops – the recount showed that Franken had won by 312 votes and the conservative storyline changed dramatically. Fraud! The Wall Street Journal said it, Hannity said it, Rush Limbaugh and even Coleman. It was, one Republican commentator (I think it was David Frum) said a symptom of the party: When they won it was the choice of the people, when they lost, it was fraud. Put simply, the GOP had trouble accepting when it loses.

That arrogance underscores the vast willingness of the modern GOP to cripple American democracy. The crusade against “voting fraud” has its base in the utter disbelief on the part of the Republicans that they can lose any elections. Never mind that there is no evidence that any fraud of any importance takes place in elections. This, they intoned, required emergency actions to insure that elections were protected.

And so, the assault began. The boogeyman-ization of Acorn – the organization that served to register voters among the poor – was just stage one. With a political campaign that was as breathless as it was absurd, Republicans portrayed Acorn as this vast conspiracy to create legions of fake voters with names like Mickey Mouse. Never mind that registration is not voting, never mind that no one had ever been found who voted fraudulently as a result of an Acorn registration. This, the Republicans intoned, was a threat that had to be destroyed. And they succeeded – Acorn became the symbol for voter fraud, even though none had been committed, and the organization was put to death. Registration of the poor was hobbled.

In case anyone tried to pick up the slack, people stepped in like the governor of Florida Rick Scott – a man whom I met when he was running the criminal corporation Columbia/HCA and who is not only the creepiest person I have ever encountered, but one whose dishonesty is only exceeded by his egomania. Scott imposed rules on anyone who tried to register people to vote that were so stringent and punitive that organizations like the League of Women Voter’s announced that they could not risk registering voters in the state. (Thankfully, a Federal court has shut down the scheme for now.)

But that was just the beginning. In one Republican-controlled state after another, new rules were put in place to deal with the voting fraud “emergency.” That no Republican could cite a single instance of fraud in their state tied to an individual misrepresenting their identity was irrelevant – voter ID’s suddenly required. The fact that millions of the elderly, the handicapped, minorities and students did not have the kind of ID now being demanded was not deemed as important. Somehow stopping the nonexistent fraudulent voters was worth disenfranchising more Americans than have been blocked from voting since the 1960s. And it is no coincidence that the people being blocked are all major Democratic blocks. As one Republican official in Pennsylvania put it, they had adopted Voter ID, and now Mitt Romney could win the state. Words that would make any banana republic dictator smile.

Conservatives fear the same democracy that they praise. They want everyone to vote – so long as it is people like them. If they retain control in state houses, next time around, the person who won’t be able to vote might be you.

Fortunately, American democracy has some checks and balances. Voter ID laws in Texas were thrown out because, the court rules, they were adopted with the intent of discriminating against minorities. The attempt to impose unequal early voting in Ohio – as well as cut directly into the periods where minorities vote in the heaviest numbers – was struck down by a court. And the dominoes just keep falling.

One thing to know, though. I am not issuing an argument against using voter ID – even if the problem is bogus, Americans have been led to believe that it is real. The problem isn’t identification, it is the requirement for identification that particular classes of voters are either unlikely to have or who would find them difficult to obtain. Virginia has a voter ID law, but it is not designed to keep people away from the polls. The forms of ID that are accepted, as well as a rule that allows for voting by mail with the ballots sent to individual registered voters – have the same effect in preventing “fraud.” They just don’t stop people from voting. You will be able to judge the intent of states going forward that adopt voter ID laws if they follow the Virginia model of inclusion, or the Texas model of exclusion.

V. They are threatening America. What if they won? What if Romney, Ryan and the other amoral executioners of this strategy of deceit succeeded in slithering their way into the White House through a pack of lies and demonization? The United States is more important than what person is in office at any particular moment; what matters is not the victor, but the process. And the GOP has taken to doing everything it can to undermine the process. They are exhibiting their utter contempt for American citizens by piling lie upon lie, hoping to deceive people into believing in a fictitious country that allows for the GOP to retain control. They are utilizing the obscene Citizens United case to undermine the very nature of democracy by allowing anonymous millionaires to broadcast as many lies as they can in order to fool the electorate for whom they have so much disdain. Lying, impeding voting, buying elections – all of this is un-American and reflects a party that no longer has anything to offer other than fear. If it works, god help us…our country will become a nation of liars whose only concern will be how much air time they could purchase to insure the lies penetrate the American consciousness.

Now, as I said, I have been just as likely to vote for Republicans in the past as I have been for Democrats, and just because I am focusing on the GOP doesn’t mean I couldn’t write a piece criticizing some of Obama’s policies. But that is the difference – my critique of Obama would be based on policy. I would be starting with an understanding that we begin with the same fact base, and that facts would be what drove the discussion. I would not be compelled to address fictions, lies and delusions before addressing policy differences. That is the sign of a party that wants to govern, even if I don’t always agree with the ways they want to exercise their governing authority.

On the other hand, the GOP has become a childish, self-centered party that is unfit to govern. You don’t need to look any further than in their immature refusal to call the Democratic Party by its real name – instead, they insist on the Democrat Party, the same way that the bully in some 1980s movie would call a character “slob” if his real name was “Bob.” What is the purpose of this? I don’t know. It demeans every Republican candidate when they say it. But it also is of a piece with the Republican inability to engage an elected president from the Democratic party. Republicans didn’t just go after Clinton’s policies – they called him a murderer, a drug dealer, a rapist. They didn’t just go after John Kerry’s policies – they accused him of faking his heroics, of lying his way to a Purple Heart and a Silver Star (in the process raising doubts about the integrity of those awards for every soldier who has won them), and of shooting a boy in the back. They don’t just go after Obama’s policies – they accuse him of being a Kenyan, a socialist, a communist, a euthanizer, and on and on.

Until the Republican party grows up, until they stop lying about economic realities, until they can finally start to behave like they believe in their ideas rather than just demonizing their opponents, then the party is at risk of becoming a minority party forever. Rage, delusions and lies are not the path to power.

I hope.


  1. This should be required reading. Thank you so much for writing it; I know I’ll be referring to it often in the coming few weeks.

    • Emailed to everybody I know.

      These creeps act like the sneaky shape-shifters in alien invasion B-movies.

    • Nicholas Sackett says:

      Yes, please do vote for Obama. He has been the best community organizer ever to work for the Republican Party! Another four years and he can complete his shredding of the Democratic Party by leaving the middle behind.​article/​SB1000087239639044368600457​7635422609097482.html

      • @Nicholas Sackett: Your reply makes it clear that you didn’t bother reading the article, or if you did, you have apparently consumed so much of the GOP koolaid that no amount of fact, data, logic, or common sense will get through your wall of willful ignorance.

      • Wes Carroll says:

        That link is dead. Perhaps you are referring to an article you made up yourself?

    • M. B. Williams says:

      THIS IS ABSOULTE READING FOR ALL INTELLIGENT VOTERS. Especially my Republican breathren and for those of us who live in “Disney/Wally World” of Republicanism below the MasonDixon Line. Unfortunatley it is also where a few too many most republicans drink the kool-aid. Reminds me of the stuff Jim Jones gave those poor people.
      Thank you Mr. Eichenwald.

    • Everything Eichenwald spews is pure drivel. Promoting the idea that 911 could have been prevented and blaming ANYONE for its cause is revolting! All he cares about is the dollars he makes off of conspiracy theorists buying his books. An I thought Michael Moore was a sleazebag. The world would be better place without hoodwinks like him.

      • SO, you’re argument is that no one should ever have revealed what Bush was told — by citing the specific briefings and quoting from them — because….? By saying “Bush was told this” I am reciting history. I am not — and specifically state in the piece that I am not — saying 9/11 could have been prevented. I have no way of knowing that. But I care much more about history than about partisan tribalism.

        • Could you be any more insulting to your readers? Where are your books about any other president’s briefings? Seriously, where are they? How about Clinton’s? Why not a series about the president’s daily meals, after all that would be “just reciting history”? Unless you are some kind of unique mutant who, by fate, just happened to find enough interest on one specific president’s briefings to dedicate your time to publishing them for no other reason than “just reciting history”, then your are a disgusting parasite. Don’t get me wrong, what you did is lucrative, and you are free to exploit the ignorace of the public on the way you have. I just find it pathetic and repulsive that you can’t even come clean about it. For all of the gripes you’ve laid out in this blog entry, the greatest threat facing this country isn’t the politicians in power, it’s the people in this country, such as yourself, who are so content to live without any sense of personal accountability. You are a loser.

          • James P – Have you seriously been completely ignoring the news for the last 5 days, or do you simply watch nothing but Fox and read nothing at all? The other briefings that Mr. Eichenwald refers to were revealed in this past Tuesday’s New York Times and have since been confirmed by every major news outlet EXCEPT for Fox. The irony of your attacking him on personal accountability when apparently you are the victim of those who truly don’t have any is thick indeed.

          • This article is exactly right. If you want much of the same truth from the mouth of a conservative instead of a moderate, read this interview of Mickey Edwards, a conservative Republican and former Representative from Oklahoma who was a founding trustee of the Heritage Foundation and head of the American Conservative Union: The bottom line truth is that first and foremost, tribalism and opposition for the sake of opposition is the Republicans number one issue. Put that proposition to the test. It has been heading that way for years, but until the last several I thought maybe tax cuts were ahead of it, but it’s not. When Obama proposed tax cuts, they opposed them; when Obama adopted the the conservative Republican health care plan they declared it socialism, when Obama embraced the market based cap and trade approach to global warming that conservatives used to favor, they changed their minds about the importance of the debt when Obama got elected but were fully on board when Reagan/Bush pushed the debt to new limits.

  2. Alec Harris says:

    Excellent article… but is there a typo in this sentence:

    Non-defense discretionary spending – areas like foreign aid, education and food safety that GOPers attack as being some huge driving force of deficits – account for only 15 percent of the budget. In other words everything the government does that isn’t military or Medicare only would provide $560 million if cut in its entirety. And the deficit would still be $800 billion – an unsustainable amount. Taxes must be increased if America is going to survive.

    Should it be $560 Billion (not million)?

    • Typo in I e., about GI voting, s/b cast, not case.

      And yes, excellent, the best, clearest explanation. I’ll be sharing this one over and over.

    • Typo in IV, first paragraph. “who should now to the wishes of the electorate” should be “bow,” not “now.”

      Please post a version of this excellent article in some type other than white-on-black…impossible to read!!

  3. Renchy Thomas says:

    Kurt – Thanks for this great piece of journalistic master piece. I wish everyone in America gets to read this – with an open mind. I hope someone to make a Youtube video out of this.

  4. Greg Davidson says:

    An excellent and comprehensive summary. You missed one more point about “job creators” – that includes the group of people responsible for the greatest loss of jobs in 80 years (private sector investment banks, ratings agencies, mortgage companies), which has to be one of the most Orwellian re-definitions in living memory

  5. This is a brilliant piece, hitting every low point of the GOP since they were taken over by ignorant aliens.
    How can we expect government to get anything done when this GOP is half the Congress?
    I found your piece from a diary on Daily Kos:

  6. Greg Stevens says:

    Wow! Thank you. Let’s debate policy!!!

  7. Thank you for posting such a thoughtful critique of the current Republican party. In my 30+ years of following politics, I have never seen such unrepentant lying as has been dished up by Romney and Ryan on this year’s campaign trail. They are attempting to push political discourse into a post-truth era, where the waters are so muddied that the average American is no longer able to base their voting decisions on policy and facts.

    I sincerely believe that — with their blatant lies, voter ID laws, and Citizens United era funding — the Republican party threatens the very core of American democracy. If *this* Republican Party enters office, what will America be left with? A fend-for-yourself society in which prosperity flows ever-faster toward the wealthy — through tax breaks and deregulation — while the less fortunate make do with lower wages, less food, less education, and certainly less mobility?

    The only hope I have is that there are other voters who, like my own deeply conservative mother, have looked at Romney and decided: “I just don’t trust him.” In November, for the first time in her life, she’ll be voting for a Democrat.

    • Yea for your mother! It’s nice to know that even hard and fast Republicans can see through the sheep’s clothing to see the evil beneath…(I didn’t want to implicate the innocent wolves of the planet). It’s nice to see that we senior citizens can still think for ourselves and are willing to stand against tyranny. Give your mom a hug for me!

  8. I think this is the most succinct and accurate blog I have read recently as to why the Romney/Ryan ticket
    MUST NOT be elected!

    • Actually it’s what he left out that’s so damning – such as Obama bypassing Congress with his executive orders for anything he wants but can’t get votes for (such as allowing illegals to stay here and get welfare and any other service us legit taxpayers & citizens pay for) . And his unelected “czars”, his Treasury Secretary who is a tax cheat – any other citizen would be in jail for tax evasion. There’s the “Oh, let’s approve this so we can find out what’s in it” Obamacare bill that was slammed through on Xmas Eve even though NOT A SINGLE member of Congress could have possibly read the 18 inch thick document. Obama is one of the worst presidents this country has ever seen. He is surrounded by morons (ala Biden). And only a total loser would blame a previous president – esp 4 years after taking office. Gimme a break – EVERYONE supported the war after 9-11. What, you think you don’t have to pay for that? I bet your butt was never on the front line.

      • So many lies in this reply, I can’t count them all. But I will respond to this: “Gimme a break – EVERYONE supported the war after 9-11.”

        EVERYONE supported “the war”? If you mean the bullshit war in Iraq, which GWB/Cheney/Rumsfeld tried to tie to 9/11, no, “everyone” did not support that abomination.

      • Executive orders:

        Reagan 380
        G. Bush 165
        Clinton 363
        GW Bush 288
        Obama 129

        • It is not the number of Executive Orders, it is the effect of those orders. Especially those which attack the principle this country was founded on.

          • MockingCathy says:

            What principles this country was founded on were attacked. If you’re a Tea Party Person, please don’t bother answering as I’m not interested in delusional answers.

          • Changing the goal posts again. That’s what cons do every time you catch them in a lie, which is every time.

      • Jeff Ferris says:

        Gitrdun, you just proved one of Kurt’s main points. You do not debate any of the information presented, you give the schoolyard argument of “Well, what about them” and try to change the subject of the discussion. You make this a my team is better than your team argument, rather than focusing on facts and finding a solution.

      • Executive orders from Obama… ? If I remember correctly, Obama has issued a mere pittance of executive orders next to Bush. He, actually, was the E.O. King. I may be wrong, but I doubt it. I saw a list on … no, it wasn’t on FOX NEWS. 🙂

      • That statement, “everyone supported the war after 9/11” and what you assumed by saying our butt wasn’t on the line: way to be FALSE.
        For your information, my butt has been on the line in this situation. I was almost killed by the towers at the age of 6 years old. My parents who worked in the buildings next to the towers for out just 10 minutes before their whole building collapsed and went up in flames. My mothers livliehood ended when her studio burned. My whole life was turned upside down by that day, but yet I did NOT support the wars we entered after that. Namely Iraq, and I strongly disagreed with the way the entrance into Afghanistan was handled–and this was as an 8 year old. Sure I was young, but I stayed informed because it was an issue that directly effected my life and I wanted to know what was going on. Bush and Cheney (mainly Cheney) misled the public and lied. That is a fact.
        And it’s not just me, a friend of mine whose grandmother was killed in the towers that day continues to NOT SUPPORT the wars that followed or the policies. Don’t you dare go assuming that hers and my “butt wasn’t on the line”.

        • Moonshadow says:

          I couldn’t find a LIKE button. Bless you, Madeline. May your desire to be fully informed and make your own decisions never be clouded by cynicism.

      • Sean Mullen says:

        Obama’s on a pace to have enacted less executive orders than his predecessors. And those he’s enacted due to inability to get votes are actually the result of the GOP’s orchestrated intransigence. Then there are czars – have you felt the same way about all the czars of past US Presidents as well?

        You know you’re lying about this stuff, but like Ryan and Romney you simply seem not to care…

      • Right! Blame the man who tried unsuccessfully for TWO YEARS to get ignorant Republicans to agree to the same ideas that they themselves championed in years past (a la Reagan’s ENORMOUS amnesty act)…blame him for finally getting tired of the games and flip-flopping and pulling the trigger on a worthy and impactful issue. Might you or any of your right-wing friends have a LOGICAL, REASONABLE or SENSIBLE (I know this is a stretch for your ilk) solution for how to handle the 11 million undocumented in this country, many of whom were brought here as youths?! There needs to be an avenue created to allow them to be CONTRIBUTING members of our society instead of benefitting from a tax system they don’t pay into. Republicans wouldn’t come to the table, so Obama go it done on his own. Is it a perfect solution? No. But you have no right to cry about the end result if had no hand in working for the solution.

      • Probably upwards of 95% of the people I know, including myself, did NOT support our going into Iraq. That was Bush’s personal vendetta war and we all knew it. It was also an opportunity for Cheney to make more money…on the misery of others, both American and Iraqi. You are as out of touch with the American spirit as are Romney and Ryan!

        • Everyone supported the war in Iraq?? Nearly every other country disagreed, the UN disagreed, and didn’t we have the biggest worldwide protest ever? I marched against invading Iraq and was my community rep for the (also worldwide) Lysistrata Project against the invasion.
          I know we all have a tendency to mold history to our own story, but WOW…the “Republican Party” was never so consistently out of touch with reality/recent history.

      • Appointed “czars”, executive orders, your indignance falls flat – do the research on the President who held the office right before Obama in regards to “czars” and executive orders. It’s PART OF THE JOB. Tax cheat? Laughable considering the Republican party wants to elect loophole-tax-shelter-offshore-Swiss bank account Romney. The former Republican administration was so rife with criminals it’s mind boggling.
        Let’s talk the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – yes it was read – but apparently it was too difficult a read for you. Here are some highlghts: Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime coverage limits on your insurance. If you don’t know someone who has run into a lifetime cap, you probably know someone who has run into an annual cap. The use of these will be sharply limited. (They’ll be eliminated entirely in 2014.) Insurers can no longer tell kids with preexisting conditions that they’ll insure them “except for” the preexisting condition. That’s called preexisting condition exclusion, and it’s out the window. A special, temporary program will help adults with preexisting conditions get coverage. It expires in 2014, when the health insurance exchanges—basically big “pools” of businesses and individuals—come on-line. That’s when all insurers will have to cover everyone, preexisting condition or not. Insurance companies can’t drop you when you get sick, either—this plan means the end of “rescissions.” You can stay on your parents’ insurance until you’re 26. Seniors get $250 towards closing the “doughnut hole” in their prescription drug coverage. Currently, prescription drug coverage ends once you’ve spent $2,700 on drugs and it doesn’t kick in again until you’ve spent nearly $6,200. Medicare’s preventive benefits now come with a free visit with your primary care doctor every year to plan out your prevention services. And there are no more co-pays for preventative services in Medicare. Small businesses get big tax credits—up to 50 percent of premium costs—for offering health insurance to their workers. Insurers with unusually high administrative costs have to offer rebates to their customers, and every insurance company has to reveal how much it spends on overhead. Bankruptcies due to medical related expenses have increased nearly 50% since 2001. More than 60% of all bankruptcies are now attributed to overwhleming medical expenses. I’m not sorry that the healthcare industries’ profits will decrease. Why should they be in the top 50 most profitable industries (according to Forbes)? Taking advantage of people when they are at their weakest is morally reprehensible.
        And as far as your ridiculous 9-11 comment goes – no – not EVERYONE supported the war in Iraq. But almost everyone supported our troops – domestically and internationally. And MANY of us were personally affected by loss during those years so get off your high horse and start realizing we are all in this together. Your divisiveness as well as that in the Republican party do nothing to help keep this country the strongest and most respected country on the planet.

        • Thank you for the quick-read of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It’s amazing how many people don’t know how much it does for THEM.

        • Thank you so much, Deb. I was exhausted by reading that litany of change the goal post, ignore the real points and tell the big lie… s Thank you for addressing them clearly and succinctly because I hate to see such lies go unchallenged.

      • AHA – The ol’ “I know you are but what am I”. Hey, it always worked in 6th grade – you’re clearly sticking with what works. Brilliant strategy.

  9. Leslie Kappes says:


  10. Dan Brisson says:

    Everything you have written here is true. This is an extremely logical, well-reasoned, and frightening polemic. I have never seen all of the arguments against electing republicans so well organized and marshalled into one long, frightening and absolutely truthful statement. I congratulate you sir. This blog synthesizes so much of what I have been thinking but have been unable to articulate to myself. For me, this is the political junkie version of Jared Diamonds “Guns Germs and Steel”. I thank you for this.

  11. Well the last time a party like this took over a major Western country, two rising superpowers (one of which almost bled to death) and a fading empire had to team up to put it out of business.

  12. Great article. Thanks for writing. I will forward it to others.

  13. what a wonderful, educational piece. i hope i can remember some of it for the next time i’lm blasted with right wing memes by my sister or a co-worker. this is not hyperbole, they really don’t care if they take this country out. thank you very much.

  14. sanford sklansky says:

    I came across this from a link at Daily Kos. I hope everybody retweets this. It is a great piece.

  15. Karen Llera says:

    I hope this gets published in Vanity Fair. It needs to be linked on Facebook, the news sites, anywhere your readers can share it! It’s long, but it lays out all the lies and the background behind thm in non-technical language about the economy. Should be required reading for every voter!

