From “Hope and Change” to Believe Nothing

I don’t expect to see much I like in this election.  Just a war of attrition with the  presidential candidate whom the public dislikes a bit less than the other to win.

I know this election campaign is more like watching a wrestling match than a contest between ideas despite both camps frequently mouthing the big differences between them and how this decision will shape America’s future.  I expect both camps to portray the opposition in the least favorable light.

What I didn’t expect is for the Democrats to dive deeper into the gutter than the Republicans AND feign innocence in the process.   I’m speaking about a Super PAC ad this week that has Joe Soptic telling of his wife’s death of cancer after he was layed off from a Bain Capital controlled company.    As the Chicago Tribute states in an editorial:  “What’s implied: Romney, who led Bain in the 1990s, is partly to blame for her death.”  The ad is shameful, made more so in contrast to the tenor set by Obama in the last election.   Even more shameful is the administration’s failure to disown it.  They seem to have decided that in this election Limbo dance, the’ll vie for how low can you go.

I  know, I know.  We could list a host of ads run by the Romney campaign as well as its Super PACS that include lies, but none quite reach the sewer level of accusing the candidate of being virtually guilty of participation in manslaughter.  Yes, the Republicans have been reprehensible in portraying Obama as foreign, un-American, a detached egg head who doesn’t understand our economy, etc. etc.

But what would you expect from a party that cringes whenever radio demagogue Rush Limbaugh takes one of them to task for not being sufficiently Limbau-esque? And,  in addition to the lying Donald Trump and the half-wits who refuse to believe Obama could really be an American, we’ve seen Republican party leaders  willing to keep the “debate” going with statements like “as far as I know he was born in Hawaii.”  Anything that can trump up disrespect for the President has been fine with most of them.

I still prefer Barack Obama to a Mitt Romney, who seems willing to campaign as the stealth candidate, given his three major credentials – Bain Capital, being governor and being a devout Mormon leader – are things he’d prefer not to talk about.   I could add the Winter Olympics of 2oo2, but he has already managed to turn that into a foreign policy faux pas.  He apparently is hoping that things will get just bad enough in the economy for him to be chosen as our hope for the future.

So, yes, I still prefer Obama, but if the Joe Soptic ad becomes a Democratic habit I might just get so sick of it all that I won’t bother to vote.  No big deal, I know, unless there are many other independents out there who feel as I do.

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Campaign Finance Reform … Yawn

When I was young the word “reform” had positive connotations, but after years of observing re-forms that turned out worse than the original forms, and others that only had the appearance of reform, I find myself falling asleep when now encountering the word.

Citizens United

Citizens United (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While we need campaign financial reforms, it is hard to get excited about them for they tend to be complicated and take lots of time to pass and then most of us have little idea of what the real outcome will be.

Take the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002.  The immediate results seemed mixed and, though a step forward,  with the Citizens United decision of 2010 (discussed in my previous post), big money seems to have found yet another end run around good intentions.   So much so that one observer argued a few months ago we would be better off now if we repealed the act.

I don’t know enough to judge that, but after the U. S. Supreme Court just struck down the Montana state law limiting financial political contributions both the state’s Democrat governor and Republican Lt. Governor called for a constitutional amendment to offset the Citizen’s United decision.

I had heard here and there other calls for a constitutional amendment, including one from Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe, who had has long opposed such tinkering.   However, he has changed his mind now that the “distortive effects of Citizens United and its aftermath are becoming clearer every week.”  Writing recently for Slate, Tribe proposed an amendment, which has since been introduced by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), that would allow “content-neutral limitations” on independent expenditures.

As the related article at the bottom of this post indicates, some have criticisms of the wording of Tribe’s amendment, but there will be a lot of quibbling over the exact wording should an amendment gain momentum.   Also, need I point out that given the election, the real battles over this won’t likely be fought until 2013?

Still, it will take months to develop momentum anyway.  In Googling the amendment issue I just discovered an organization that I had never heard of, established in 2009, Move To Amend.   Obviously they were working to reduce the political  influence of big money even before the flood gates were opened wide with Citizens United.  And if you look around the site for a few minutes, you’ll find a host of organizations that support their efforts, along with a comparison of their suggested amendment to that of others (though not of Tribe’s as yet).