  16. I was in tears reading this. You have articulated in one cogent piece everything that is rotten in today’s GOP and why they must be stopped. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  17. Peter Westre says:

    The GOP just cannot accept that a lost election represents bad policy.

    In MN the GOP pushed through two proposed constitutional amendments because their policies were so bad that they could not win on the merits. (One for “marriage protections.” and the other for “voter id.”) The model that they pursue is one of exclusion from the political process.

    On principle I oppose voter ID because it suppresses votes and I cannot see a way that voter id can be implemented without gaming the system. (WI had a “free id” provision yet there was a policy that said don’t tell voters about the provision. Walker also closed DMV offices in areas that were more likely to vote for his opposition.) In MN the proposal calls for a free ID yet the cost of the birth certificate is not covered. $26 is a lot of money for a low income person. SOS Richie proposed a compromise of electronic poll books where new registrants would have their picture taken. This proposal was turned down as it did not suppress votes but instead protected access to voting.

    What the MN GOP cannot accept is that they lost two close elections in a row because of bad candidates AND unpopular policy proposals. The MN GOP has been afflicted with the same extremism that you decry for the past 8 years. They recently primaried out a senior legislator because he refused to interefere with collective bargaining rights. The legislative commitee that reviews public employee contracts refused to endorse the contracts because they did not cap union dues. (Dues are democratically set by the union so this was a direct attempt to reduce labors influence on the policy process.)

    (The Independence party represents disaffected GOPers for social issues and disaffected DFLers for economics.)

  18. I may have to stop blogging. You’ve said everything I’ve been trying to say for the past few years on my blog, Cutting Through The Crap (, and you did it clearly, factually, convincingly, in just a few paragraphs. The problem is, as you’ve demonstrated, that facts are not only not wanted by todays teabaggRs, they’re specifically rejected. So minds will not change, far as I can tell…

  19. Romney in the Whitehouse and Republicans in control of congress frightens me but not as much as the way that money rules the electoral process this time around and likely for some time to come. This should be front page news in every news stand but as Cyndi Lauper sang, money changes everything.

  20. This is must reading for every American; especially those in high profile positions in mass media. We need truth not propaganda. Thank you Mr. Eichenwald for saying what needs to be said.

  21. I appeciated reading Kurt’s take on the behavior of the GOP. Since I’m a life-long Democrat, I thought it was just me. Like Kurt, I have voted Republican on occasion when I felt the candidate represented my ideas. However, these 2 running for the highest offices in the land aren’t 2 that will get my vote. In fact, they scare me. I can’t wait for the debates when the lies will be exposed – at least I hope. But will those on the fence, or GOPer’s listen? People are so tired of the way politics have become that they don’t pay attention to the facts. It’s more important for people to be party-liners than Americans in search of the truth… and that goes for Democrats as well as Republicans. The Dems need to step up too & make sure the word gets out to VOTE.

  22. The most cohesive, clearest assessment of the 2012 Presidential Campaign that I have read to date. I have one suggestion, which I hope you will address: I went to this website: There I found all the states listed where I could look up voter registration requirements, forms, etc. The first fear I felt, came when I reviewed Arizona, then Alabama, and by the time I got to California, I had to quit. The Republicans have a completely pervasive plan already in place. Just these three states have such convoluted Registration forms, and “Re-registration” requirements, should you move from one ‘county’ to another, that I fear transient America, moving due to the economy and searching for jobs (much like during the Great Depression) will not only find they aren’t able to Vote, they will be unable to register in a timely manner. Please check this out and add a little more of your wisdom to my concern, so that all may be educated. Forewarned is Forearmed. Perhaps you’ve already investigated this, if so thank you for sharing your words, and I look forward to reading more from you.

    • I went to the link you listed but got this message .. “We’re sorry!
      We were unable to find the question you were looking for.
      You can go back to the home page or return to your previous page.”

      • Sorry about that. Same thing happened to me, I shared a page from the original link instead of just the link. Please try this:

        That should take you to a list of links that you can click on, one of them being , listed below Organizations and Agencies. From you can then browse the states, etc. and if you want to go back to the Main page, just click on and voila, you will get there. There are so many phoney websites being built, this election has been a gold mine for domain sales, online blogs posing as legitimate media websites. It’s mind-boggling.

        • I still goofed this up, last reply should have read “one of them being, which is listed below the header Organizations and Agencies.

    • What you just described about the convoluted registration even of one were to move counties is parallel to how it is in China. Think on that, everyone.

    • As an Arizona resident, I am a little confused how our registration process is frightening. I have registered multiple times(initial registration and changing addresses) in this state over the last 5 years and it has never taken me more than 10 minutes and a drivers license to complete. In fact, I recently moved and while changing my car registration/drivers license through our online DMV I was practically bombarded by requests to register. That was 3 questions and took about 30 seconds to complete. I’m rarely proud of this state, but Service Arizona is awesome and efficient…

  23. I forgot, I don’t have my own website, but I do have a Facebook page. Under Sue Clark, and my email address.

  24. B.J. Alexander says:

    Bravo! It is such a rare treat to read something with which I can agree so wholeheartedly. I appreciate your effort and the way you’ve described what’s going on. Thank you. I would be thrilled to see this article go viral.

  25. Hampton Lewis says:

    I would love to read this article, but my eyes just can’t take the white letters on a black background. I tried, but it’s giving me a bit of a headache. Attempts to cut and paste to a Word document to print it don’t work either. Mr. Eichenwald, don’t let the medium ruin your message. There’s at least one guy (that would be me) who will not be able to read or consider your argument simply because of bad web design.

    • Sean Manseau says:

      Try pasting the text into Word, doing a global select (ctrl-a on Windows, apple-a on Macs [I think]), and then changing the color of the text to black.

    • Hi Hampton, I too generally dislike white text on black background, but found this readable.

      Don’t know what browser you’re using, but if you can check your browser tab titled >view then select >style and then select “no style”, that should disable the style sheet and you’ll be able to read a plain jane version with black text on white background.

    • I saved it to Evernote in order to read it. Impossible to do so here… But it looks like it’s been changed now to black on white. Someone is reading the comments!

  26. Philip Rhodes says:

    Excellent blog-piece (article?)!!! I would only point out that there are many ADDITIONAL areas in which the Republican Party has lost touch with reality to the point of being dangerous – e.g. the refusal to accept the reality of climate change caused by human-mediated increases in atmospheric CO2 , the constant and well orchestrated attempts at the state level to restrict equal rights for LGBTs , restrict voting rights for groups likely to favor the Democratic Party, restrict reproductive rights etc. I also think that the Republicans are moving on to an alarming strategy of selecting economic scapegoats that represent major portions of the US middle class- e.g. in Wisconsin the attempt to blame state deficits on teachers, fire fighters, and the police.
    And perhaps what might become the most unsettling aspect of the new Republican approach to ‘solving’ problems is when one of their ‘fairy dust’ theories doesn’t work, they insist that the only answer is ‘more fairy dust’!

  27. It’s rare to see an op-ed combine such factual content with flamethrower passion. Excellent, excellent job. This is what I wrote about your article on the Daily Kos:


    I’ve contended for a while now that we are at war for American democracy, or at least for the chance to rebuild it. (Yes, history and entropy are against us. I don’t care.) They started it, and we have to finish it on our terms or we as a democracy and as a multicultural society are finished. I think Kurt would agree with me.

    The good thing is, the power of angry liberals who are outraged by the violations of their most cherished principles is finally awake. For decades, liberals have been led by timid little milquetoasts who hem and haw and step back and do anything except stand up and fight. (There have been very notable exceptions on all levels of political existence, Ted Kennedy and Paul Wellstone are just two of many who leap to mind.) That’s all but done now. Ten years ago — hell, five — an essay like Kurt’s would be relegated to the back bins of “the liberal fringe” with “the other crazies.” No more. We know the score, and we’re ready to rock the world.

    Nice job, Kurt. Next step: action.


    I’m not one of those kneejerkers who believe that “if you just put liberals in charge of everything, then everything will be just hunky-dory fine.” But the conservatives have gone so far off the cliff into oligarchic craziness that it will take a massive swing to the left just to restore some sanity and balance. I’d like to think Obama (an Eisenhower Republican, as many point out) is a transitional figure towards a much more left-leaning federal government. When the Republicans figure out how to be functional and sane again, then they can resume their needed roles as correctives to liberal excesses. But that won’t be for a long while, I think.

  28. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  29. Thank you.

  30. Leslie in KY says:

    I can’t thank you enough for writing this! Well, I can buy your new book and am doing so in gratitude, not to mention it sounds like something I will like.

    The section on economic arsonists is one of the most powerful and understandable explanations of complex economics I’ve read.

    I am another one who linked to this from dailyKos btw.

  31. Jonathan Ferguson says:

    Good article, except you misspelled fourteen:

    ” But in the last four[teen] years, the GOP has transmogrified into something ugly and vicious …”

    Either that, or you just haven’t been paying attention.

  32. Absolutely fantastic articulation of the problem. You say that they are not Conservatives and I certainly agree. I would posit that they are Regressives and the public might be well served if we started referring to them that way.

    There is an another absolutely excellent articulation of the problem on Daily Kos today that everyone should go and see. It is a short speech given by Andy Schmookler the Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 6th US House District who is running against Rep. Bob Goodlatte:

    • “I would posit that they are Regressives and the public might be well served if we started referring to them that way.”

      I second this idea! I am a liberal, through-and-through, but I come from a family of educated, tolerant, and good-hearted conservatives. They are disgusted with the Republican party, and may vote just for party’s sake but are not enthusiastic.

      It is very refreshing and encouraging to have a good conversation with a “good” conservative – one with the same goals as us liberals, but just different (educated) ideas on how to get there. These clowns who are up for election right now deserve a different name.

  33. Sue in Portland says:

    Wow! Now this is real journalism and should be required reading.
    I’m sharing this with everyone I know, regardless of their party affiliation.
    You hit it out of the ballpark.

  34. I am a 52 yr old man who also has voted for the person, not the party. I didn’t even vote for Obama in 2008, I voted for McCain.
    But the current crop of GOP leaders have become FRIGHTENING!!!! For the first time in my life, I am truly scared ____less at what they are doing. They are truly out of control. Very scary times.

  35. The summary is excellent, entertaining in style and should be persuasive. However, the low information voter who is called the “swing voter” will probably not read it, and if he did, he would not recognize, remember or relate to the examples because he was watching Dancing With the Stars and Sponge Bob instead of trying to learn something from a TV news show; and he was playing Angry Birds instead of reading anything.

    In the times of Abe Lincoln, there were fewer people who were literate, but those who could read (and afford reading glasses) knew the score. They relished 4 hour candidate debates, and long polemical articles in newspapers that had an opinion, but reported details of policies that candidates urged. The days of a smart electorate are gone, sadly. If you want to see a live demonstration of how far the mainstream American has sunk intellectually from a civics point of view, compare any newspaper or tabloid in London with your choice of newspaper here. The British papers all have multiple pages of deep political and governmental policy arguments, written by authors who do real reporting- every day. By contrast, the most popular paper here is USA Today with its fortune cookie size pieces.

  36. Excellent article Kurt, which I will save and link to for its cogency. I would only add that it seems to me that other than the usual greed and power urges, this bastardized GOP’s real aim is to set up a corporate aristocracy that will return us to medieval feudalism.

  37. Kurt,

    Thank you so very much for this excellent article. Two additional themes are essential for understanding this seemingly insane set of lies and destructive behavior.

    One: Making politics so distasteful that rational and sane folks will turn it off and not listen or go to the polls is a very effective ploy on the part of the far right demagogues to take over upon the abdication by the apathetic and turned off sensible people. I find it bewildering that people will believe outrageous lies and vote against their own interests, but I am not as fearful as those people are. It is quite understandable, however, how folks can prefer to blame both sides and just abdicate the responsibility to be and act as an informed citizen when poisonous dialogue is pervasive.

    Two: Killing the government by strangling it financially has been the clear tactic of the far right for many years. Wealthy folk figure they can live in gated communities or spend their time in pleasant places (much like wealthy dictators of third world countries) and it does not matter if the infrastructure and the middle class of the USA is destroyed to make the wealthiest even wealthier. Perhaps they lie so cleverly to themselves that they think there will be no undesirable consequences from destroying our government, but that destruction is their goal because they resent any government having the power to impede their choices of how to make the most money and to do as they wish. Many of the wealthiest believe that they have the innate “right” to have unlimited opportunity for more wealth. Nobless oblige is unfortunately rare amount these folks.

  38. This is extraordinary reporting. Thank you very much.

    I would much appreciate it if you could follow up with an analysis of the ways in which politicians use religion to support one or another policy position in our political discourse. The GOP is increasingly defining itself as Christian and its political opponents as anti-Christian, while imposing fundamentalist (not Christian) views on the communities in which it achieves a monopolistic lock on power. I believe that this, too, is a very important story.

  39. Its disgusting how no one calls out these politicians on their lies. How is this is allowed? Is this Nazi Germany or Stalinist USSR? How these people gained the right to lie is amazing.

  40. Amen! I felt like clapping while I was reading this. The tragedy of the GOP is that 1) Obama is forced to compromise with them to some extent (I think he’s been MUCH to willing to but we’ll save that rant for another time), so a lot of reasonable ideas get watered down with lunacy. 2) There are serious issues that deserve serious debate, and despite how often Paul Ryan says he wants a serious debate, the GOP wants no such thing, and so we don’t get one. 3) There’s a lack of choice for any serious thinking individuals. A strong critique could be made about the Democratic party, but where else can you turn? (To some degree) this had lead the Democrats to make their goal merely to be not quite as bad as the Republicans.

    Could not agree more on the “Democrat Party” thing. What are they 12 years old? And the uniformity that elected Republicans use it is amazing. You would hope for at least a couple adults in the room.

    Their voter suppression is just odious. For a party that wraps itself in the flag and in Americana, they don’t seem to have a problem with doing something as un-American as attacking democracy itself.

    Finally, they’re absolute disdain for facts is horrifying. They’re in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry to such a degree that they can’t even acknowledge that global warming is taking place. And what’s even more terrifying is that the party seems to still be headed in the wrong direction. There don’t seem to be ANY voices of reason pushing back against the madness. If anything there are loud voices urging the party to go even further of the cliff. God help us all.

  41. Your article was certainly thoughtful, but I think incomplete. Certainly the republicans are liars, but aren’t the democrats just as deceitful? Mind you, I have never voted in my life and probably never will unless a viable third party candidate decided to run. In my opinion, we have had the worst two back-to-back presidencies… ever! Obama has lied about everything: Closing Gitmo, not passing the NDAA, getting us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. The reality of modern day politics is that both parties are controlled by the same puppetmasters, those who are behind the New World Order agenda that Bush 41 infrequently mentioned. The Federal Reserve is a complete fraud and neither party has the guts to say it. 9/11 was an inside job and anyone who has done their homework knows this. But nonetheless, both parties stick to the script to make sure those who are in the dark, stay there. Obama also said he support a transparent govt but yet everything about him has been shrouded in secrecy. I’m glad that I have no allegiance to either party because that allows me to see the truth so much clearer. Wish others had the courage to follow my lead. Only then will any substantial change for the betterment of all (okay, maybe not the bankers or the corporate-controlled media) occur. It is seriously time for people to wake up on both sides of the fake left/right paradigm… or the New World Order will succeed with their agenda and enslave us all.

    • I’m not defending every statement that Obama has made, but you cannot compare campaign aspirations with lies. I believe Obama did want to shut down Gitmo, as well as end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then he took office and reality set in. Other priorites (global financial meltdown?) took…um…priority. He actually did end the war in Iraq but (to my dismay) continues the war in Afghanistan. He has commented several times that he perceives some value there and it does directly combat those responsible for global terror attacks, unlike the war in Iraq. Closing Gitmo is also something that probably looked simple but ended up being more problematic and legally ambiguous. What do you do with the prisoners? So these are failures to follow through or changes in position. Not wholesale lies.

      The GOP’s lies are assertions about things that NEVER HAPPENED — statements that are completely untrue and knowingly dishonest. Complete and utter fabrications. Every time the president has been called on his campaign promises, he re-asserts that those were goals that he could not achieve. But when the GOP is called on their (legitimate) lies, they ignore facts and continue to repeat the lies. The only way Obama could have lied in the same fashion is if he said he ACTUALLY closed Gitmo, and ACTUALLY ended the war in Afghanistan when he clearly hasn’t.

    • Response to Harry Cox…You have never voted therefore you have no opinion. Period.

      • I agree 100%. If you have not voted you have no right to criticize. If somebody cares enough about the conditions in this country, they will find candidates that most closely fit their leanings and will vote.

    • Many people forget that Obama campaigned to end the war in Iraq and to turn those troop and cost savings back at where he said the real enemy lay: In Afghanistan. Sadly, many head “end the war” and stopped there, and did not assimilate the ” … increase our forces in Afghanistan,” part.

      In this case, Obama did exactly what he said he would do.

      Regarding Gitmo, Obama issued an Executive Order to close it, and then Congressional Republicans refused to allocate funding for the move and several of them managed to finagle “No Gitmo prisoners allowed in my district” legislation tacked onto mandatory spending bills, which effectively handcuffed Obama to keeping the prisoners in Gitmo.

      And if someone does not take the time and effort to cast an educated vote, I think they have abdicated their Duty to Democracy and thus their right to complain about the decisions made by various governmental entities.

    • Matthew Bell says:

      RE: NDAA: Wasn’t the choice for Obama to veto it and deprive vets of benefits (not to mention other aspects of military spending), or to eat the shit-sandwich of “indefinite detainment clause”? He was arm wrestled into signing by the Republicans, so I blame this squarely on them. Obama did all he could do, which was to issue a legally questionable signing statement.

    • frankoanderson says:

      @HarryCox, others have already addressed your use of false equivalency, so my question is: how is it courageous to not vote? You say, “Wish others had the courage to follow my lead.” So you’re not going to vote because there wasn’t a viable 3rd party candidate? What about state and local elections, do you know that those exist? What about nonpartisan elections like school board? There are people who fought hard for the voting rights that you have thrown away.

      • “You say, “Wish others had the courage to follow my lead.” So you’re not going to vote because there wasn’t a viable 3rd party candidate?”

        Ha, the sad part is about half the country has the “courage” not to vote in every presidential election. Wow, by not voting you’re sure making a strong statement. HarryCox, your not voting does not teach anyone a lesson.

    • And you’re actually proud of yourself for never having voted and planning never to vote because you think you personally are too good for the real world? Wow. Perhaps you would have been happier in the old Soviet Union or in China rather than in a country where people fought and died for the right to vote. Sure, you may not like either of the choices that you get, but reality is that those are the choices, so deal with it instead of squandering something very precious. You should be ashamed of yourself. And you should get that if you don’t vote, you are not entitled to criticize anything that is done by whoever is elected–you’ve taken yourself out of the game. Which, when you get right down to it, is probably a good thing for the rest of us. Who wants someone like you in the game?

    • I’m not going to defend every thing Obama has ever done – I’m not a blind follower of him. But there is a huge difference between Obama not living up to promises, and Romney/Ryan literally MAKING UP FACTS and presenting them as truth. What Romney and Ryan are purporting as truth – it would be more equivalent if Obama was now saying that he did close GITMO.

  42. We’re not quite in the same territory with our (Liberal/National Party coalition) Opposition here in Australia … yet.

    We have a Leader of the Opposition who still can’t face the fact half way through the term, that he didn’t didn’t get picked by the independents and Greens, who held the (absolute) balance of power to choose which party formed our current Federal (minority) government.

    As a result, they’ve resorted to the “tell a lie often enough and people will believe it” political tactics which, I fear, is having the same detrimental impact on economic recovery here, as you suffer.

    All I can say is thank goodness we have a compulsory voting system with preferential (lower house of representatives – congress) and proportional (upper house – senate) representation >, with minor parties and independents holding “the balance of power”, or we’d be as stuffed as you lot are!

    Commisserations and best of luck in November.

  43. I guess what worries me the most about all of this, is how uncivil and potentially violent the right is willing to go to wrench power. Sharon Angle talking about “2nd amendment remedies,” some goof ball judge in Texas wanting to hire more deputies to fight off “invading blue helmeted U.N. troops.” This is loonie toon stuff bordering on Treason or sedition. I seem to remember Joe McCarthy throwing “commies” in jail because they belonged to a party that advocated the overthrow of the government. Aren’t the loonies of the Republican right doing the same thing by advocating the violent and unlawful overthrow of our elected democratic government?

    I believe the press is not doing its job by giving these crazy folks, who by word and deed advocating the destruction of our government just because their guy didn’t win the last election, a free pass. They need to be held accountable for their stupid and dangerous language and actions. Germany was a pretty nice place in 1928. By 1933, all that had changed. It could happen here.

  44. Small point: the “You lie!” comment was not at the SOTU – it was at a speech to a joint session of Congress in Sept 2009.

  45. The lies that come from the Donkeys are just as big and bold as the ones from the elephants

  46. Then person sitting in the Oval Office needs to leave us with more jobs, not more billionaires.

    And will someone please explain how Mitt Romney, a man whose career was built upon identifying business assets burdened with high risk, then bundling that risk and laying it off on “the next guy” is qualified to be CEO of the United States? His great success — as indicated by his great fortune — is based entirely upon sucking every asset of its value and passing any risk off to a “partner”, in other words, finding a sucker to be left standing when the music stops.

    In the business he wants to run next — my country — the “next guy” is the rest of us. There is no one else downstream upon whom that risk can be assigned (and from whom profit can be derived). In Romney’s universe, unless you’re on the same side of the deal as the banker, your balance sheet will shrink, not grow.

    In the Romney resume, people are lines on a spreadsheet, no more, no less. Maybe he can get a job running one of Sheldon Adelson’s casinos. A much better fit.

  47. Capsaicin, WI says:

    Awesome piece, and don’t worry about the comments about length. It is the length that yields the cumulative effect. If anything, add or flesh out a few areas and make this a published article–whether VF or elsewhere.

    The stress on economic lies and deception forces the GOP to answer precisely where they think they are strongest.

    To gain even more credibility, if you extend this to publish, maybe even somewhat expand the section on how you might criticize Obama and policies–esp. economic ones– before turning back to the main message. There is much legit critique of Obama re. bailout and wall-street ties, and Obama supporters need to be honest about the historical failings (Of course, critics then rarely follow up with how out-of-favor Obama is currently with Wall Street–and how Mitt is their new hero–and this turnaround needs to be highlighted even more, for what it says about our Presidents long-term goals).

    Critique of the pres is so much in pursuit of a false “even-handedness” as to show that voters can have serious critiques of a standing President and administration–and their different compromises or ‘stages’, even as they respect the overall achievements (and still think, as you do, that electing the other option would be far worse).

  48. The only path forward for this nation is the UTTER DESTRUCTION of this Republican Party. November 6 –> OCCUPY A VOTING BOOTH (bring your friends 🙂

  49. Wow what a good factual history lesson. How we get the main stream media to do their job and call a lie a lie and a liar a liar is the problem. I get so tired of hearing this he said she said garbage a lie needs to be called out and thrown back in their face with no apologies, otherwise democracy will cease to exist.

    I agree whole heartily that when the republicans refused to applaud the tax cuts contained in the stimulus they tipped their hand. It was not about the country but their party and removing Obama the first minority president from “their” house no matter the cost to Americans.

  50. Really good stuff. FYI I think you are missing some decimals at the end of part III, a, 1 (GDP changes in early 80s). Very enjoyable.

  51. Jim Deming says:

    Excellent article. The only problem is that research shows that few people change their minds based on logical argument. We need to speak to the heart and gut and not just the head.

    Joseph Romm in “Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga” shows how the Republicans have mastered language and rhetoric (think “death tax”). We need to unleash similar weapons: “If your neighbor’s house is on fire, it’s in your self interest to help them put it out!” (My example.)

    “Facts cannot fight false frames.”

    • You should check out . It shows how the Republicans have been manipulating language to control the political process. It started in the early 1990’s and they’ve been practicing/perfecting it ever since. The democrats have always made the mistake of trying to appeal to people’s logic when what they have to battle is the language and emotions.

  52. susan chambers says:

    i am not an american so dont think i am fully qualified to comment on the republican domestic policy but from an outsider looking in these men scare the living daylights out of me. I cannot see how the tax cut policies work when you have a high deficit and the way Romney talks he will send America into wars with everyone who isnt a christian no matter where in the world. Dont these people realise there is a worldwide economic downturn that was not the fault of Obama or is it they just refuse to accept that the policies of previous governments may have got some things wrong

  53. Great article, second the request to change the colors, white on black is hard to read.

  54. Great article Kurt. You’ve done a more succinct job of illustrating the flaws in the Republican party’s claims than most journals and newspapers. I hope many people take the time to read it. Thank you.

  55. William T. Hunt says:

    Thank you for spelling it all out. It’s good you didn’t broach the religion topic, but I’ll do that for you. The Republicans seem to have been hijacked not only by Tea Party liars and ignoramuses, but also by right wing evangelical self-proclaimed Christian religious zealots. I say self-proclaimed, because little in Christian theology supports their vicious lies and hatred. The irony is that they have come up with a Mormon and a Roman Catholic. If religion is so important, what gives – why not a couple of mainstream church members? And another thing – we keep hearing about reducing the size of government, getting government out of business, etc., and so on. But big business in many instances (Bain Capital, Apple, many others) are jumping overseas where there is reliable, highly trained, effective labor. They are just being good businesses, seeking to make profits and to make good products. Who developed that wonderful labor supply? Giant government programs in China, Korea, etc., that’s who. What a bunch of phonies complaining about government and then using government programs in other countries. We should take note and do some major investment in education in our own country.

  56. Susan Schnur says:

    Your article says everything I thought – even including the fact I have voted Republican. But the article is long, and I want to post it on FaceBook for folks with short attention spans. Can you do a short version?

  57. This should be required reading; if you are trying to achieve a level of slavish dedication and devotion to the democratic party. This article is part of the problem, not the solution. Demonizing one side of the political spectrum, while leaving the other sid unscathed, is tatamount to endorsing and glorifying the other side. This guy is clearly a liberal, ideologicaly, whether he chooses to admit it or not. That makes him much more democrat than republican, which calls his objectivity into question. Anyway, politics is bad; bad for America, bad for the people, bad for the collective psyche and intellect, and it stagnates the government. There is no leadership and no governing. there is only posturing and rhetoric from both sides of the podium. it is silly to say one side or the other is the problem. The President, the Congress, and most of the rest of the sitting government needs to be fired. They are ineffective and divisive. That is not a republican or democratic problem; it is the problem with every elected official in DC.

    • Matthew Bell says:

      Here’s the thing, though. This article is expressing a real warning, as the current Republican party is incredibly dangerous. This article would not exist if the platform wasn’t completely insane and trying to win with deceit and treachery. Seriously, this isn’t about politics, this is about saving the Republic.

    • Gayle Carden Hudert says:

      The article states that the failings of the Democratic Party are real, but not based in blatant lies created to fool the public. Your use of the phrase, “that makes him clearly a liberal” is very telling. It is another example of the damage done by the GOP in presenting the attitude of liberal thinking or “open-mindedness” as a tag of shame. Apparently, you are falling for the GOP rhetoric, whether you choose “to admit it or not.”

  58. I used to be a Republican (til 1996 when I became an independent). You’ve managed to sum up succinctly every reason I left (after a few years of disgust) and a couple I’d forgotten. When we got Bush in 2000, I was already convinced we were in trouble as a country and have seen much since then to confirm that.

    Some days I think half the country has simply gone insane as being too stupid to do the math.

  59. Maynard Mann says:

    At the risk of sounding redundant…great article. Thanks!

  60. With the exception of a couple of typos, this is a piece or pure brilliance and accuracy. It is beyond scary what has happened to the GOP. They are cavemen and monsters who govern by hate and racism. I am quite concerned that they will win because they will outspend Obama by 2-1. When Bush 1 was elected I lost total faith in the cumulative intellect of our country so I am even more concerned this time around.

    Fantastic writing, sir.

    • Sam, it is funny how you insult the “Cumulative Intellect of our Country” and mention typos, when in your 5 line comment you have a typo. “this peice or pure brilliance…”? Really? Your self-righteousness is embarrassing when you cannot write a small comment about others lack of intelligence and mistakes, without making a mistake yourself.

      Fantastic comment, sir.

  61. Required reading? I hope so. Very well written. He has a knack for making a pile of look like a rose. Go ahead, Dems. Drink the Kool-Aid. Watch the country continue to go down the toilet. I’m always open for a good debate, but its hard to reason with anyone who considers someone elses point of views as “off the edge”. Our country is split pretty much right down the middle on views and which direction our country should take. Maybe we should split the country right down the middle and make two countries? Until everyone, particularly the politicians start working together, we are all in trouble! Compromise. You can’t have everything YOUR way. Recipe for failure!

    By the way, we ALL built the roads and infrastructure with OUR taxes! The government is just providing what we as a society already paid for. They aren’t doing us a favor. Teachers and coaches? We pay their salary through OUR taxes. Federal government should only do for the people what the people cannot do for themselves. That’s it. No more!

    • Matthew Bell says:

      Then why is your party trying to regulate the rights of LGBT and women? You should really read the article with an open mind; He’s citing facts and history. Your party IS off the rails right now.

    • frankoanderson says:

      Krywolf, you have not addressed a single one of the major problems with the Republican party that were written about here. You are correct that our taxes paid for the infrastructure but that’s not the point raised here. The point is that Romney and the Republicans have led the majority in their party to believe that President Obama literally thinks businesspeople didn’t build their own businesses.

    • Gayle Carden Hudert says:

      Krywolf’s name and comment illustrate one of the concerns mentioned in Kurt’s article. Of course, we all built the infrastructure. There is nothing in the article that would raise that cry from anyone who actually read it. And that knowledge certainly backs up the obvious fact that no one of us built the American dream on our own. It has taken a well-intentioned government a century or so to build what we take for granted. If there were no government “interference,” there would be no opportunity – even for the rich – to venture past their own gated communities for commerce. Also, President Obama has worked on numerous occasions to compromise with the Republicans in congress – only to be shot down time and again. They didn’t want compromise because they didn’t want anything to be done while Obama is in office. It has been about elections, not governing. You should say to the Republicans in Congress, “Compromise. You can’t have everything YOUR way. Recipe for failure!” It is not necessarily the failure of any one party to get its way, but the collapse of the system as it should be that frightens me.

  62. The only thing worse about Romney/Ryan than what you have detailed goes back to Romney’s fatal accident of June 16th 1968. Ordinarily an event of that age would be better forgotten. But unfortunately Mr. Romney insists on slandering the other driver who is now 90 years old — Bishop Jean-Felix-Albert-Marie Vilnet, formerly the roman Catholic bishop of Lille.


    There was no “drunk priest named Albert Marie, age 46” in 1968. He was not “speeding at 120 kph) and did not swerve out of his lane. In fact, Mitt Romney misread the roadway and went head-on into a southbound Left Turn lane (on N524 going through Beaulac at the post office.) Photos of the two cars and the accident site disprove virtually all of Romney’s assertions.

    Lying about the death of Mrs. Leola Anderson was generated to fool the Romney family, the surviving Andersons, and LDS. A faked Sud Ouest article was created to fool Michael Kranish and Scott Helman for the 2007 book “The Real Romney.” Quite the combo of slander and Team Lying, don’t you think?

  63. I promise guys I am bipartisan………..I just worked for “The Times” for 20 years.

  64. This is one of the most disingenuous articles I have ever read. The writer pretends to not understand that there are two distinct visions for America. He resorts to one HUGE ad hominem argument after another calling honorable people “racists”, “liars”, etc. This is weak debate. It is poor form. It is negative. It does not show”creativity”. One view is a traditional view with time honored economic principles at its core. They are principles that have worked since man has recorded history. The other is a vision of European style socialism. There are many of us yet who choose a traditional American view. The facts are that socialism has never in history produced wealth or promoted personal freedom. That is what this article is refusing to address. That is the reason that 50% of the US population doesn’t want what President Obama offers. If we oppose his policies it serves no purpose to call us “liars”, “tax-cheats”, and “racists”. I’m still trying to figure out how Condaleeza Rice is a “racist”. Her parents were enrolled to vote by Republicans in a segregated Democratically controlled Jim Crow Southern society. That’s something to think about. I am very weary of articles like this that resort to name calling and negativity. They are sad.

    • — “I’m still trying to figure out how Condaleeza Rice is a ‘racist’.”

      Welcome to the world of anti-reality robo comments. Mr. Eichenwald never mentions Ms. Rice.

      In addition, since when is “European style socialism” an excuse for American lies and dishonesties? Only in GOPerLand.

    • This article isn’t an attack on “traditional American views” or conservatism or even people who oppose Obama’s policies. It’s an attack on the current republican party. If there’s such a clear advantage of “traditional American economic principles” over “socialism” why doesn’t the GOP *honestly* address that. Why can’t the GOP make their case against Obama without outright lies regarding whether he’s cut or raised taxes, the level of spending he’s initiated, the rate both federal jobs and discretionary spending have grown under his administration, the current level of taxes compared to historical norms, the historical efficacy of tax cuts in relation to job creation and the deficit, etc., etc., etc. You would think with such a “clear argument” to make the GOP wouldn’t have to resort to outright lies/misinformation on all those issues. The fact that they do indicates either their economic argument is weak and is not supported by the actual facts or the merely have no respect for the voting public.

      I’m pretty sure Kurt, nor anyone else I can recall, called Condaleeza a “racist”. However, I’d be interested in hear a credible explanation of the Romney campaign’s focus on the “gutting welfare” lie that doesn’t involve stoking white resentment.

    • Gayle Carden Hudert says:

      Poor Faberm has already tasted the GOP cool-aid. Kurt’s article debunks the fairy tale that what the GOP is touting is anything like the “time honored economic principles” that built this country. By the way, we do not have a Capitalist economy. The US economy has operated for over a century on the time honored principles of a “Social Market Economy” which is a free market system kept honest by government regulations against monopolies, etc. OH HORRORS! there’s that socialism taint again. An intelligent campaign should not be based on the use of “scary” words – even if they are vaguely related to a “foreign” way of doing things. Being socially conscious is not the same thing as being “socialist” – no matter what your heroes tell you. As to your mention of the use of “ad hominem” arguments, the GOP has reinvented the method of attacking the speaker and not even alluding to the subject at hand. Their training in the use of the ad hominem argument has so permeated their speech that I wonder if they are even capable of discussing issues anymore. Due to the GOP scare tactics (and, yes, lies) over 50% of the population doesn’t even know what the President is offering. Look up the facts for yourself in the real world.

  65. Phil Vitale says:

    Absolutely brilliantly done, clear and leaves no stone unturned. I’ve sent it to everyone on my e-mail list and Facebook. I too may have differences with the Obama administration as do a few of my friends but as you say these are policy differences. We are at a crossroads. Choosing Obama as “the lesser of two evils” doesn’t even come close as to why we should vote for him.

  66. Bravo! Best blog post I have ever read, period. Though I fear it is much too long to be processed by the Facebook generation, it merits extensive circulation nonetheless. As readers we need to do our part to make sure this post does not float off into the internet ether, but is continually referred to and linked to all the way up till election day.

    If the alternative reality the Republicans have so meticulously constructed actually supersedes the facts and takes hold of this country, we are done for.

    And remember guys, as Kurt so elegantly alludes to, this is no longer even really an ideological battle that the two parties are engaged in. It is between rationality and willful ignorance. Never forget this!

  67. Romney AND Obama must be defeated in 2012. The only sensible choice is Gary Johnson: pro-gay rights, pro-choice, anti-war, fiscally responsible. Obama has shown himself to be as atrocious as Bush & Romney.

  68. Brilliantly written, Kurt — very word is 100% on the money. Fantastic job.

    And I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but please look into a redesign on your website here to make it easier to read. The white text on the dark background is absolutely migraine-inducing and it also lends a vaguely fringe-like vibe to the whole site. You’re a top-level writer who is routinely published, you should have something more elegant and classy looking than this, IMO. Clean and simple white backgrounds with regular black text is the way to go.

    • Amber-on-black was the 1980s solution for all-text displays. Good engineering btw.

      There’s still an 18″ height 96-character amber-on-black monitor out in my garage — perfect for running XyWrite for 9-window coding charettes.

      Maybe this fringe-like vibe is what you want ???

  69. Arnold Pierce says:

    I fully support a women’s choice, but the fact that they have that choice has provided a significant number of dedicated voters to the Republican Party. The Republicans can do or say anything and they will still claim those voters. That makes the hill Democrats must climb that much higher as they still need to garner 50% + of the total voters when only a portion are in play. This scares the %(*&# out of me.

  70. John McConnaughy says:

    What a wonderful post!
    You often hear people say “I vote for the person, not the party”. I used to say and practise it too.
    But the Republican party is not what it was when my parents pasted a Nixon bumper sticker on my little peddle car. It has become so corrosive an element in American life — drano down the throat of the body politic — that voting for any Republican seems out of the question.
    I fervently hope it goes back to being an institution worthy of respect. Barring that, I just want to see its power and influence diminshed.

  71. Nice rationalization. I stopped reading at the “you didnt build that” portion. It was making me ill just reading the cover up. You obviously are so blinded by the admin that you cannot see what is right infront of your face. Why dont you try doing an article on the lies that Obama has been spewing, you probably cannot afford the bandwidth for something like that. Let me tell you something, there were roads and bridges way before government. The government didnt build those roads and Bridges, my tax dollars did. Had you not taken them from me I could have paid someone else to do it and they would be better and in much better shape. Roads can be built without the government but not with out my tax dollars. SO “YES I DID BUILD THAT!”

    • Shawn, I really think ykou should go back and try to finish the article — you really only made it about 15% through, so your criticisms ring a little hollow.

      Also, and honestly, this is because I love you as the human being you are, and I really, really, REALLY want us all to get along and work together to make this country better, I have to point this out even though your argument had nothing to do with the article above: when you say “the government didn’t build those roads and bridges, my tax dollars did”, you sound like an uneducated fool. The government is made up entirely of your tax dollars. Government exists because of your tax dollars. Your tax dollars are not little self-propelled entities that run around building things on their own. Someone has to count them, someone has to keep them safe, someone has to decide how to wisely spend them, and someone has to pay the bills for the work that’s done. We don’t let anybody just go around building roads because that would be absolute chaos — all you need to do is visit a 3rd world country, and bump down ancient gravel roads with pot-holes the size of large dogs to realize that centralized infrastructure and building codes are a damn good idea.

      Please, read the rest of the article.

    • No, you did not build that. I obviously don’t know you but I feel pretty comfortable in assuming the taxes you’ve paid over lifetime aren’t enough to have paid for all the bridges and roads, much less other infrastructure you’ve used. You have HELPED to build that. Which was exactly Obama’s point. That there are things that can’t be done as effectively as individuals and there are things we can still do together that will be beneficial to the country.

      Further I sincerely doubt that the roads would be better shape if you didn’t have to pay taxes.

  72. Check your facts man, just because you post it doesnt make it true. And all these idiots are gobbling it up like fact but I guess that is your fan base huh? I have a picture of the last SUV rolling off the assembly line in Feb of 2009 almost one year after Obama promised to keep it open. And GM didnt even place the plan on stand by mode until June of ’09. Please do a little research before spewing your ignorance to everyone else you never fact checked it you just copied and pasted from someone else who never fact checked.

    • With a little wikipedia fact checking, it is obvious that both Kurt and you are correct.

      What is confuses the issue is the December 2008 photo session when the main GM-only line shut down. Although not shut down completely, more than 90% of the staff were laid off at this time, and Paul Ryan would know this as part o his efforts to save the plant and its jobs in his district.

      In 2009, “57 production employees continued assembly work at the Janesville Assembly until April 2009, completing the GM/Isuzu light truck partnership and then an additional 40 to 50 “skilled trade employees” worked to decommission the plant.”

      I’m pretty sure that this production was completed to meet contractual obligations in the GM/Isuzu deal.

      This one quibble does not dilute what Kurt said in the rest of this fine opinion piece.

    • Shawn…You’re the one who needs to check your facts…There are pictures to prove the last vehicle off the Janesville assmbley line was December23, 2008 and I know people who were laid off that day. The caption under the pictures read: “After a final goodbye ceremony, plant employees have photo taken with the last vehicle banner” No matter how you cut it…Obama had nothing to do with this.

    • Wow, it sounds like Obama is the worst socialist ever. Couldn’t even force government to save one lousy car factory. I wonder if he’d given them millions of dollars and if failed anyway, how hard you’d whisper, “Solyndra.” (snowglobe falls out of hand and rolls away. End scene.)

  73. Greatly appreciated, I would like to repost it on a not for income basis. The economic and fiscal literacy materials that we distribute are on a no cost basis.I’ve also offered it up the state Green Party as material toward their own economic and fiscal briefing process.


  74. This is the first time I have honestly read something like this. To be honest, I have honestly given up on BOTH parties – because in my opinion, all BOTH know how to do is lie. The Relieorats(my names I made up for both parties because of my disgust with both) do lie, don’t seem to care about the poor, elderly, middle-class, etc., but yet reward their corporate buddies/foreign buddies very well. The Demonrats(again, my name I made up because of disgust with BOTH parties) only seem to care about ILLEGALS being legal, making sure that gays/lesbians don’t suffer too much, as well as their corporate/foreign buddies also. So, whom will I vote for? Because of lies from BOTH parties, I honestly don’t know – I don’t trust either presidential candidate; I have even less hope that either the Demonrats or the Relieorats will know how to grow up and work for ALL people, not just for their corporate head honcho bribe masters. . But I know that this news piece I’ve read has given me a lot to think about.

    • Michelle, this article was plainly written for someone like you. There are lots of people out there who profess to be fed up with both parties, which is how the GOP likes it, because they and their voters know better than to give up about *anything*. It’s easy to throw up your hands in frustration; you can relieve yourself of the burden of following politics and tell yourself you’re above the fray. But it’s not the way out.

      Bw, the way, what exactly do the Democrats lie about? Look at what you yourself say the Dems care about; at least it’s something that helps someone besides the Masters of the Universe, who (as you point out) appear to be the only people the GOP wants to help.

  75. Great article. I will suggest my friends read it.

    There is a mistake in section III. A) 6. Job Creators:
    You stated, “A millionaire gets a $340,000 tax cut. And this translates into a job how? … but the vast majority of that money will not be spent on goods that drive the economy – it will be put into savings.”

    Actually, that money would most likely not be put into a traditional savings financial entity — it is more likely to be invested in the markets, usually the stock market.

    What I say next is why I almost puke every time I hear or read the term “job creators” — because when smart folks invest money in the stock market, they want a return — a BIG return — on their investment. Since these millionaires now have more stocks, they also have more control over companies — which leads to the desire to increase profits through two strategies — cutting staff to increase profits; or merging with other companies to control more market share. And every time companies merge, layoffs, job losses and/or plant closures occur.

    I remember when the Reagan tax cuts hit in the 1980s. I read a statistic that said the richest Americans were handed back $39 billion that normally would have been tax revenues,, and a wave of merger-mania exploded throughout the country (and world to some extent). I remember seeing “60 Minutes” stories about the merger craze and not understanding why there were so many happening in such a short time.

    This is why I call the rich “Job Slashers” and not ‘job creators’.

  76. Steve Johnson says:

    Kurt – are you familair with Modern Monetary Theory? I’m assuming either you aren’t, or you reject it based on your statements about taxes and the deficit. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on that subject. Overall I agree with your assessment, and am just curious how MMT might change some of your comments on the financial topics.

    • Michael Upper says:


      Good question/inquiry. The Federal deficit started getting out-of-hand 30-40 years ago when our Government(s) started spending more than they were taking in. However, the deficits grew wildly under W as he financed the wars by issuing U.S. government bonds which then get monetized by the politically driven Federal Reserve Bank who simply prints more money. The problem is that too many dollars eventually erode the value of the dollar to the point where we are at today where the U.S. dollar is almost worthless, especially as “reserve” currency. President Obama had an opportunity to stop this degradation but instead chose to take it even farther, even faster.

      Between the Republican Bush (W) and the Democrat Obama, i.e. our elected Federal officials, they have essentially bankrupted America and have done immeasurable damage to hundreds of millions of people globally. Back in the 60s, it was taught in economic text books that “When America sneezes (economically), the rest of the world gets a cold”. In spite of all the rhetoric about the powerful economies of emerging nations, this still appears to be somewhat true, although less true today than back in the 60s.

      It may be too late to correct the path we have followed under W and Obama as we are still hanging on the edge of the fiscal cliff by our finger nails. We may be doomed no matter who wins the election this year and I feel highly certain that if Obama is re-elected we will be destroyed economically. I don’t know if Romney and Ryan can fix it but they will certainly have a better plan than we have seen for almost 4 years now from the Obama camp. I like President Obama but he has not earned re-election.

  77. Buyin An Island says:

    Wow, an excellent article that may be a lot more fiction than fact… It’s funny that all of the sheep are jumping right in on this… Wake the fuck up, people- our entire government is an abomination (not in a biblical sense, either) and we need CHANGE from all of the parties… Rebuild from the ground up with people that care and are invested in doing the right things for the right reasons… Obama is not the right answer, nor is Romney, but until we as a majority elect a different option we’ll continue to be stuck, scared and uncertain as to where our once great country is headed…

    • Please, if you ever find this magically perfect political candidate, let me know. Obama may not be the “answer” as you put it, and Romney most definitely isn’t (I’m not saying that because I’m against Republicans, I’m saying that because with every fiber of my being I am against someone who lies so much and on such a large scale that he is actually doing damage to an entire country instead of just his own political ambitions), but at least Obama is doing something to try and help our flailing country. We, as a united part of our government (and if you live in the U.S., pay taxes, buy anything here, or vote in any election you are a contributing factor in the government) need to refrain from name-calling and party-bashing. The reality is, there is just no way that any of the parties are going to be able to institute any of the type of changes you are talking about. Rather than calling for this kind of impossibility and then becoming outraged when it doesn’t occur, we should try to make the changes we can accomplish. We CAN keep Romney and Ryan from being elected into positions of power that would allow them to spread their lying zealotry into all corners of our country. We CAN keep the ignorance that threatens to whip our country into a hate-fueled, minority-bashing, socially repressive and fearful frenzy. We CAN re-elect someone that, although his faults, is not a liar of epic proportions who stands on a platform of ill-gotten gains and fear-mongering. We CAN help our government by helping our country to play with the cards we have dealt ourselves. Those here who read this article without prejudice are not the sheep. We are the ones that look at the sheep Romney and Ryan are leading and pity them. We try to educate them so that they themselves are no longer the sheep being led to slaughter. I hope for this country, because I do believe that America is great, and I believe it has so much potential. We are a relatively young country in the grand scheme of things, and I hope we do not expire before our time. If Romney and Ryan are elected though, I do believe that our time may have come, and maybe it would be for the best. I certainly wouldn’t be able to call a country led by their flavor or ignorance and deceit great.

      • I apologize, I made an error in the sentence “We CAN keep the ignorance that threatens to whip our country into a hate-fueled, minority-bashing, socially repressive and fearful frenzy.” I meant to say “We CAN keep the ignorance that threatens to whip our country into a hate-fueled, minority-bashing, socially repressive and fearful frenzy at bay.”

    • Michael Upper says:

      Hey, Buyin An Island….Right on!!

  78. Sharon Moon says:

    Thank you for writing this. I do not believe the media fulfills what should and must be its’ watchdog function in a democracy (for the democracy to continue to exist); While I know I can go further back in history and easily (too easily) find press failings, it is worse than it ever has been in my memory. (I am 48.) Our network and cable press just seem to be pampered parrots – repeating whatever some “high-up” source whispers in their ear or spouting out their own ill-informed opinions. (And the new trend of knighting the privileged children of the rich and/or famous to be our new Fourth Estate is just God awful.) I find the barrage of GOP lies to be very vexing; personally, it makes me feel both extremely depressed and seriously frightened for our country’s future. Whle more complicated, the GOP also lies about the meaning of the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause with a fair amount of frequency. I don’t think I have ever seen a reporter call it out.

  79. GREATEST bit of fiction I have read since Harry Potter. Keep up the good work!

    • Matthew Bell says:

      Do you have any facts or anything to support your opinion, or are you just going to continue to be ignorant and keep making claims based on nothing? Clearly a lot of research went into this article. If it is wrong, you must do something to prove it. Otherwise you’re just drinking kool-aid and not helping anyone. If you can’t point to facts, that’s likely a strong indication that *gasp* you might be wrong about a few things (and you should get mad at those who lied to you).

  80. I voted for Reagan in 1980. I voted for Ron Paul in ’84. I have been an informed member of the Democratic Party since that time. I am quite concerned when we have one party in our national dialogue whose members in our national legislature march in lockstep and refuse to even consider compromise. I am concerned when compromise is considered a disqualifying character trait by the GOP.

    No party, group or individual has all the answers. No political group, religious group or governmental group should ever have the audacity to try to dictate moral decisions of individuals. When a political party tries to infringe on moral values, it diminishes the standing of the political party.

    Mr. Eichenwald has made a reasoned analysis of the current status of the GOP. Every political observer of whatever persuasion has to be concerned about the status of today’s GOP. When the GOP has reduced its arguments to reliance on false premises, then the members of the GOP should stand up and demand that their leaders at least be governed by a minimum of some truth.

  81. Matthew Alexander says:

    A brilliantly laid-out examination of the GOP’s modern moral bankruptcy. Thank you so much.

    I agree with those who have expressed that this should be required reading. These facts and the sentiments they engender should not be limited to the web, or to fictional tv programs like the Newsroom.

    • Michael Upper says:

      I assume you are the author of “How to Break a Terrorist….” and excuse me if you are not. When I started reading your book, I did something I usually don’t do….I read it cover-to-cover. Excellent book and well-written. I then read it cover-to-cover a second time taking copius notes and used it for a very short paper as an example that Zeus is alive in America today.

      Building rapport with other human beings then using deception, subterfuge, and lies to get information from Iraqi detainees is fine with me. These are some of the things Zeus did to assert his Will.

      I see a parallel in how Washington politicians treat and manipulate the American public. In their 2-faced manner, they build rapport with their constituants then use deception, subterfuge, and lies to enhance their own personal wealth and ambitions.

      By the way, psychological abuse can be in some cases just as damaging and often worse than physical abuse. Psychological abuse may be more painful and longer lasting than physical abuse, it is much harder to diagnose because it is less tangible than physical abuse.

      Thanks for an excellent book…if you are indeed the author!

  82. Eric Drzewiecki says:

    Any piece that still asserts that Ryan’s GM statement is a lie is a factually lacking opinion article.

    RealClearPolitics posted an article not too long ago…

    This and even local news stories which are still archived from the time show that the attempts to say the plant was “closed” before Obama took office were not correct. In fact, reading the text of the speech makes it clear that Ryan did not even suggest that Obama was to blame for the closing, but that general tone of government as savior doesn’t ring true in the hearts of the laid off workers of America.

    This is no lie. Reasonable people can disagree on blame, but Ryan didn’t lie.

    Before Romney became Candidate Romney, all the pundits, liberal and conservative alike considered him to be a moderate Republican, whereas Congressional Quarterly rated Obama was one of the most liberal Senators ever, albeit 2 years is a short sample size.

    Now the narrative is that Obama is somehow trying to work with Republicans and that Romney is an extremist. It isn’t truth, it is just the noise before the election.

    • To arrive at the conclusion that this is not a lie requires intellectual backflips that are simply absurd. The “government as savior” line — an interpretation that is nowhere suggested in Ryan’s duplicitous statement — by using a single plant when the entire company was saved by the bailout is just as dishonest. Moreover, this comes down to an understanding of business, which these men clearly have. A plant doesn’t shut down on Tuesday, board up its doors and everyone walks away. Decommissioning a plant takes time. There is the need to finalize outstanding contracts, there is the need to dismantle and move equipment, there is the need to continue human resources activities. Several hundred workers received their last paycheck in December. Skeleton crews wrapped everything else up. If this is “still running” then when exactly did the plant shut down, if not when the last car rolled off the assembly line? There are still security guards there — should we say it is still open?

      Had Obama made this statement, your attitude would be completely different, and I would be criticizing him for lying. You cannot look at reality through partisan glasses. You may have your own opinion but not your own facts. You want to debate the bailout? Fine, there are arguments to be made. You want to say that a plant is open on Tuesday when the last car rolled off the assembly line on Monday? You are deceiving yourself. (PS — this is also one of those “who am I going to believe? You or my lying eyes?” Look at the picture I linked to. I think those people might find it amusing to hear that the plant was open after December 23.)

      • Nicholas Sackett says:

        Ignore Kurt on Janesville. Go read what Ryan said. Go read Obama’s speech. Make up you own mind.

        In June 2009, GM considered three sites to locate a small car: its Orion plant in Michigan; Janesville, Wis.; and a Spring Hill, Tenn., plant slated to close in November. GM picked Orion and later reopened Spring Hill.

        Read it yourself and conclude. My take is that Kurt misstated the issue. Even more interesting to me is how the media and Kurt seem to all be working off fact sheets prepared by the Obama Admistration. Why can’t anyone seem do some original research?

        • Here is the deal: The last car rolled off of the assembly line on December 23, 2008. Only thing left were running down contracts and decommissioning. The fact that GM made a corporate decision as to which plant they should use — unless you believe the government should be there trying to dictate corporate decisions — is irrelevant. And yes, if you give a Talmudic reading of Ryan’s speech (not his after-the-fact weaseling) you can make an argument that, word for word, it is correct. Just as if I said “Nicholas fired a gun at Sheila. Now she’s dead.” Well, the fact that it is a blank gun and that Sheila died five years later certainly isn’t mentioned. But no onereading those words would think anything other than Nicholas killed Sheila. And that is exactly what Ryan was trying to do. Otherwise, the argument *has no meaning.*

          • Rick Chan Frey says:

            You seem to be stuck on the idea that the only possible argument here is that Ryan is blaming Obama for the plant closing. A major GOP contention this election is that Obama has not kept his promises. Ryan said Obama didn’t keep his promise. Try just looking at that simple point.

            I agree completely that Obama wasn’t responsible for the plant closing and that the timing of the closing demonstrates that. But that doesn’t change what Obama said.

            “I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years.” (Taken from Obama’s speech at the plant)

            Completely ignore Ryan, Romney and anyone else in the world. Think of yourself as the editor for Obama’s speech he’s about to give that includes this line. Would you have him say it? He doesn’t say the overall company, that GM in general will be here for another hundred years. You understand the difference between something being literally true and the clear implication of words, what is the clear implication of what Obama is saying?

            I find that if you want to truly hammer someone in an argument and seriously discredit them, you have to first understand what they’re saying. You’re argument in this case is entirely focused on the weakest part of the Ryan critique, the implication that Obama was responsible for the plant closing. That’s wrong, we got that. But what about the most basic, simple part of Ryan’s critique? That Obama over-promised?

          • But that is the problem — Obama did not promise that the plant would stay open. And it is irrational to think that any president COULD make such a promise. I guess the president of GM could, but not the president of the United States. And he made so much promise…his words were:

            ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another hundred years.’

            To say that says “I promise your plant will stay open” is twisting into knots reality. And if Ryan WASN’T trying to be misleading — I would say lying — then what is the point of his critique? Obama bailed out the auto industry and it survived and is prospering. And Ryan neglects that and says “Well, this one plant closed and he said it wouldn’t.” He didn’t say it wouldn’t, he did save GM…what is the point of Ryan’s comment uf bit to mislead by implying Obama broke a promise?

            You would NEVER let Obama get away with this kind of disingenuousness (just like I think the “Romney murdered someone” argument is unfair.) You have to apply equal standards. Comments have meaning — if Ryan meant Obama was breaking his promises, he lied.

          • Rick Chan Frey says:

            What hits me as interesting is how hard it is for you to let go of Ryan here and just focus on what Obama said. Please just try for a sec, what would anyone hearing those words from Obama assume they meant? Stop arguing about what you say Ryan said they meant, and try to write as simply as you can what Obama meant. Obama follows it up by saying that clean energy is the future but the question is where, and that’s the future he’ll fight for as President. So what is the obvious implication? The if/then statement is, if the government is there to help, this plant will stay open. If Obama gets elected, the future he’ll fight for is one where the plant is open.

            No one is tying knots or making up anything, Obama says if the goverment helps, the plant will still be here–he chose the future tense, he didn’t say might, could, it would be great if, he said will. He said that’s what he would fight for as President, a future where this plant was open. You’re the one doing the talmudic work to assume that since it would be irrational to make such a promise, even though he said it, it must not mean that.

            I get its irrational to think someone would make such a promise, but think of how that affects your argument. Since Obama couldn’t make such an obviously ridiculous promise, the words he said that clearly indicate he is making such a promise don’t mean that. While for Paul Ryan, even though it’s equally irrational to think he’s blaming Obama for the plant closing, you assume that’s what he meant. Doesn’t that hit you at all as odd?

  83. Charlton Price says:

    It was Senator Joe “Tail Gunner” (NOT) McCarthy who started calling the Democratic Party the “Democrat Party.”

    This Eichenwald blog piece is the most thorough and well-stated nest bill of particulars on GOP crimes, lies and venality that has appeared,

    Please, Obama Campaign Committee and the DNC: Use all of this material and any part of it, whenever you can.

  84. Great piece, but why was nothing said about energy policy and Republican denial of global warming?

  85. Terry and Sue Cain says:

    This is an article that should be shared to as many people as possible. It pulls together all of the most important reasons for supporting the re-election of Barack Obama in November. While there are areas of concern and criticism of unfulfilled promises by the President, his accomplishments (large and small) are definitely way ahead of the dangers of the alternative — a Romney presidency!

  86. Just read the entire piece, and I feel far more informed than I was before. I’m a young adult who is slowly entering politics, and even I have noticed much of what you said. I fear that your only readers will be those who already agree, but let’s hope those who are misinformed make their way here and alter their opinions.

  87. I’d be very interested in seeing a well-argued Republican/conservative response to this, just for perspective’s sake. Whether one surfaces or not, this piece is thought provoking and passionately written, and deserves all the publicity it gets (and potentially more).

  88. Democrats are simply weak and corrupt.

    Republicans are evil — an existential danger to our democratic republic.

  89. Wow – this was a great article – one of the best I’ve seen in articulating what, for so many people, is such a huge, multi-faceted amalgam of BS. It truly stuns me that Republicans can read this and STILL not believe what is staring them in the face – witness some of the unbelievable comments above. I’ll mention something else you didn’t touch on and I FIRMLY believe: FOX news, or pseudo-news, bears a very large portion of blame in the polarization and demonization game that is tearing this country apart. Millions of people actually believe the non-stop divisiveness brigade is actually news! Little wonder that they are so willing to buy the ‘liberal media bias’ meme, when ANY news from virtually ANY other source is going to sound ‘off’ to them when placed alongside the FOX dribble. How do you make people realize they’ve been listening to extreme right-wing propaganda that has subtly (and not so subtly) pulled them over the fence into gooberland?

  90. I love the responses that say “this is crap man, it’s all BS” without refuting a single argument or presenting any countervailing facts. They crack me up.

  91. Bob The Slob says:

    Great article. I’ve covered many of these items in discussions with conservatives, though not as clearly.

    There is one problem. There is an underlying assumption that when we talk to conservatives, we are talking to rational people with critical thinking skills. In my discussions with conservatives, I’ve found that this is not the case at all. In fact, after posting today a link to this article in a blog where there are conservatives as well as progressives, I later returned to find myself being referred to as the “queen of Kool Aid” by conservatives who would not even read this article. This is a fairly typical response from conservatives today. I point out data, research, logic, facts as best I can; they call me names in return. I suppose that the best we can do is present articles and data with the hope that it will sway some people’s mind. But that seems unlikely–when you show them that they are wrong, they double down on their idiocies. And I’ve been saying to people that progressive and independents need to end conservative nonsense now once and for all. But what must be will probably not be in this election.

  92. Here’s a (first-line of each section) outline — It helps me understand this article better:

    I. They are liars.
    a. Obama and welfare. In a not-so-subtle dog whistle to the racists of the GOP, Romney and Ryan
    b. Obama robbed Medicare of more than $700 billion. This is one of those lies that works because
    c. The GM factory closing in Janesville, Wisconsin. Ryan has made big waves about the plant closing,
    d. “You didn’t build that.” Stop and think for a moment – not based on partisan lunacy, but just on
    e. “Obama wants to prevent the military from voting.” This has to do with the attempts by the Ohio
    f. Obama is on a spending spree. Never happened. I could lecture on this for a while, but instead let’s
    g. The stimulus failed. This is not only a lie, it makes no sense. If any country spends $700 billion on
    h. Obama raised taxes. Hard to address this, since it has no basis in reality. Obama proposed and
    i. “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” This one deserves special recognition.
    II. They are demagogues.
    III. They are economic arsonists. As someone who has spent much of my career reporting on business
    a. The glory of tax cuts: Should taxes be cut? Of course. Should taxes be raised? Of course. Should
    1. The Reagan tax cut mythology, part 1: Reagan’s tax cuts did not trigger an economic boom.
    2. The Reagan tax cut mythology, part 2: One of the most revealing moments in the entire
    3. Reagan tax cut mythology part 3: At a meeting in the Oval Office, Obama commented on the
    4. Laughing at the Laffer Curve: This has lasted for decades since Reagan, and I have touched
    5. The Lucky Duckies who Pay No Taxes. The Wall Street Journal once wrote an editorial
    6. The “Job Creators”: Let’s do the two-second version of this. A millionaire gets a $340,000 tax
    7. The GOP is the party of tax cuts: I was horrified by something I saw in Obama’s first State of
    b. The debt. No matter how many times it’s said, the truth on this one struggles to become part of the
    c. The debt ceiling “debate”: There has never been a more irresponsible and reckless act on the part
    IV. They are threatening American democracy. In 2008, when Norm Coleman was said to have won the
    V. They are threatening America. What if they won? What if Romney, Ryan and the other amoral

  93. election judge says:

    This is a very informative article.

    I do know of a case of probable voter fraud. My estranged, Republican father was still on the voter lists in his county for two cycles after he died (over 10 years ago) and when i looked him up in the voter lookup at the the training sessions during the first cycle it appeared that he had been issued an absentee ballot. I do not know if that ballot was cast or not. It took me two tries to get him removed from the lists in his county because the voter registration office does not share information with the office that records births and deaths. The first time I tried to get him removed the county voter registration office wanted me to pay for a death certificate and send it to them. The second time, the successful time, I contracted the state board of elections instead and gave them the web address of his obituary and I was successful.

    If states issue absentee ballots by mail. How are the enforcing the rules requiring a picture ID to get an absentee ballot? Here is the page for applying for an absentee ballot in Florida:

    and for Pennsylvania:

    The Pennsylvania Alternative Ballot form does not have anyplace to attach a copy of photo ID nor does it call for a copy of one’s birth certificate.

  94. Great list I would like to have seen these added;
    War on women. For one, they want a constitutional amendment to ban abortion even cases of rape, insets or if mothers health at risk.
    His ability to nominate judges that will effect next 30 years.
    The Republican mixing of church and state.

  95. A picture is worth a 1000 words

  96. A bunch of morons. Just look at the history. The last time we had such a failure of a president, Jimmy Carter was in office. This country has prospered under Republicans. Clinton enjoyed much of the prosperity built by Reagan. Workfare was not his project – it was the Republican Congress’s brain child. Obama is leading you all to be dependent on government – just like lazy sacks want it. Anybody who works for a living (and I’m not talking about a govt worker leech) would NEVER go for Obama’s socialist/Marxist policies unless they were too stupid to understand what those things are.

    When Dems can’t argue issues they attack the people. And that’s ALL Dems do is attack candidates personally. Capitalism is why you losers make any money at all – who do you think pays all the taxes so you lazy government workers and welfare mooches can get your checks?

    Oh, I forgot. I don’t agre with Democrats. Am I now going to be called racist? That’s the next witch hunt. Nevermind that Bumbler Biden completed showed his colors with his “y’all in chains” comment – all he was missing was his white hood but then the liberal media and Dems couldn’t wait to sweep that one under the rug.


    • You silly little tool. Don’t go pointing to history then spout your revisionist version. Are you really saying that Reagan’s downward sliding economic policies didn’t kick in until Clinton was president? And, brainless twit, that Clinton just rode Reagan’s wave for 8 years. Finally, mentally challenged angry person, that W didn’t create the reversal of fortune that we’re barely digging our way out of now?
      Now, my smooth brained friend, let’s address personal attacks. Have you heard of Fox News? Do you know what a birther is? Have you ever listened to a rant from Ted Nugent? Glenn Beck? Rush Limbaugh? Sean Hannity? Ann Coulter? Michelle Bachman? Sarah Palin?
      I think I pay my taxes. I also work my ass off to provide for my family.
      i will give credit where it is due. You did spell hypocrites right. You, being a Retardlican, probably hear that word often.
      Now go watch Fox News so you can have more imaginary enemies to worry about.

  97. All you Liberals – please explain to me why every Democrat run state or city is in a shambles or corrupt? Liberal policies don’t work. Blue Dog Dems have been run out of office by the Liberal fringe who think they deserve a chunk of what everyone else earns. And you’re drinking the liberal KoolAid – why do you think the mega millionaires like Buffett and Hollywood stars support Obama? Because their money will never be touched – they actually make even MORE money with these reckless, liberal policies. It’s the upper middle and middle classes who will be totally screwed and taxed to death so they can support the bottom feeders who pay nothing and do nothing. The 1%? they’re laughing all the way to the bank. If you think Obama and other liberals are not in bed with big money corporate types you are sadly misinformed.

    • Every Democrat run state or city is in shambles? Tone down the hyperbole if you actually have interest in helping further the discourse. And I’m not entirely sure hat your evidence is about all these places being in shambles – on a state-level, it’s hard to distinguish which states succeed and which ones are failing (although much of blue New England fares quite well and the reliably worst off is the deeply red Deep South, but that’s more socioeconomic background than a simple policy matter). And cities are difficult to measure because of the preexisting urban/rural demographic split – making the vast majorities of “cities” blue, failing or not – and because of countless factors beyond that cities control. So I’m not quite sure what your point is – at the state and local level, it is pretty hard to prove what you are saying, and you offered no attempt at explanation as is.

      And I’m still not sure what you’re point is about the middle class being screwed over by Obama. The article shows that Obama made the lowest tax cut in American history for the middle class.

    • While it is true that many red states are among those with the least unemployment, a large reason for this is our socialist farm subsidy program. You can’t have it both ways, sorry.

  98. From Mike Huckabee’s blog:
    Who’s fact-checking the fact checkers? The latest tactic of the left is to accuse anyone who criticizes them of being wrong on the facts. Latest example: They’ve been doing it to Paul Ryan’s speech on Obama’s record. But Ryan got his facts right. For instance, they say a GM factory in his hometown really closed under Bush in 2008. In “fact,” it was slated for closing, but Obama promised to keep it open. It kept making trucks until April 2009, then shut down under Obama. That’s a fact. So are these: Three years into the recovery, GDP growth is 1.7 percent. Unemployment has topped 8 percent for 43 straight months. $5 trillion has been added to the debt. First time jobless claims last week were unchanged at 374,000. The point is, you can nitpick all you want about a brick in the wall being slightly askew. But that doesn’t knock down the wall.

    • A classic example of obfuscation. Here are the lies:
      1. It was not “slated” for closing. The last car rolled off assembly line on December 23, 2008. The only thing that remained were people wrapping up contracts, people involved in decommissioning the plant and human resources. By Huck’s logic, a party isn’t over when the music stops and everybody leaves. It’s still the party when the host is paying the bill and the staff is cleaning up.
      2. Obama never said he would keep the plant open. Here are his words: “I know that General Motors received some bad news yesterday, and I know how hard your governor has fought to keep jobs in this plant. But I also know how much progress you’ve made — how many hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles you’re churning out. And I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years.”
      3. The bailout saved GM. The government was there to support the company, but — contrary to the strange new GOP theme — it was not the government’s job to force GM to reopen that particular plant.
      4. Other data is factual. Those are matters for discussions, but for now, i am just pushing for the GOP to get honest. I am not making arguments for Obama. In other words, when GOP tells the truth, I don’t feel the need to respond. The campaigns can do that.

      • Great article! I have sent it to friends and gotten very positive feedback from them also. I have a comment about the Janesville speech that I haven’t seen pointed out yet. “The ENTIRE transcript of the President’s speech, in 2008 in Janesville, is vital to the understanding of what the President said and meant.

        Just before the often quoted portion of the speech, the President was speaking about other plants that had closed in the area and had then RE-TOOLED into a TOTALLY different kind of green energy manufacturing. It was the re-tooling to manufacture something different/new that had created new jobs in new green technology.

        It wasn’t a speech about keeping open a GM plant but a speech about the government investing in green technology of the future that would then help Janesville open something OTHER than a GM factory.

        “I believe that we can create millions of those jobs around a clean, renewable energy future. A few hours northeast of here is the city of Manitowoc. For over a century, it was the home of Mirro manufacturing – a company that provided thousands of jobs and plenty of business. In 2003, Mirro closed its doors for good after losing thousands of jobs to Mexico.
        But in the last few years, something extraordinary has happened. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Doyle and Mayor Kevin Crawford, Manitowoc has re-trained its workers and attracted new businesses and new jobs. Orion Energy Systems works with companies to reduce their electricity use and carbon emissions. And Tower Tech is now making wind turbines that are being sold all over the world. Hundreds of people have found new work, and unemployment has been cut in half.”

  99. The simple truth is that our two party political system is a joke; the only thing that will save this country is open-minded cooperation between elected officials based on the overall betterment of the country…..

  100. Soooo, what does this all mean if President Barack Hussein Obama wasn’t born in the United States of America?

    • Here’s a great example of the problem. Why does he ask if Obama wasn’t born in America? I dont mean why does he doubt the birth certificates. I mean why does he ask in the first place. There was no birth certificate issue. Why did the GOP start asking the question? Because it is a BS tactic to get people like this guy to think they are righteous. And the “Hussein” thing is just as childish as “Democrat Party.” Obama is not Muslim (somehow, modern GOPers have no cognitive dissonance when they condemn him for attending the church of Rev Wright for 20 years and then calling him a Muslim.) But even if he was, so what? Plenty of Muslims have fought and died for this country in the military. Are they less American?

      This is what eats at me from the modern GOP. No issues, no debate, just irrational name-calling and sneering. That is not what makes America great.

  101. This is a nice piece. Thank you.

    I’d like to reinforce something said earlier about the way the Republicans in congress tend to vote unanimously. I find this troubling. They aren’t voting the interest of the constituents who elected them. They are voting as they are told. This is not democracy. There are lot’s of inflammatory words for it (like fascism). It’s a frightening trend when so many people in our country appear have abdicated the right to think for themselves and to question authority. In Plato’s “Republic”, he made the point that democracy leads to tyranny. I’m afraid that that’s where we are heading.

  102. Don Rosenberg says:

    If Romney, Ryan, and Newhouse openly articulate, condone, and promote lies and distortions, knowing full well they are slogans without truth, actually deceptions intended to obscure the truth and to win regardless of the means, we have no reason to expect they will not continue in this behavior, no reason to expect their understanding and their integrity is any deeper than this shallow hypocrisy and this underestimation of the character and intelligence of the electorate. We can all expect their truth to emerge, to be BAINED by them for four years, riddled with debt and left adrift while rapacious pockets fill to overflowing.

  103. Few more typos:

    “exploiting a finding a loophole” -> “finding and exploiting a loophole”. “voting by blocks” -> “voting by blocs”. “would negative 2.89 percent” -> “would be negative 2.89 percent”? “we have been pillories” -> “we have been pilloried”. “all the share of total taxes paid” -> “the share of total taxes paid”. “League of Women Voter’s” -> “League of Women Voters”. “major Democratic blocks” -> “major Democratic blocs”.

    Excellent article.

  104. Wonderful analysis!
    Sure there are more facts or questions we could add, but you have made the most important points plain and simple enough for anyone to understand clearly.
    What I’m concerned about however, is the fact that although this was likely the shortest you could make it, this article of analysis is far too long for the average reader. I should hope that every wonk in the nation does take the time to read it however, and follow the leads it provides as well as their own related research. To ensure this I will repost this page to my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and hope at least 51% of the voting population get the picture, or we are all in for a world of hurting come January.
    If anyone has any questions for me, I’m a conservative who voted Republican in every election since Nixon, until now.
    Thank you and God bless Mr. Eichenwald! (‘Oak Forest’- appropriate name implying strength)

  105. Please change your background/text colors or the font: I literally had to copy/paste this into a text editor to read more than a few paragraphs.

  106. Thank you for posting this essay.

  107. NO!!!
    You have played into their hand on election fraud.
    While it is true, the type of election fraud that the GOP is trying to “protect” us from does not measurably exist.
    But voter booth fraud and election engineering occur.
    Many of the electronic voting booth machines have manipulable software and no paper receipts.
    Thus, votes that are “counted” and then recorded as results may not have been representative of actual votes.
    This has been occurring for years in this municipality or that one…and just enough here and there to swing certain elections or electoral maps one way or another.
    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote the definitive article on these occurrences in the 2004 election (it was originally published in Rolling Stone and is republished here:
    So the question becomes is this type of voting fraud possible; the answer is yes.
    Since it is possible, is it unreasonable to believe that it is occurring?
    Would a party that would lie the way that they do and has raised so much money to do anything they can to win an election not do something so obvious?
    I believe that this fraud will occur…and you say in this article and the Dems are on record saying that election fraud does not exist.
    IT DOES EXIST in different forms and the most dangerous and real form is not being talked about.

  108. Great article. But, I think missing is the effects of the state of the world at various times and that influence on the US economy. Most notably, the time when Carter was leaving and Reagan was coming in. The US, under Carter, had failed miserably in protecting its’ interests abroad. The whole hostage situation really highlighted that weakness (real or not). That prompted mass investments from the world to leave the US, which prompted the unprecendeted rise in interest rates being paid to investors, which in turn prompted high interest rates being charged. Only when the perception of US global strength was re-established did the money start flowing back into the US, prompting lower rates.

  109. There are only Two Reasons to NEVER vote a Republican as President: Taxes and War
    Since the end of World War II, Republican presidents have only two options to handle inflation, recession, depression or any other economic crisis facing America — Taxes and War.

    George H.W. Bush hit the Lottery in his presidency he did both “raised taxes” after telling people to “Read My Lips, No More Taxes.” Then, of course, he did the Kuwait thing.

    Republican presidents can not “Think Outside The Box” or the party does not allow them to. The bottom line is a Republican president only uses two options — raises taxes or goes to War.

    FDR did controversial things to try and get the economy moving in The Great Depression. Republicans claim they are the :”Business” party and yet it was Democrat Woodrow Wilson who instituted the stock market system and did the creation of the Federal Reserve System.

    Republicans claim to be “Pro Military” yet, Tricky Dick Nixon pushed for no pay raises for the military and then gave in for something like two percent. Clinton got the blame for Base Closures, but the procedures began under Reagan because I was on active duty when DOD got the word that the Administration was looking at different bases.

    It was the Reagan and Bush years when Dental Care for Military Dependents first went from FULL coverage to emergency on base if it didn’t interfere with Active Duty care. Then, suddenly, Dependent Care had to be covered under Tri Care (“Tri Crap”) by the early 1990s. Military hospitals began shutting down and being downgraded from Hospitals to clinics. Regional hospitals went to either in patient clinics or out patient clinics and the Pro Military Republican Presidential Administrations started backing away from full military medical coverage to pushing commercial HMO coverage under the flim flam Tri Care heading. Slick game. It sounded like new military health coverage, but, it was a way for the US Government to cut health cost by shifting the costs to the individual by pretending they now had the “options” to choose their “dentists” and “doctors.”

    Romney and Ryan will simply do what other Republican “Puppet Presidents” have done. They will have to choose to raise Taxes or go to War. If US History is a clue — they will do both. Iran has been “shooting their mouth off at the US since the 1970s Ayatollah Khomeini “Great Satan” hysteria. Romney and Ryan can use that fanatic Islamic history to ram some “bunker busters” down their big mouths.

    Syria has had the reputation as “The Terrorist Home Away From Home” location. The Middle East is always at War with itself. All you have to do is pick a non-Israeli country to go to War with. You can’t choose Saudi Arabia because they call the shots on Oil in OPEC — so you find another country like Syria.

    Of course, Romney and Ryan would raise taxes — they are Republican after all. Republicans like the old European kings love their money and comforts, which means “tax the peasants.” Like the European kings, Republican presidents and vice presidents don’t realize without jobs ‘the peasants can’t pay their taxes.”

    Romney and Ryan will simply be the sequel to “The Baby Bush Administration.” Bush had to fight Two Wars to destroy the US Economy, which means Romney will think he has to fight Two or possibly Three Wars to try and bring back the US Economy. Since the Global Economy is still in the toilet, even a small, seemingly unimportant War like Syria or Iran, might erupt into a full blown World War III because all nations are finally admitting that their currencies are not what they once was.

    More Taxes and More Wars are the only possible legacies of a new Republican presidency. History made not repeat itself, but, Old Dogs are Old Dogs and they don’t like new tricks.

    Vote Romney and Ryan and vote for taxes and War.

    Unfortunately, Obama is stuck in The Mirror because when he looks at himself his reflection sees his reflection and he can’t find his way out of the Looking Glass.

    Democrats simply don’t have the Guts to “Fire” Obama and put up a Democrat with ideas, creativity, convictions and initiative to move forward.

    2013. 2014. 2015. and 2016 will be “Dark Days for America and the World.”


  110. Why is any of this even addressed here? I’m just confused. Everything the author complains of is typical politicking, and Romney and Ryan do much less of it than any other campaigner I’ve ever seen. And at least I’m not voting for the guy who apparently has no sense of self. That “white” kid (as the President himself insisted at the time, despite the large number of non-whites at his high school) that my Hawaiian neighbor went to high school with, “Barry” Obama. Or the guy who went to a church where the pastor called for God to damn the USA. THAT sounds like a danger to America, to me.

  111. Unimpressed says:

    For someone who calls themself “bi-partisan”, you have consumed way too much of the kool-aid!

  112. Nick Vittum says:

    I don’t know if I can ever look at politics the same way ever again after this election year. This piece really hits brings everything home for me.. very concise, very terrifying.

  113. Lucid, cogent polemic. I am 56, and have counted myself for years as a moderate, voting the person rather than the party in local and state elections. Nationally, though, the Republican party took a hard right turn in 1980 and hasn’t taken its foot off the accelerator since. What began with an essential meanness of spirit at its core has been allowed– and during the past decade, encouraged more and more openly– to grow into a dangerous, malignant infatuation with power for its own sake, coupled with an extremely dark view of the world. This is now joined by willful ignorance on a number of critical national and global issues that desperately require rational input from all parties affected: listing them is really beyon the scope of this comment. My parents, who voted for national Republican candidates reliably for many years, reached the breaking point in 2000 (for mom), and 2004 (for dad).

    Thank you for posting this essay. I will pass this on to my friends.

  114. Iran is the Grover Nordquist bath tub – everything can drown – democracy – the economy – human rights – law – order – society – everything. Another war based on lies against the Iranians is really a war against Americans, they want a war so big it puts the USA where they can better exploit it without any restrictions – Republicans only need to win one time to do it – instead of starting bigger wars we should be conserving fuel.

  115. Why aren’t we hearing this on CNN and the major news reports? The only t.v. channel that comes close is MSNBC and few conservatives listen to it.

    Thank you for the info, facts and background.

    Another interesting piece is

    Taibbi describes the business practices at Bain. I have a neighbor who worked for them and confirmed their practices as corporate raiders. He now hates Romney.

  116. Koshersalaami says:

    A friend sent this to me. It is the most comprehensive and clear thing I’ve read on the subject. Superb work.

  117. Stephen Kaplan says:

    In reflecting their true priorities the RNC should stand for Racist Nazi Crackers and the GOP truly represents Gestapo Octogenerian Pubicans (totally obsessed with the female anatomy)

  118. Jay Diamond says:

    What has happened, Kurt, is that the GOP has become talk radio. The culture of outrageous lying, groteaque threats and bullying, and the bombastic and completely over the top demonization, personal smearing, and utter lack of ethics, is all the warp and weft of low-brow, rightwing talk radio.

    Believe it or not, Trent Lott was the first and only person to state this openly.

    Do a search on “Trent Lott: Talk Radio is Running America”.

    Essentially, sean hannity and limbaugh are in control of the United States.

    Two high school drop-out low lifes.

    Your essay here is important.

    • Michael Upper says:

      Let’s stop all the nonsense. The fact is that very few politicians are any good. It doesn’t matter which party they belong to. The Democrats are just as much to blame for lies in their campaign ads as the Republicans. The entire government(s) are worthless. We have nobody to vote for in this election. I was waiting for somebody to run on an Independent ticket so I could possibly have someone to vote for that I thought might know what they are doing and has a background to support their thoughts and actions…perhaps Mike Bloomburg, Mayor of New York City. I like Ron Paul, one of the few members of Congress that seems to have made it a point to understand economics and monetary policy, but he has very little attractiveness so could never get enough votes to get elected.

      Look at the growth of “G” in the GDP equation where GDP = C + I + G+ the Net of Exports/Imports during the past 40 to 45 years and you will know what ails America. Big Government is not the answer, it is the problem and that is where I now part company with the man I voted for in 2008. Presidant Obama is clueless when it comes to economic issues and will ruin the country if re-elected. He is a good man but has proven that he cannot “take the many small steps that can be made immediately to get America on the right track” (his own words during the 2008 campaign). He has proven that he cannot reduce the Federal Bureaucracy. He has proven that he cannot “review the Federal Budget line-by-line and use a scalpel to reduce and/or eliminate ineffective programs” (again, his own words from his 2008 campaign).

      As an Independent, I do not know who I am going to vote for but am leaning toward Romney/Ryan because Obama has proven he cannot do the job. If I vote for R & R and they don’t do the job they are elected to do then I will vote them out in 2016.

      • Where is the ‘Like’ button on this comment?

        I also love how Obama promised to have transparency during the entire Health Care Reform process, but then had most of the meetings behind closed doors.

        I was also a big fan of voting ALL of the existing Congress and Senate out (where possible) and starting fresh to help get rid of corruption. I guess it didn’t work.

      • Thank you for some objective thinking. Each of his points could and have been counterpointed by many commentators, fact check organizations, and of course, the Right. One example- you don’t think the current admin. has been less than transparent with the AHCA, saying you’ll have to pass it to see what’s in it, and not addressing some reductions in Medicare to cover other age groups and situations? They didn’t speak to it until forced by the Right. You add in a non-elected board of some 15 to determine coverage and payment decisions on behalf of a nation’s 1/6th of the economy, and you no longer are having an honest discussion with the American people. Although our system has problems, it still represents life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness like no other. I think a relevant way to start the much needed return to reality would be fund raising and campaign time limits- 25 million and 3 mths- No outside money or resources. At least we could cut out much of the silliness, and spare our collective sanity.

  119. Colin Whitby says:

    Nice article….Excellent essay on the total decay of our country which has taken place over the last 30-40 years. Unfortunately, however, I disagree about your premise that the GOP has to be stopped from winning this election to save the country. The only way our totally broken and corrupt system can be fixed is by its total collapse and that will be accelerated by the GOP winning the country. I admit to being a little disillusioned in my old age. In resent years I have divorced myself from the entire process. Partly because I have watched the country completely sell it’s sole for the advancement of it’s own wealth and nothing else and partly because of all the countless brainless countryman I have met who buy into all of this BS, mostly because they are hateful and want to blame everyone else for their lot, especially the ones who don’t look like them or worship like them. In addition, most of them are POOR or not well off but are still dumb enough to vote against their own interest in the name of Guns and God and an irrational hatred of homosexuals. These people will not wake up and smell the roses until they are totally destroyed financially and when all the wealth is totally owned by a few hundred people and the rest of us are living in squalor. It will probably be what they deserve in any case. SO GO GOP….I am looking forward to the entertainment it will provide. I only hope I live to see it all cave in.

  120. I also recommend, by Charlie Reese, 545 People.

  121. princessntiaka says:

    Seems like Bill Clinton must have read this piece…

  122. Romney needs to lose but not necessarily for the reasons listed.

    Hate didn’t destroy this “once great party”. The Republicans have been compromised for years, and if you think that’s not the case I’ll point you to “The Enterprise” under Reagan’s administration, the warS of aggression under both Bush administrations (if the slaughter of millions worldwide, started by those sellouts to the mil-industrial complex, and continued with the complicity of the democrats didn’t destroy the integrity of that “once great party,” then nothing did).

    Lying/not-delivering are hallmarks of both of these loathsome parties. Lest I lay all the warmongering blame at the feet of the republicans, let’s recall the Gulf of Tonkin (Johnson: democrat sociopath) or for other false flags, the sinking of the Maine ( President William McKinley, Republican) or the provoked War on Japan via our embargo (yes, we provoked – FDRoosevelt, Democrat). Roosevelt gets a double prize also for using terror tactics on the Germans (e.g Liepzig and Dresden) as well as the Japanese (fire-bombing of civilians in Tokyo), but I digress.

    Back to modern lying, one of my biggest gripes with the president was his promise to close Gitmo and end the horrors and human rights abuses there. While he cannot control the wheels of the economy, he CAN keep his word in ending human rights abuses on our soil (we’ll say that that part of Cuba is our soil).

    Neither party holds a moral high ground, but certainly a narcissist / sociopath like Mitt doesn’t belong in office.

  123. Thanks. This is a very good read. I am a middle-class Republican myself, but am very centrist. I like to get everyone’s view as well as facts and make an informed decision. There were a few cited sources, but would like to see more from where some of the anecdotal examples come from.

    Personally, I think both parties are divisive and lack common sense. Some very good ideas have surfaced that could help lots of people, but because they weren’t conservative or liberal enough, they were canned. I was never a fan of Obamacare, but something needs to done with the health care system. Whatever happened to the idea of promoting competition between states so that people can have more choices? There just needs to be some regulation there to make sure companies are on the up & up. Competition promotes lower prices. Maybe also limit the time more that medical patents can be enforced? That way, drugs can be made cheaper faster. I think that the company that makes a drug does have the right to the initial benefits – that is only fair.

    I recently saw Paul Ryan in my home town and one thing he mentioned was that he would like to close the loopholes in the tax code that allow millionaires to not pay their fair share. I hope that is an accurate statement. Also, whatever happened to the idea of some form of a flat income tax? Starting at some level of income (I think around $40K or $50K), people would only pay about 14% to 17% in taxes. That would be a win for everyone, except those that are currently cheating the system.

    Thanks again, Kurt, for the great read.

    • R Whiteley says:

      In part “e” you wrote “blocks” instead of “blacks.” Another typo, just wanted to let you know so you could correct. Excellent article.

  124. This is an important, wonderful work. Each and every GOP reply has stregthend your point (and what’s with the Kool-Aid fixation?!?). Passing off fiction as fact, and religion as law is so dangerous to this nation… and the preaching from the elephant pulpit is so hypocritical to the values it professes. We’re in deep trouble if they get elected. We’re not number one… and if they have their way, we never will be again.

  125. I respect your right to your opinion Kurt. However I don’t agree with you, but then that is one of the great inalienable rights granted us through the United States Declaration of Independence… Liberty! The ability of individuals to have agency (control over their own actions) – what a wonderful thing to respect, don’t you think?

    • The statements he made were not opinions. The article states that conservatives lie in order to maintain control. They are the ones trying to destroy Democracy so that they can retain power with a diminishing majority. Your opinion has added nothing to contradict the facts he presented. Your so called Liberty comes at the expense of the rest of the nation to have a free and informed electorate. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could allow others to vote without lying to them and disenfranchising those who disagree?

    • And where, exactly, was Kurt mistaken in this piece….?

  126. What I detest is the current tendency of right wingers to insist that truth is relative, that facts are the same things as opinions, with the same weight in argument. Disturbing. Great article, by the way.

  127. Strangely, this is the first article I’ve read that is so laced with data and factual evidence, the GOP/Tea Party discussion has been lowered to near library silence. It is amazing and a little proof (frightening proof) that a majority of the people who clang their bells for the contemporary GOP are the exact same people who end arguments with “I know you are, but what am I”. The few “negative” posts that I read were so quickly and easily tossed aside that it is chilling watching/hearing MILLIONS of people continue to spew the same ignorance. I’ve started posting “I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS” on boards and articles that are similar to this one. I do it because I have to NOT BELIEVE a word of this article because for me to believe it, I would also have to believe that every 2nd to 3rd person I meet is truly not living in the present and exist in some world where fantasy (their fantasy only) is real. I remember the “class warfare” arguments and citing Reagan himself saying “class warfare-esq” statements. I also remember not being answered, essentially being ignored because I would provide LINKS to Reagan’s statements -meaning FACTS-.. I guess the best thing for me is that I have not worried for a second that Obama will win this election. I’ve only been betting that it will be a bigger win than vs. McCain. THANK YOU for posting this piece. I’m bookmarking it and will toss it in as many faces as possible. NOW, to get a contemporary GOP person to actually READ the article is an entirely different issue. Amazing!

  128. “Rage, delusions and lies are not the path to power.”

    Brilliant article, Kurt. Thank you for this.

  129. In the last four years???? The GOP has been spewing vitriol for 20 years at least. Google “The Marines died in shame.” Oh, heck, you’re probably too lazy. I’ll just spoon feed you a link here:

  130. Richard Brown says:

    This is the best analysis of the election issues I have read anywhere.

  131. Bart Kohnhorst says:

    Kurt, I’m so glad this was written. Loved the read and am 100% in support. My first time ever to vote is coming up. I can’t hardly wait. I hope others are enlightened and encouraged by your piece to vote against this dangerous cabal called the current Republican party. I yearn for the day we can have a true battle between good ideas as opposed to lies aimed at securing a seat in the most powerful office on Earth.

  132. Ok, when the “fat cats” where making money back before 2005, I made $10,000more a year. Since 2005(when the democrats took over the house and senate) its been all down hill. Obama sped it up.the greatest local program is a job.obama palosi and reed are responsible for the rise of the tea party and the gridlock in Washington . Those with the money are waiting for some stability , that will not happen while obama is in office.
    Freedom isn’t free….the price is the fear of failure . When we remove that fear…freedom is the price we pay

    • Any more platitudes?

      Who else could be “responsible” for the rise of the Tea Party? I mean, that statement doesn’t even make sense.

      Not that any of the rest of what you post does…

  133. Is calling a republican a “GOPer” any differen? Is demonizing every republican constructive ? the truth is somewhere in the middle is the correct path.wildly spending isint going to work and neither will more tax cuts.the problem is obama will only double down on his “vision “of America. One I do not recognise as the one that the world looks to as the world leader and the place to go for true freedom.

    • Totally different. GOPer is a shorthand I use, developed for twitter (fewer letters.) Has no meaning, and I am the one who uses it. “Democrat Party” is intentionally designed to kick Dems (Dems is my shorthand that also has no meaning) and is used now by all GOPers. In gact, when Bush called for cooperation with the opposition, he called them the “Democrat Party” and was immediately questioned about how sincere was he, given that in the same sentence he kicked the dems.

    • Very differen.

  134. Try both parties when you call liar. They all lie, it is a part of this two party game of politics that is played. I’d rather go get a root canal than vote, at least the root canal is productive. But me going off on how corrupt politics is in America is not striking the root. The root of it is I didn’t consent to be ruled by this government. I don’t want the state stealing my money, I don’t want the state to tell me I can’t consume a plant, I don’t want the state to tell me I have to beg permission to open my own business, I don’t want the state involved in my life. Pretending you get to choose who rules you is foolish. Pretending Obama or Romney or Bush before them actually listened to the will of the American public is also foolish. 90% or more of the American public wanted nothing to do with the bailouts but they happened anyway. Yeah, you have a choice all right.

    This blog is the product of American Political Theater, as for me, I’m tired of the show.

    • Michael Upper says:

      Hey Zee, you forgot to mention that America is now a police state.

      Read the newspapers closely and talk to enough people and you will see what I mean. My wife and I just returned from the San Luis Valley area of Colorado on the west side of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. The police just shot and killed an 18 year old young man for several violations…it appears that for some unknown reason(s) he went off the deep end. That is being investigated and I have no idea of how it will turn out. However, the thing that caught my attention was the treatment the law enforcement officials heaped on the parents. Instead of one or two officers going to the door of their house in the middle of the night, knocking, and politely asking about the son, they sent the SWAT team to the house in full uniform and fully armed. This is a very rural area and you cannot tell me that law enforcement officials do not know the family or could not very quickly and easily learn about the family and act accordingly.

      I grew up in the 1950s in an area very similar to the San Luis Valley except that it was in rural Michigan. I have had friends that served proudly in the Michigan State Police and my grandfather was influential in the Flint, Michigan police department for many years during the 1930s and 1940s. I do not think of police officers as “fascist” either quickly or lightly.

      The actions and behavior of law enforcement in America today is violating the rights of many citizens. This is what we are getting for our tax dollars and Big Government! Both parties are responsible.

  135. Well done!

  136. Despite a few understandable typos, this is a very well written document, one that I will be happy and proud to share with others. Unfortunately, or fortunately, most of the people I know will totally agree with you…most of my friends are smart, well educated, logical thinkers…but how do we get this out to the “others” and will it make any sense to them? First of all, you have to have a good attention span to get through the entire document. Oh, dear…that was mean…sorry!

    I have a new project for you…since you have done such a great job with this one! How can we get rid of the horrific influence of Grover Norquist. He is the most powerful lobbyist in Washington and is hell-bent on destroying our country by eliminating taxes…ALL TAXES, and thus government, of all kinds. He is, as far as I’m concerned, akin to Hitler. He has intimidated many Republicans and a few Democrats, into signing a pledge to NEVER vote for tax increases of any kind. If they break their pledge he uses vast amounts of money to get them evicted from office. How can a non-elected person have so much power? Even an elected official should not have that much power. For more information please refer to 60 Minutes 8/26/12. That is not my only source of info. but it is one that clearly shows the American public what we are against.

    Thank you for your fantastic efforts in protecting, preserving, and promoting the democracy we all rely on.

    • Written precisely like the passionate, emotional Liberals (99% of my friends and family) I’ve come to know and love. They never let facts over-ride their feelings. It’s very sweet and sad at the same time.

      Tell you what Karen. The Left always demands civility from the Right as they toss molatov cocktails themselves. And, they always demand “compromise” from the other side, when they are generally completely unwilling to budge a inch themselves. I’ll offer an olive branch right here and right now. Let’s raise taxes on everyone (so EVERYONE HAS SOME SKIN IN THE GAME AND IS THEREFORE INVESTED)….but only AFTER the government proves to the public that they are capable of spending RESPONSIBLY and capable of running government EFFICIENTLY. I think that’s a reasonable compromise, however, to be truthful, I don’t think the latter is possible at this juncture. But, if I just saw an honest effort…after two sincere years of cost cutting and competent stewardship of OUR tax dollars, I’d say go ahead, I’m comfortable now with you raising my taxes a little (to pay down the debt specifically). You’ve regained my TRUST.

      Does any of that resonate with you or is your passion, emotion and your “feelings” still over-riding the common sense part of your psyche? Thanks for the opportunity to respond.

  137. This situation has happened before. A group of proud but fearful people voted for a party filled with lies and easy solutions in 1933. Consider many of them were very cultured, very educated people, more so than today’s Americans. Many of them refused to believe their ideas had failed even 12 years later when everything was collapsing around them. They blamed the poor, the immigrants, the Jews for everything. It can happen again. To a fair extent, it already has.

  138. Like a lot of people I am not happy with either party. Like some of the other people commenting I am beginning to lean to the independent side. I do not agree with the democrats way of thinking so I do not support Obama. However as I watched the debates of the REP. candidates all the ones I liked were dropping out and Romney kept parading through and while he said some things I liked I just do not feel like he would make a good president. So like many I am at a cross roads not sure what to do. Overall the article was interesting but felt really one sided but that was the main focus. It was mentioned that there could be just as long an article on the failings of the democrats if that is true I would like to see it.

  139. One of the sneaky lies of omission “In the first two years of Obama budgets, the debt climbed to $13.6 trillion” (It just went over the $16 trillion mark)

    • You miss the point. The debt increases are (according to the CBO) in large part a consequence of the policies that remain in place from the Bush era. If you took out the tax cuts, the wars, the prescription drug plan, the debt increases would be far less. The reason I counted the first two years is because that was when the stimulus took place. The point is, the stimulus was a drop in the bucket. No doubt that the debt has increased, but that analysis cannot be done without specifically examining what portion of it is from Obama increases in spending and what portion of it is carryovers from the Bush plans. With the Iraq war winding down and Afghanistan headed toward resolution, that will cut the deficit for whoever is in charge in the next term. If the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, and the military budget does not exceed the requests of the military, and the financial horrors of the prescription drug plan are resolved, then the deficit will drop significantly.

      In other words, to say “Obama is responsible for the debt” without examining the realities of debt increases is foolish. Think about it — Bush doubled the debt in a middling-to-poor economy. Obama inherited a horrific economy (which causes tax receipts to drop.) Bush policies remain in place — the consequences of those policies are not going to stop just because there is a new man in the White House. So the question is not the number — the question is, what impact did Obama’s policies have on that number. The answer to that question is, not a whole hell of a lot. That is why the growth of spending numbers for Obama are so low, while the growth of debt is so high. And it is not as if Obama hasn’t tried to reverse these policies — the Iraq war has wound down, we’re coming out of Afghanistan over the next two years, if the Bush tax cuts are finally allowed to expire, then it will cut the deficit in half. Bottom line: I can’t crash the car and then blame the accident on the next guy who owns it.

      • Michael Upper says:

        What about the inefficiencies that exist in all governments because competition is absent? What about welfare waste (not for people that really need it but those that are just milking the system because they do not want to work), all of the useless research that is going on in every university in America, projects like the bridge to nowhere because they help 1-2 Congresswomen/men, New York City transit authority union workers that have been retiring at full pay for decades, useless Congresswomen/men retiring with full pensions after serving just one term, Congresswomen/men voting for their own pay increases, members of Congress enriching themselves on insider trading (a violation of law in which all of the rest of us would be put in jail), AIG bonuses paid by taxpayer money, etc., etc., etc.?

        We all need to focus on what has gone wrong during the past 40-50 years in America not just the narrow idiocy that is going on in this election year between two worthless parties. All of the morons in both parties are responsible for the past 40-50 years for “living beyond our means”, increased Federal expenditures paid for by the Treasury’s issuance of ever more debt that is monetized by a Federal Reserve that is not independent from either political party which then de-values the U.S. dollar to the point where other nations no longer look for us for leadership. George Bush (Junior) and his cronies were the greatest violator of these abuses and we let them live free of prosecution. Why?

        I guess I just need to “vent” after putting up with all this bullshit for 45 years.

  140. Gaylord Focker says:

    Wow…I haven’t heard so much nonsense and bs in an article since I read an article claiming OJ was innocent and I’m a proud fudge packing democrat

  141. Thank you so very much for this. I am an ex-Republican. Guess why. It’s because I think WWE wrestling is fake, I don’t believe what’s written in the tabloids, and I don’t wear a tinfoil hat to block the alien transmissions. Thus, I cannot be a Republican any longer.

  142. Thanks for an excellent piece of writing. So much vitriol out there now does little to advance awareness. This was reassuring and upsetting. Reassuring in it’s focus on facts– upsetting because it is like finding gold. Very rare. And it should not be so rare.

  143. Lou Singhand says:

    Thanks for the dissertation, Mr. Eichenwald. I’ll be digesting for a while!
    Perhaps if you are interested, I wish some one smart would look at the relationship between fanatical news entertainers, the religious right, big-money funders and the Republicans.
    It’s my insistence that there is something of a ideological cabal working to achieve something of a theocratic United States of America.
    I’m sure I’m just reading it that way, but there seems to be a push to instill Christian biblical laws above those created by a more secular legislative model and I wish someone could really invest some research into it.
    Thanks again.

  144. Mammoth Mike says:

    tl;dr. I’m not voting for Romney/Ryan for the simple reason that they think my Vietnam veteran neighbor should be denied his right to marry his male partner. Someone who can deny the humanity of a guy who gave his limbs for our country (and for its gutless pols like Romney) has no moral compass.

    • Mr. Eichenwald, I found this load of crap after googling your name. You are getting a lot of press recently in the media for your book, “500…” From what I’ve seen in the reviews, you haven’t really presented anything fresh that we haven’t seen from, say, Moore or Franken. Whatever might be considered technically fresh, is really more of the same conceptually, isn’t it? A vague warning about a terrorist organization that has already had varying degrees of success attacking this country wants to do it again. I’d say I’d be interested in reading your book to try to find what, if any, relevancy it might have in this regard, but its clear to me from this piece that there’s simply no need.

      Your first mistake? The “I’m open minded because I claim to vote for both parties” trick. Guess what, I also vote for both parties! Hooray for me! Now everything I say henceforth shall not be questioned, for I be open-minded, and of higher intellectual capability than thou! Get over yourself.

      Pretty much the entirety of the remainder of your thesis is based in fallacy, or the same exact brand of dishonesty or ignorance you claim to be so passionately against.

      For example, the “Clinton Surplus Myth”. In every successive year of the Clinton presidency the national debt grew. It is an indisputable fact that you cannot have a surplus in a budget and at the same time increase the associated debt.

      Another example: The Obama “You didn’t build that” comment. You say that no politician would be so stupid to say such a thing. Well no American citizen, let alone a business owner, would be so stupid to think that they could have their business without bridges, or roads, or the postal service, utilities, etc. So Obama was either being absurdly patronizing, or he was hinting at his true feelings about private business.

      Obama and the current deficit: Obama voted for Bush’s 2009 budget as a senator, and then signed it into law as president, and then proceeded to add to it. Sure, its not ALL his fault, if that gets you off. But he sure has a funny way of opposing such spending!

      Obama and the Janesville GM plant: Obama clearly told the people in front of that plant that, with government help, that plant would be open. GM received a ton of government help, with something like $35B still owed to US taxpayers (not including tens of billions in losses they were still permitted to carry forward after bankruptcy), depending on the current value of their stock, and the plant remains closed.

      This is all I have time for, for now.

  145. Brother , you are dead on . the only problem is there are many of the Republican/Conservative /Tea Party that will aquiesce for the sole purpose of fanatical partisanship / the greater good of the country takes a backseat to “the party ” / it’s like ” I know you’re lieing , you know that you’re lieing , and you know that I know you’re lieing , yet you still hold on to the lie ” .
    The Republican Party doesn’t care if the Ship Sinks ….as long as they are at the helm .

    Our enemies can smell this , the European Union which is about to fall off the cliff and looks to the U.S. for some manner of decisiveness , can smell this .If we’re gonna have another 4 year pisssing contest , then we are DOOMED .

  146. Timothy C. Ish says:

    Here are 95 examples of Barack Obama’s lying, lawbreaking, corruption, and cronyism

    In the 2008 United States election, I wrote in Ron Paul for President. In the 2012 election, I will be voting for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Those who are of a more leftist persuasion than myself might want to consider voting for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

    Here are 95 examples of Barack Obama’s lying, lawbreaking, corruption, and cronyism:

    1) Carried out military interventionism in Libya without Congressional approval
    In June 2011, U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said that Obama had violated the Constitution when he launched military operations in Libya without Congressional approval.

    2) Gave a no-bid contract to Halliburton – just like Bush did
    In May 2010, it was reported that the Obama administration had selected KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton, for a no-bid contract worth as much as $568 million through 2011 for military support services in Iraq, just hours after the Justice Department had said it would pursue a lawsuit accusing the Houston-based company of taking kickbacks from two subcontractors on Iraq-related work.
    3) Has an administration full of lobbyists, after promising he wouldn’t have any
    While running for President, Obama had promised that, unlike Bush, he would not have any lobbyists working in his administration. However, by February 2010, he had more than 40 lobbyists working in his administration.
    4) Has close ties to Wall St., but pretends to support Occupy Wall St.
    Although Obama claims to support the Occupy Wall St. movement, the truth is that he has raised more money from Wall St. than any other candidate during the last 20 years. In early 2012, Obama held a fundraiser where Wall St. investment bankers and hedge fund managers each paid $35,800 to attend. In October 2011, Obama hired Broderick Johnson, a longtime Wall Street lobbyist, to be his new senior campaign adviser. Johnson had worked as a lobbyist for JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Fannie Mae, Comcast, Microsoft, and the oil industry.
    5) Allowed abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to become even worse than it was under Bush
    Under President Obama, abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay became even worse than it had been under President Bush.
    6) Supported the $700 billion TARP corporate-welfare bailout just like Bush
    While Senator, Obama voted for the $700 billion TARP bank bailout bill. The bailout rewarded irresponsible and illegal behavior. It redirected resources from more productive uses to less productive uses. It punished the hard working taxpayers who had played by the rules and obeyed the law. It created horrible incentives, and sent the wrong message. The bailout was evil because it rewarded the bad people and punished the good people. No society that does this can expect to remain free or prosperous. Instead of bailing out these corrupt corporations, we should have let them cease to exist, like we did with Enron.
    7) Waged the biggest war against medical marijuana of any president, which was the opposite of what he had promised
    In May 2008, Obama campaign spokesperson Ben LaBolt said that Obama would end DEA raids on medical marijuana in states where it’s legal. Also in 2008, Obama said that he supported the “basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs” and that he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws.”
    However, in February 2010, DEA agents raided a medical marijuana grower in Highlands Ranch in Colorado, a state where medical marijuana is legal. Also in February 2010, DEA agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in Culver City in California, a state where medical marijuana is legal. In July 2010, the DEA raided at least four medical marijuana growers in San Diego, California. Also in July 2010, the DEA raided a medical marijuana facility in Covelo, California. Then in September 2010, the DEA conducted raids on at least five medical marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas, Nevada, where medical marijuana is legal. In 2011, the DEA conducted raids on medical marijuana in Seattle, Washington, West Hollywood, California, and Helena, Montana, all places where it is legal. In April 2012, the DEA carried out several raids on medical marijuana in Oakland, California.
    In February 2012, Rolling Stone magazine wrote that Obama’s war against medical marijuana went “far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush.” In April 2012, Mother Jones magazine wrote: “The president campaigned on the promise that he’d stop federal raids on medical marijuana operations that were in compliance with state laws, a vow that Attorney General Eric Holder repeated after the election. But then the Obama administration raided more than 100 dispensaries in its first three years and is now poised to outpace the Bush administration’s crackdown record.” In May 2012, the Washington Post wrote: “Obama has become more hostile to medical marijuana patients than any president in U.S. history.” In May 2012, U.S. Congressperson Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said she had “strong concerns” about Obama’s forced closure of five medical marijuana facilities in Pelosi’s congressional district. In April 2012, commenting on Obama’s crackdown on medical marijuana, U.S. Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) said, “I’m very disappointed… They look more like the Bush administration than the Clinton administration.”
    In July 2012, federal prosecutors filed civil forfeiture actions against Harborside Health Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, CA, which claims to be the world’s largest, and which claims to serve more than 100,000 medical marijuana patients. In April 2012, federal agents raided Oaksterdam University, an educational institution in Oakland, CA, which teaches people about medical marijuana. In April 2012, federal agents raided a medical marijuana facility which had been serving 1,500 patients near Lake Elsinore, CA. In June 2012, the Obama administration filed asset-forfeiture lawsuits against two landlords who rented their buildings to medical marijuana stores in Santa Fe Springs, CA. The Obama administration also sent warning letters which threatened similar legal action to dozens of other, nearby landlords. During the first seven months of 2012, the DEA shut down 40 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, all of which had been operating in compliance with state and local law.
    In May 2012, ABC News reported that during Obama’s youth, he often smoked large quantities of recreational marijuana. Obama’s marijuana smoking wasn’t even medical – it was recreational. And yet now, he is taking large scale, widespread action to prevent people with AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and other illnesses, who have prescriptions from their doctors, from using their prescription medicine – how cold hearted can a person be?
    8) Nominated a tax cheater to enforce the tax laws
    Obama nominated Timothy Geithner, a repeat tax cheater, to head the government agency that enforces the tax laws.
    9) Gave tax dollars to AIG executives, then pretended to be outraged
    Obama signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives. Prior to signing this bill, Obama had said, “when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.” However, after reading “line by line” and signing the stimulus bill that protected the AIG bonuses, Obama pretended to be shocked and outraged at the bonuses, and said, “Under these circumstances, it’s hard to understand how derivative traders at A.I.G. warranted any bonuses at all, much less $165 million in extra pay… How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?” and also said that he would “pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses.”
    10) Expanded Bush’s unconstitutional government faith based programs
    Obama expanded the federal government’s faith based programs which had been started by President George W. Bush.
    11) Supported Bush’s unconstitutional Patriot Act
    In May 2011, Obama signed a renewal of the Patriot Act.
    12) Increased the national debt more in one term than Bush did in two
    The national debt increased more during Obama’s first three years and two months than it did during all eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency.
    13) Agrees with Bush’s support of unconstitutional, indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without filing any charges
    In December 2011, ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero criticized Obama for signing a bill that gave the U.S. government the power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without any charges being filed or any trial taking place.
    14) Agrees with Bush’s support of unconstitutional, warrantless wiretapping
    President Obama has defended warrantless wiretapping.
    15) Avoided prosecution of Wall. St criminals
    Although Obama had promised to prosecute Wall St. criminals, as of May 2012, the Obama administration had not filed any criminal charges against any of the top financial executives.
    16) Had U.S. citizen killed without judicial process
    The ACLU accused Obama of violating the U.S. Constitution by having a U.S. citizen killed without judicial process. U.S. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) said that Obama’s actions might be an impeachable offense.
    17) Ordered private company to fire 1,000 employees
    In 2011, after Boeing had hired 1,000 new employees to work at its new factory in South Carolina, the Obama administration ordered Boeing to shut down the factory, because the factory was non-union.
    18) Stole money from retired teachers and police officers
    During the Chrysler bankruptcy, Obama violated the Fifth Amendment and more than 150 years of bankruptcy law by illegally treating secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors. Some of these secured creditors were retired teachers and police officers from Indiana. Richard A. Epstein, a law professor at New York University School of Law, wrote, “Upsetting this fixed hierarchy among creditors is just an illegal taking of property from one group of creditors for the benefit of another, which should be struck down on both statutory and constitutional grounds.” Todd Zywicki, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, wrote that Obama’s treatment of secured creditors was “dangerous to the rule of law.” The Economist wrote that Obama’s actions could “establish a terrible precedent. Bankruptcy exists to sort legal claims on assets. If it becomes a tool of social policy, who will then lend to struggling firms in which the government has a political interest?” Francis Cianfrocca, the CEO of Bayshore Networks, wrote that Obama’s actions were “an astonishingly reckless abrogation of contract law that will introduce a new level of uncertainty into business transactions at all levels, and make wealth generation more difficult going forward… An extraordinary uncertainty has been created when the most powerful man in the world can rewrite contracts and choose winners and losers in private negotiations as he sees fit. Since this is an unquantifiable uncertainty, and not a quantifiable risk, its effect on business and investor confidence will be large and unpredictable. As in the 1930s, a time when government also cavalierly rewrote private contracts, the prudent approach for business will be to invest minimally and wait for another administration.”
    19) Supported release of convicted mass murderer
    In 2010, Obama supported releasing Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi (who had been convicted of murdering 270 people) from prison.
    20) Illegally put thousands of guns into hands of criminals
    In Operation Fast and Furious, the Obama administration ordered gun storeowners to illegally sell thousands of guns to criminals.
    21) Fired Inspector General for discovering that Obama’s friend had embezzled government funds
    In June 2009, Obama fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin, after Walpin accused Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, an Obama supporter, of misuse of AmeriCorps funding to pay for school-board political activities. In a letter to Congress, the White House said that Walpin was fired because he was “confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the Board to question his capacity to serve.” A bipartisan group of 145 current and former public officials, attorneys, and legal scholars signed a letter that was sent to the White House, which defended Walpin, said the criticisms of him were not true, and said that his firing was politically motivated. The letter can be read here.
    22) Lied about putting health care negotiations on C-SPAN
    Although Obama had made a campaign promise to have all of the health care reform negotiations broadcast on C-SPAN, he broke that promise after he was elected. The secrecy of these negotiations was so strong that U.S. Congresswoman and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
    23) Lied about letting people keep their health insurance
    Before Obama’s health care reform was passed, he promised “If you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.” However, after the law was passed, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East announced that it would drop health insurance for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants. Mitra Behroozi, executive director of benefit and pension funds for 1199SEIU stated, “… new federal health-care reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26… meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.” Also, after the law was passed, the Franciscan University of Steubenville dropped its coverage in response to the law. In addition, after the law was passed, Forbes reported “The House Ways and Means Committee has released a new report that sheds light onto how Obamacare incentivizes companies to dump their workers onto the new law’s subsidized exchanges.”
    24) Lied about the cost of health care reform
    Before health care reform was passed, Obama promised “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period. And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize.” However, after Obama signed it, the Washington Post reported that it would add more than $340 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade. In March 2012, the Congressional Budget Office said that over the next decade, Obama’s health care reform would cost twice as much as what Obama had promised.
    25) Gave tax dollars to campaign contributors and lobbyists, and falsely claimed the money was for “green energy”
    In 2009 the Obama administration gave $535 million to Solyndra, claiming that it would create 4,000 new jobs. However, instead of creating those 4,000 new jobs, the company went bankrupt. It was later revealed that the company’s shareholders and executives had made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign, that the company had spent a large sum of money on lobbying, and that Solyndra executives had had many meetings with White House officials.
    It was also revealed that the Obama administration had already been aware of Solyndra’s financial troubles. For example, according to the company’s security filings in 2009, the company had been selling its product for less than the cost of production. Solyndra was a private company, but had been planning to use its government loans as a means of going public – so when Obama knowingly overstated the company’s condition in order to help his friends at Solyndra, he broke the same law that Martha Stewart had been sent to prison for breaking.
    In September 2011, federal agents visited the homes of Brian Harrison, the company’s CEO, and Chris Gronet, the company’s founder, to examine computer files and documents. Also in September 2011, the U.S. Treasury Department launched an investigation.
    On September 13, 2011, the Washington Post reported on emails which showed that the Obama administration had tried to rush federal reviewers to approve the loan so Vice President Joe Biden could announce it at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory. The company was a hallmark of President Obama’s plan to support clean energy technologies.
    The New York Times reported that government auditors and industry analysts had faulted the Obama administration for failing to properly evaluate the company’s business proposals, as well as for failing to take note of troubling signs which were already evident. In addition, Frank Rusco, a program director at the Government Accountability Office, had found that the preliminary loan approval had been granted before officials had completed the legally mandated evaluations of the company.
    The New York Times quoted Shyam Mehta, a senior analyst at GTM Research, as saying “There was just too much misplaced zeal at the Department of Energy for this company.” Among 143 companies that had expressed an interest in getting a loan guarantee, Solyndra was the first one to get approval. During the period when Solyndra’s loan guarantee was under review, the company had spent nearly $1.8 million on lobbying. Tim Harris, the CEO of Solopower, a different solar panel company which had obtained a $197 million loan guarantee, told the New York Times that his company had never considered spending any money on lobbying, and that “It was made clear to us early in the process that that was clearly verboten… We were told that it was not only not helpful but it was not acceptable.”
    The Washington Post reported that Solyndra had used some of the loan money to purchase new equipment which it never used, and then sold that new equipment, still in its plastic wrap, for pennies on the dollar. Former Solyndra engineer Lindsey Eastburn told the Washington Post, “After we got the loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right… Because we were doing well, nobody cared. Because of that infusion of money, it made people sloppy.”
    On September 29, 2011, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration had continued to allow Solyndra to receive taxpayer money even after it had defaulted on its $535 million loan.
    On October 7, 2011, The Washington Post reported that newly revealed emails showed that Energy Department officials had been warned that their plan to help Solyndra by restructuring the loan might be illegal, and should be cleared with the Justice Department first. However, Energy Department officials moved ahead with the restructuring anyway, with a new deal that would repay company investors before taxpayers if the company were to default. The emails showed concerns within the Obama administration about the legality of the Energy Department’s actions. In addition, an Energy Department stimulus adviser, Steve Spinner, had pushed for the loan, despite having recused himself because his wife’s law firm had done work for the company.
    In January 2012, CBS News reported that Solyndra had thrown millions of dollars worth of brand new glass tubes into garbage dumpsters, where they ended up being shattered. Solyndra told CBS that it had conducted an exhaustive search for buyers of the glass tubes, and that no one had wanted them. However, CBS discovered that Solyndra had not offered the glass tubes for sale at either one of its two asset auctions that took place in 2011. In addition, David Lucky, a buyer and seller of such equipment, told CBS that he would have bought the tubes if he had had a chance to do so. Greg Smestad, a solar scientist who had consulted for the Department of Energy, also agreed that the tubes had value, and had asked Solyndra to donate any unwanted tubes to Santa Clara University. Smestad stated, “That really makes me sad… Those tubes represent intellectual investment. These could have had a better value to do public good. I think they owed the U.S. taxpayer that.”
    In April 2012, CBS News reported that Solyndra had left a substantial amount of toxic waste at its abandoned facility in Milpitas, California.
    Solyndra was not the only “green energy” company involved in this type of fraud. After Obama gave Raser Technologies $33 million to build a power plant, the company declared bankruptcy, and owed $1.5 million in back taxes. After Obama gave Abound Solar, Inc. a $400 million loan guarantee to build photovoltaic panel factories, the company halted production and laid off 180 employees. After Obama gave Beacon Power a $43 million loan guarantee to build green energy storage, the company filed for bankruptcy. After Obama approved $2.1 billion in loan guarantees for Solar Trust of America so it could build solar power plants, the company filed for bankruptcy.
    Although Obama stated that all of the “green energy” companies that received taxpayer money were chosen “based solely on their merits,” the truth is that 71% of these grants and loans went to Obama donors and fundraisers, who raised $457,834 for his campaign, and were later approved for grants and loans totaling more than $11 billion. By November 2011, the Energy Department’s inspector general had begun more than 100 criminal investigations related to Obama’s stimulus. Although an “independent” review said that Obama had not done anything wrong, it was later reported that Herbert M. Allison Jr., the person who had conducted this “independent” review, donated $52,500 to Obama’s campaign.
    26) Had “off the record” meetings with lobbyists
    In June 2010, the New York Times reported that Obama administration officials had held hundreds of meetings with lobbyists at coffee houses near the White House, in order to avoid the disclosure requirements for White House visitors, and that these meetings “reveal a disconnect between the Obama administration’s public rhetoric — with Mr. Obama himself frequently thrashing big industries’ ‘battalions’ of lobbyists as enemies of reform — and the administration’s continuing, private dealings with them.”
    27) Falsely claimed to believe in public education
    Although Obama said, “We need to uphold the ideal of public education,” he expressed his true opinion of America’s public education system by sending his own children to private schools while living in Chicago and Washington D.C.
    28) Had armed agents raid guitar factory and seize guitars without charges being filed
    Obama had armed federal agents raid the Gibson guitar factory, order the employees to leave, and seize guitars and other property from the factory – and all of this happened without any charges being filed. It was later reported that Gibson had not broken any U.S. laws, and that the Obama administration’s so-called justification for the raid was that Gibson had broken laws from India. In addition, it was also reported that Henry E. Juszkiewicz, the CEO of Gibson, was a Republican donor, and that Chris Martin IV (the CEO of C.F. Martin & Company, Gibsons’s competitor, which had used the exact same wood but not gotten raided) was a Democratic donor.
    29) Shut down Amish farm
    In February 2012, Obama shut down an Amish farm for selling unpasteurized milk across state lines, even though the customers were happy with what they were buying.
    30) Rewarded his fundraisers by giving them federal jobs
    Although Obama had promised to have “the most sweeping ethics reform in history,” and had often criticized the role of money in politics, the truth is that after he was elected, he gave administration jobs to more than half of his 47 biggest fundraisers.
    31) Ignored constitutional requirements for appointees
    In February 2009, U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) expressed concern that Obama’s dozens of czars might violate the U.S. Constitution, because they were not approved by the U.S. Senate. U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) expressed a similar concern in September 2009.
    32) Gave tax dollars to corrupt private contractors
    While Obama was a state Senator in Illinois, he used tax dollars to build 504 units of slum housing, which had mice and backed up sewage. Federal inspectors graded the condition of the housing so bad that the buildings faced demolition.
    33) Used tax dollars to glorify murderers
    The Obama administration spent $1.6 million to restore graffiti that glorified communist murderers Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.
    34) Proved that he’s the least intelligent President in history
    Despite having taught constitutional law at one of the most prestigious law schools in the country, in April 2012 Obama falsely claimed that the U.S. Supreme Court had never overturned any laws that had been passed by Congress.
    35) Supported new bailouts for speculators who caused housing bubble
    In March 2012, Obama announced a new set of bailouts for speculators who had caused the housing bubble.
    36) Doesn’t care about taxpayers’ money
    As part of his economic stimulus, Obama spent $205,075 of taxpayer money to relocate and care for a single specimen of Arctostaphylos franciscana, a shrubbery which nurseries sell for $16.
    37) Supported ludicrous “scientific study”
    Obama’s administration funded a study to see whether or not rats’ enjoyment of the music of Miles Davis was increased when the rats were high on cocaine.
    38) Tried to outlaw family farms
    In April 2012, the Obama administration proposed new regulations which would prohibit farm children under 18 from working at grain elevators, silos, feed lots, stockyards, and livestock auctions, as well as from storing, marketing and transporting farm product raw materials. Critics claimed that this would prevent children from the common practice of working on their friends’ and relatives’ farms, and that farm children did not need “help” from a community organizer in Washington.
    39) Auctioned off ambassadorship to the Netherlands
    In April 2012, Obama nominated Timothy Broas, who had “bundled” more than $500,000 for Obama’s 2012 campaign, to be U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands.
    40) Claimed that written tests are a form of “racial discrimination”
    The Obama administration accused fire and police departments in Jacksonville, Florida, New York City, and Dayton, Ohio of “racial discrimination” because they required potential firefighters and police officers to take a written test. Ten real examples of these “racist” questions from the New York test can be read here.
    41) Made the TSA even more abusive and ridiculous than it had been under Bush
    The Obama administration gave a very invasive patdown to a three-year-old boy in a wheelchair, which caused the boy to tremble in fear. The Obama administration gave an aggressive patdown to a seven-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. The Obama administration said that a four-year-old girl was a “high security threat.” The Obama administration placed an 18-month-old girl on its no fly list. The Obama administration gave a patdown to Henry Kissinger.
    42) Violated Freedom of Information Act
    The Obama administration demanded that the Goldwater Institute pay $78,935.80 before it would share public records which it had requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
    43) Fined public school $15,000 for selling soda
    The Obama administration fined a high school $15,000 for selling soda to students during lunch.
    44) Conducted dangerous and illegal scientific experiments on people
    From January 2010 through June 2011, the Obama administration conducted illegal scientific experiments which exposed 42 people to dangerous levels of toxins.
    45) Gave middle finger to Vietnam veterans, their families, and their friends
    On Memorial Day 2012, Obama prevented Vietnam veterans and their friends and families from visiting the Vietnam memorial for seven hours, so Obama could have his picture taken.
    46) Took ownership and control of General Motors
    Obama fired the CEO of General Motors, had the government take 60.8% ownership of the company, and ordered the company to close some of its dealerships.
    47) Forced banks to give mortgages to people who could not afford to pay them back
    While working as a “community organizer,” Obama filed lawsuits which forced banks to give mortgages to people with bad credit and low incomes. As a result, many of these people ended up defaulting on their mortgages. As their attorney, Obama collected $23,000 in legal fees for himself.
    48) Stole money from retired Delphi employees
    In 2009, Obama eliminated the pensions of 20,000 retired Delphi employees.
    49) Used taxpayer money to buy soda for $3.40 per can
    During Obama’s presidency, the federal government repeatedly purchased soda for a cost of $3.40 per can. Obama did not express any desire to switch to a cheaper seller, such as Costco,, or Wal-Mart – or to an even still cheaper seller such as a wholesaler. Instead, Obama repeatedly forced taxpayers to pay these outrageous prices for soda.
    50) Paid way, way, way too much for internet access
    Obama’s stimulus paid to connect some households in Montana to the internet, at a cost of $7 million per household.
    51) Had a double standard for Bain Capital
    Although Obama criticized Mitt Romney for his involvement with Bain Capital, Obama hired Jeff Zients, a former consultant at Bain (and who had an estimated personal wealth of $200 million) to be his budget director.
    52) Broke promise to teen campaign volunteers
    Obama had promised to his teen campaign volunteers that if they each spent nine hours going door to door on Obama’s behalf, he would invite them to attend his speech of September 6, 2012. However, after the teens did the volunteer work, Obama broke his promise. One of these volunteers, Madeline Frank, age 16, of Charlotte, North Carolina, said of this “I’ve been looking forward to this for a really long time. I am just feeling really let down and like bummed. It was kind of my dream to see him speak, so definitely really sad.”
    53) Acted condescendingly toward Jewish voters
    Obama falsely claimed to know more about Judaism than any other President.
    54) Cheated on his own taxes
    According to public records, Obama’s 2004 salary for being a member of the Illinois State Senate was $60,857. However, on his 2004 income tax form, he claimed that his income was only $53,288.
    55) Lied about his membership in a third party
    Obama falsely claimed that he had never belonged to the New Party, which is a third political party.
    56) Supported punishing students based on their race instead of on their behavior
    Obama expressed support for a proposal which would punish students based on their race instead of on their behavior.
    57) Used “off the books” funding for military interventionism
    In April 2009, antiwar activists who helped elect Obama accused him of using the same “off the books” funding as his predecessor George W. Bush when Obama requested an additional $83.4 billion from Congress for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – a provision which Obama had voted against when he was a Senator.
    58) Tried to silence criticism of auto-bailouts
    The Obama administration pressured Ford Motor Company to stop airing a TV ad that criticized Obama’s bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler.
    59) Dismissed charges of voter intimidation, despite video evidence
    In May 2009, the Obama administration dismissed charges that had been filed by the Bush administration against members of the New Black Panther Party who had been videotaped intimidating voters and brandishing a police-style baton at a Philadelphia polling station during the November 2008 election. In August 2009, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights demanded that the Justice Department explain why it dismissed the charges. In July 2010, J. Christian Adams, a former lawyer for the Justice Department, testified before the Commission on Civil Rights that the case was dropped because the Justice Department did not want to protect the civil rights of white people.
    60) Falsely claimed to support the second amendment
    Although Obama stated, “I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms,” the National Rifle Association gave Obama a rating of ‘F’ based on his voting record.
    61) Nominated a communist who said 9-11 was an inside job
    In September 2009, Obama’s green czar Van Jones resigned after it was reported that he was a self described “communist” and had blamed George W. Bush for the September 11 attacks.
    62) Falsely said he would not raise taxes on the poor and middle class
    On September 12, 2008, Obama promised, “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” However, less than three months into his Presidency, he broke that promise when he raised the cigarette tax. Studies show that poor people are more likely to smoke than rich people.
    63) Falsely said he wanted to simplify the tax code, when he actually wanted to make it more complex
    Although Obama said that he wanted to simplify the tax code, his proposals would actually add thousands of pages to the tax code.
    64) Oversaw some of the world’s worst increases in corruption
    In December 2010, Transparency International reported that corruption was increasing faster in the U.S. than anywhere else except Cuba, Dominica, and Burkina Faso.
    65) Has lack of transparency
    In July 2009, White House reporter Helen Thomas criticized the Obama administration for its lack of transparency.
    66) Falsely claimed he would wait five days before signing bills
    Although Obama had promised to wait five days before signing all non-emergency bills, he broke that promise at least 10 times during his first three months in office.
    67) Falsely claimed stimulus spending would be transparent
    Although Obama had promised that the website would list all stimulus spending in detail, a 400 page report issued by the Government Accountability Office stated that only 25% of the projects listed on the website provided clear and complete information regarding their cost, schedule, purpose, location and status.
    68) Announced plans to send military to Australia
    In November 2011, Obama announced that he would send 2,500 Marines to Australia.
    69) Falsely promised to accept public campaign financing and spending limits
    During the 2008 campaign, Obama broke his promise to accept public campaign financing and the spending limits that came with it.
    70) Tried to silence video on YouTube
    In June 2011, Obama asked a Jewish singing group to remove its video from the internet.
    71) Rejected international help to clean up BP oil spill
    After the BP oil spill, Obama rejected offers of cleanup help from Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations.
    72) Falsely said he opposed government waste, when he actually loves it
    On September 22, 2008, Obama said, “I am not a Democrat who believes that we can or should defend every government program just because it’s there… We will fire government managers who aren’t getting results, we will cut funding for programs that are wasting your money and we will use technology and lessons from the private sector to improve efficiency across every level of government… The only way we can do all this without leaving our children with an even larger debt is if Washington starts taking responsibility for every dime that it spends.” However, Citizens Against Government Waste gave Obama a 2007 rating of only 10%, and a lifetime rating of only 18%.
    73) Nominated past frequent user of illegal drugs to keep illegal drugs out of schools
    In September 2009, it was reported that Kevin Jennings, Obama’s Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, had written about Jenning’s own past frequent illegal drug use in his 2007 autobiography.
    74) Avoids firing aides who owe back taxes
    In January 2012, it was reported that 36 Obama aides owed a combined total of $833,000 in back taxes.
    75) Used Abbott and Costello style economics as a basis for national policy
    In 2010, Obama gave $16.3 million to First Solar, a company that manufactures solar panels, so the company could sell solar panels to itself.
    76) Sent U.S. troops to Africa
    Obama sent U.S. troops to Uganda, Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
    77) Made secret plans for his second term
    In March 2012, when Obama was talking to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and did not know that the microphone was turned on, Obama stated, “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space… This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
    78) Holds double standard for people who use crude and vulgar language toward women
    Concerned Women for America accused Obama of hypocrisy after Obama criticized Rush Limbaugh for using crude and vulgar language to describe Sandra Fluke, but Obama did not criticize Bill Maher (who had donated one million dollars to an Obama PAC) for using the same kind of crude and vulgar language to describe Sarah Palin.
    79) Gave some employers special exemptions from health care reform
    Although the Constitution requires the law to treat all citizens the same way, in October 2010, Obama gave McDonald’s and 29 other organizations an exemption from some of the requirements of his health care plan. Over time, more than 1,300 organizations were granted waivers. Many of these recipients were unions that had supported passage of the health care reform, but now wanted exemptions from the very same law that they want everyone else to follow.
    80) Defended Bush administration’s unconstitutional, unwarranted use of GPS device
    In January 2012, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Bush administration for having put a GPS tracking device on someone’s car without having a warrant, the Obama administration opposed the court ruling
    81) Opposes newspapers reporting the news
    Obama spokesman Jay Carney criticized the Los Angeles Times for publishing photographs of U.S. soldiers posing with corpses in Afghanistan.
    82) Supported Bush administration for fining CBS for showing Janet Jackson’s breast
    Obama came out in favor of the FCC’s fining of the CBS TV network $550,000 for showing Janet Jackson’s breast during the 2004 Super Bowl.
    83) Allowed campaign contributors to bring lobbyists into White House
    In April 2012, the New York Times reported, “Although Mr. Obama has made a point of not accepting contributions from registered lobbyists, a review of campaign donations and White House visitor logs shows that special interests have had little trouble making themselves heard. Many of the president’s biggest donors, while not lobbyists, took lobbyists with them to the White House…”
    84) Falsely said that criminal background checks constituted “racial discrimination”
    In 2012, the Obama administration accused Pepsico of “race discrimination” because it used criminal background checks to screen out job applicants.
    85) Was cited by nine states for committing 21 illegal acts
    Attorneys General from nine states issued a report, titled “A Report on Obama Administration Violations of Law,” which cited 21 illegal acts which had been committed by the Obama administration.
    86) Tried to seize hotel because some of its customers had used illegal drugs
    The Obama administration tried to seize a mom-and-pop bed-and-breakfast because some if its guests had used illegal drugs.
    87) Falsely said his campaign was not funded by large donors
    Although Obama has received many large campaign donations from corporate executives and Hollywood celebrities, his spokesperson said that his campaign was funded “not from huge donors at all.”
    88) Holds double standard for subsidizing solar power companies
    Although Obama gave taxpayer money to numerous American solar power companies, he placed a 30% tariff on solar panels imported from China, because he was against the Chinese government giving subsidies to its own companies.
    89) Tried to create an administration full of tax cheaters
    Obama nominated tax cheater Tom Daschle to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. After Daschle said he didn’t want the job, Obama then nominated tax cheater Kathleen Sebelius for the same position. Obama nominated tax cheater Nancy Killefer to be his administration’s Chief Performance Officer. Obama nominated tax cheater Hilda Solis to be the Secretary of Labor. Obama nominated tax cheater Ron Kirk be the White House Chief Trade Representative.
    90) Hired a Communications Director who admires a mass murderer
    Anita Dunn, Obama’s White House Communications Director, said that one of her favorite political philosophers was Mao Tse-tung, the Chinese dictator who murdered tens of millions of innocent civilians.
    91) Tried to replace science with political correctness
    In July 2010, Charles Bolden, the administrator of NASA, said that Obama had told him that the primary purpose of NASA was “to reach out to the Muslim world.”
    92) Made recess appointments when Congress was not in recess
    In January 2012, Obama violated the Constitution by making four recess appointments when Congress was not in recess. Recess appointments themselves are constitutional, but only if they are made when Congress is actually in recess.
    93) Said the health insurance mandate was not a tax, but later told the Supreme Court that it was
    Before Obama’s health care reform was passed, he said that the mandate was not a tax. However, after it was passed, the Obama administration argued in front of the Supreme Court that the mandate really was a tax.
    94 ) Lied about being his “brother’s keeper”
    Although Barack Obama likes to cite the Bible phrase “We are our brother’s keeper,” when his real life poverty stricken brother George Obama needed $1,000 for health care bills, Barack Obama refused to pay it, so conservative author Dinesh D’Souza paid it.
    95) Punishes hospitals for saving the lives of patients with heart disease
    Obama’s health care reform contains a provision that reduces Medicare payments to hospitals with high 30-day readmission rates. Sunil Kripalani, MD, a professor with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said of this, “Among patients with heart failure, hospitals that have higher readmission rates actually have lower mortality rates. So, which would we rather have — a hospital readmission or a death?”

    • Thanks for the list Tim. To be frank, a number of the items didn’t bother me that much….two you omitted are important however: He made recess appointments when Congress was technically not in recess…and he has a tendency to enforce parts of laws he agrees with and overturn parts he disagrees with. That’s completely outside of his purview and in complete violation of the Constitution. Perhaps he never learned about Separation of powers when he became a Constitutional scholar. Or perhaps he just has complete disdain for that document. It really does not matter that I agree 100% with the concept of offering visas to those brought here before they were 16 years old….that must be handled by the legislative branch. Anyone/everyone who disagrees with the Administration is automatically labeled a racist….it’s a very convenient way to steamroll the opposition and fire up your proponents. He’s basically un-impeachable. We live in scary times, but for the reasons cited by the very confused author of the article.

  147. Timothy C. Ish says:

    Full disclosure: I am not the author of the above article, it was forwarded to me by a friend without attribution. I would be happy to acknowledge the author if he/she is revealed to me. Some of the 95 items are nitpicking, however other items (such as his extensive appointment of lobbyists) are major failures. So, will you be having humble pie or Kool-aid?

    • Elizabeth Frazier says:

      So, basically, you posted just another highly edited and added-to chain of e-mail claims, correct? Did you check all the facts in the article before you reposted it? I guarantee you did not, because I’ve spotted no less than four factual errors, and that’s without even trying to dig into the matter. Moreover, you don’t know the author, yet you challenge Eichenwald’s credibility. How can you do that when you, yourself, cannot attribute YOUR article to anyone? Why should we, by your logic, accept YOUR author as being credible when we’ve no clue who this person is?

      Word to the wise: Don’t just pass on whatever comes to you in e-mail, no matter who sent it to you. You’d be surprised how often people add in their own edits to make it look and sound better.

    • I wrote a rebuttal to Eichenwald (, but your text was much much better. If you ever discover the author, please forward to me. [email protected]

      Thank you.

  148. You accuse Romney and Ryan of being dishonest?!? I read the NYT and WSJ daily cover-to-cover, as well as about 2 dozen other papers and news sources from all sides of the political spectrum multiple times a week (from NPR to Breitbart, from the Huffington Post to the Drudge Report, from CNN to Fox News). Your article is full of inaccuracies, distortions, errors, omissions, half-truths, and hate. Shame on you. You have a large following of biased sheep who obviously don’t care about facts. At least Bill Ayers and Joseph Goebbels would be proud of you.

  149. Brian Wilson says:

    More liberal bullshit. There are far more lies in this than he blames on ryan/romney.

    • Elizabeth Frazier says:

      Brian, prove the lies and I’ll listen to you.

      FYI, calling something ‘liberal bullshit’ does not constitute a factual, logical argument. Try — except you’ll claim that’s liberal bullshit’ too, I’m sure, since it doesn’t provide puffy little lielets which allow you to avoid uncomfortable truths.

  150. Doyle Stafford says:

    And you can’t figure out why THE NEW YORK TIMES is itself headed for the ash heap of history. From here, I would say its got five years left – tops – without ever expanding infusions of foreign capital. With dishonest spin mongering such as the drivel in this article – proclaiming, in virtually every case, the exact opposite of the real facts, you simply add to the ever growing dishonest journailistic pile of refuse put forth by LIBERAL writers who hate any institution or anyone who dares to question the policies and motives of what history will show to be the most dangerous and incompetent president in history – Yes, even worse than Carter. Numbers do not lie. And the numbers – debt, unemployment, welfare, food stamps, etc. etc. etc.- under this president show that, if we do not make a change to a party, imperfect though it may be, that can stop the insanity of fiscal Armageddon perpetrated by this president, we will all be residents of the New World Ash Heap . In addition, the democrat party has become the anti-GOD, anti-family, anti-military, anti-exceptionalism, America hating party and must be stopped before the Founding Fathers completely spin out of their graves in response to the damage done to the greatest country ever envisioned by man. Only in that still great country can a pompous, over educated, quasi-journalistic jester like yourself be allowed to spew the inanity proclaimed on these pages without being drawn and quartered.

    To paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke (an actual, real, honest to goodness writer) – It takes years of therapy to become a liberal. Eichenwald – get off that couch and man up!!!!

    • Rather than spending so much time attacking me, while tossing out that the facts I recit are wrong, spend a little time dealing with the substance. Write — citing sources and facts, as I did — about what you think is wrong. Otherwise, go spew your opinion someplace where no one cares about substance.

      • Wes Carroll says:

        These ad hominem attacks are so disappointing.

        I salute you as always, Kurt.

      • Thanks for the opportunity to chime in Kurt. Perhaps I can add to that thread since you invited a response. Absolutely amazing how civil you can be (and demand it of others) after tossing out such inflammatory garbage. But since you asked…and I already ripped the vast majority of your diatribe when a friend forwarded it to me, I’ll just copy/paste some of the major points (where it says “the author” or “he”, just substitute “you” so you get the personal touch):

        In a speech in Wisconsin during the campaign, Obama said (and yes, I am truncating for convenience, not intentional editing):

        “….. I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years. The question is not whether a clean energy economy is in our future, it’s where it will thrive. I want it to thrive right here in the United States of America; right here in Wisconsin; and that’s the future I’ll fight for as your President.”

        The implication was rather clear…he would SAVE them if they elected him. What happened was that major production ended prior to inauguration, however….”57 production employees continued assembly work at the Janesville Assembly until April 2009, completing the GM/Isuzu light truck partnership.” Ryan said what the president said…and then said the plant closed, which is valid. Exactly where did he lie?

        In Obama’s defense, I would have been all over him like flies on manure if he had poured untold billions into a losing business (and I suspect Ryan as well)…just as I have been, consistently, with all of the bail outs.

        As for the “you didn’t build that line”, we can go round and round on that one for months and never get anywhere. When I assemble his quotes together, I find the most egregious, radical and “traditionally un-American” comments ever uttered by a sitting U.S. president. But again, I go back to the media. They either ignore the remarks or try to spin them. I’ve heard the phrase “what he meant was…” uttered more in the past 3 1/2 years than my entire lifetime.

        The author claims Obama didn’t raise taxes, which is the dumbest thing in this article. Of course he did. Perhaps the author fell asleep during the entire Obamacare episode and the individual mandate. Or is that not one of the single biggest taxes ever? So Eichenburg was against the Supreme Court when he thought they’d rule against the mandate, but then applauded them when they went with the mandate, but they called it a tax (which everyone knew it was)….so now is he for or against the Supreme Court since it blows his very insipid argument out of the water?

        Eichenboring rails against voter fraud paranoia….”The crusade against “voting fraud” has its base in the utter disbelief on the part of the Republicans that they can lose any elections. Never mind that there is no evidence that any fraud of any importance takes place in elections.” I guess other than Cooke County, Illinois and countless other cases, yeah, I suppose he’s right. Exactly how does one unearth fraud? My late Step Father bragged about fixing every election in Northern Jersey in the 1960s…yeah, a high level union negotiator. Go figure. The practices they employed were sickening. His rationale was “both sides did it, we were just better at it.” Wow. To Eichenheimer’s credit, he’s not exactly against voter ID, just against Texas’ approach to it (I was too, so we agree on one thing).

        Perhaps my favorite was “They are threatening America.” Wow. Romney and Ryan are threatening America? This one hit home. Didn’t he mean Obama? Ryan and Romney want limited government (which means more vibrant private sector) and fiscal responsibility. Yeah, that’s quite a threat. I listen to what our President says and does and it could not be more clear: “I’m for redistribution of wealth”…”Spread the wealth around”…fundamentally transforming the United States of America”…and of course, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” His quotes certainly resemble Marx (Karl, not Groucho) and Lenin far more than Jefferson and Madison.

        Fairly certain by the tenor of the article that the last time you voted Republican was probably the same time Ed Shultz and Rachel Maddow voted Repub as well.

        My email went on and on….bottom line is that you should write fiction….because you clearly don’t grasp facts.

        Thanks again….Steve

  151. Not a cool-ade drinker says:

    This peice is complete and utter garbage. Biased much? you use soo many inflammatory and absurd statements it would be funny If it didn’t mean your helping ruin our country.

  152. One thing that is disturbing about this article – no citations. This is an example if people are believing the word of this individual who claims he has done is homework and presented the facts. A case of the blind leading the blind.

    With that said, it is informative and highlights one of American’s greatest issues in politics – no one does their own independent research to confirm. Relying on someone else to do the homework for them is cheating. Stop cheating yourselves, step up, and do your own research. And if someone is distorting the facts, it is our duty to make it known – nothing out of context.

    Who is Kurt Eichenwald? What do we know about him? Is he credible? I don’t know him, his work, his background, so I can’t trust what he has put in this symposium article. Are we that naive to trust the word of another? This is the failure in the election process today: no one checks the facts independently. Once you start doing that you can begin trusting what they say.

    Stop ranting and raving about typos, mis-speled wdros, ecksetrea. (for effect). Does what Kurt say sound reasonable? Possible. Can we trust the media to tell the same story? Doubt it.

    Too often we are caught up in our day-to-day activities to take the necessary time to do our own research to confirm the facts. When we declared our independence from the crown, it was because we were not given a voice at ‘the meeting’; and an unfair, undue burden was placed upon the colonies as to make it impossible to attend. Hence our Revolution!

    Today we elect officials to represent the people. Why? Because we can’t all be at ‘the meetings.’ Have we done our homework to ensure the person elected is looking out for the collective best interest of all? If you can honestly answer that question then I commend you on doing your homework. If you don’t know, you had better step it up quickly and get up to speed with what is happening.

    I for one will do my homework and look into the facts presented by Mr. Eichenwald. Until then, I’m sitting on the fence in regards to some things until I have all the facts. By trade, I work all day in I.T., volunteer with a Boy Scout troop, and spend quality time with my family – the strongest, most noble institution in America. When I decide to change careers and spend my time dealing with political ideals you will be sure to know.

  153. Mr. Eichenwald, you have no credibility whatsoever. You claim to be non-partisan yet failed to call out the Democrats for the very same things you criticize the Republicans of. The notion that the Democrats are not just as much as guilty as the Republicans of those five reasons you list is laughable on its face. They both lie, they both demagogue, and they are both threatening this country. Both parties are destroying this nation from within and most people aren’t going to figure this out until it’s too late. Neither four years of Romney nor four more years of this current train wreck we call President Obama are desirable outcomes.

    • Given that the posting was about specific comments by Romney/Ryan, as well as an analysis of the GOP philosophies regarding the economy, I’m not quite sure how the specifics apply to both parties. But if you have an argument in that regard, please post it. My hope is that this site will be a place for educated debate, rather than just partisan wailing, and if you have specific thoughts it would great if you posted them.

  154. Elizabeth Frazier says:

    Fantastic entry. I, too, have passed it on to others.

    What a pleasant change to see someone actually making a reasoned statement with facts instead of barely disguised opinions and wishful thinking. Thank you.

  155. My friend embraced this blog, I told her I disagreed with her. She asked me to put it in writing so she could circulate it to her friends. if anyone here is interested in why I do not embrace this blog, you can find my rebuttal to it at The rebuttal was originally written for her circle of friends, but thought you folks might be interested in it. It’s got several embedded links so you can see my sources.

  156. I summarized the Obama presidency in two minutes here. These are the facts, laid out as did Mr. Eichenwald, for the viewer to consider. Any one of the Acts can be researched and read to learn specifically what it accomplished. Few things poke larger holes in the GOP lies of omission than revelation of truth and reality. I believe we need to opposing, vigorous parties for balance, but the GOP sold itself to Citizens United and consequently pose one of the most serious threats to the democratic process in generations. If the wealthy and corporations can buy and influence elected leadership and representation then the democratic process is irrelevant and might as well be discontinued. Forward; The Obama Presidency in Two Minutes

    • This video lists acts he signed. Not his acts of leadership. Where is his balanced budget today? Where are the jobs? Why are so many people getting food stamps? What the heck is going on with Fast and Furious? How in the world could you circulate the action in Libya as spontaneous mob action? How can you call a tax a penalty? The wealthy are wealthier today under his administration. The middle-class, to borrow a phrase, is buried. You are confusing his signatures on these Acts, with vision and leadership – the two are not the same. A true leader, a real leader – leads! Obama throws his hands up and says “they” won’t sign his bills. That is what a follower does, not what a leader does. A leader gets the job done.

      If you watched the first debate last night, you saw Romney state his objectives and when Obama pressed for details, Romney said details would come from the collaboration with both sides of the aisle. To specify line item detail is a “my way or the highway” attitude. If you have any experience with strategic CEOs, you will know that they deliver results. But they don’t go into a new job telling you the how in details, they go in telling you what the results will be. The “how” comes with working with the team – in this case, Congress.

      Finally, I ask everyone to consider this. Last night Obama said that corporations are making more profits than ever in this economy. While if have not verified this, let’s assume it is true. Does anyone think that taking money from them, in the form of taxes, will change this? No, it won’t, because these corporations are strategically focused on making money (rightly so), and they will do what the have to to protect their goal (making money) – which could mean cutting jobs, or moving to cheaper sources, or chain the gates and move on to something else.

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