They are asking for people to sign a petition that goes as follows:   “We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights. “

That makes sense to me.  Perhaps their wording could prompt problems, too, but there is nothing binding there and signing it seems a positive gesture, so I did.  It has been signed by over 200,000 others while their goal is to reach  500,000.   I would be interested in feedback if you did sign  or have reasons not to sign that  you are willing to share.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY: Montana vs. the United States

Does unlimited spending by corporations and unions on elections  corrupt the democratic process or not?   For a 100 years the state of Montana has said “yes”, including when its Supreme Court voted down recent attempts to challenge the law, but yesterday the U. S.  Supreme Court reversed that decision and said “no.”  Actually, they said “no” in a 5-4 decision in the Citizens United case in 2010, and just reaffirmed that yesterday.

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

English: The United States Supreme Court,  in 2010.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back in 2010, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion declaring that independent expenditures by corporations and unions “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption” if those expenditures are absent direct links to political candidates.   Hence the seeds of the burgeoning  Super Pacs were sewn.

Not that this has surprised most of the folks in Montana.  Their history shows the effects of unlimited political spending, which is why they have had a law on the books since 1912 limiting it.   The law was written to reduce the overwhelming influence of big mining interests in the state.  After the Citizens United decision this law was challenged by corporate interests and the Montana Supreme Court affirmed it, so it was appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court.

Not surprisingly they (the same five judges who had decided in favor of Citizens United) summarily rejected the Montana State law, which means they refused to even hear arguments in favor of it.   According to the NY Times, two of the liberal justices, who dissented in the Citizens United decision — Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer — argued that both events since 2010 and the history of Montana were good reasons to reconsider the “absence of links” assumptions used in the 2010 decision.  But they were ignored.

“Absence of links” implicitly means the majority of the Supreme Court believe that you can prevent corruption if the  money bulging Super Pacs do not directly coordinate their activities with the candidates.  Really?  You think the Pacs can’t figure out what to trash in the opposition that will help their candidates win.  That they can’t grasp the general themes of each campaign and fuel them with their millions?  And they don’t expect something in return for their generosity?  It doesn’t require a genius or even a phone call for the Pacs to figure it out.  At the very least it gives “the appearance of corruption”.

Given how money influenced the Republican primaries, such as Sheldon Adelson’s millions alone keeping the Newt Gingrich campaign afloat, isn’t that enough reason to at least hear the Montana arguments?  And now Adelson’s pledged another $60 million or so to support other  Republican fall election campaigns AND the fellow billionaire Koch brothers  is seeing that $60 million with their own dough while raising it with an additional $360 million they plan to gather…..  How could that kind of political clout by a handful of individuals  not corrupt the political process?

No matter, Justice Kennedy and his four like minded Supremes refused to rehash the issue.  Hence the summary judgement against the Montana law.

Of particular interest to me is that the decisions of the two courts reflect the tension among what seems the multiple personalities in the Republican psyche.   Montana is a blood red state whose legislature, for example, is overwhelmingly Republican.  But Montana’s court opinion reflects an older, reformist Republicanism, that of Teddy Roosevelt’s time, when big money influence was seen as  leading to big corruption. It also reflects the traditional conservative preference for a reduction in centralized power, i.e. more returned to the states.

Whatever their thinking, the five Supremes deciding this issue further fueled the politics of expediency:  The belief that whatever it takes to win, no matter what elements of democracy are weakened or destroyed in the process.  Not surprisingly, Mitch McConnell was all in favor of striking down the Montana law – anything to beat Obama –  while John McCain, who’d love to beat him as well, has retained enough of his old “America first” self to disdain it.

In short even if advantageous at the moment, not all Republicans are blind to the corruptive influence of the invasion of the billionaires.   As such this seems a fruitful topic for developing centrist dialogue and actions, as I will gradually elaborate upon in my Centerville pages above.

Red Rover,Red Rover…..Let RINO’s Come Over

I recently picked up a book titled:  Rule and Ruin:

Sarah Palin holding a T-shirt related to the G...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party.   You don’t need to read it, as the title pretty much tells the whole story, leading to the sharp right turn of the Republican party of late.   It’s a curious right turn, mixing fundamentalists with libertarians, who disagree on a number of things – e.g. both want less government, except fundamentalists want more when it comes to controlling our sex lives and a few other liberties that aren’t in God’s plan.   As long as most of them can agree on “NO” to additional government spending and “YES” to less government in general, they can hold together.

But that coalition leaves no room for the moderates in the Republican party, who at times must feel like they’ve been kicked out into the streets, become intellectually homeless.  So, I’m inviting them to Centerville, my imagined community of people who realize the nature of politics, short of dictatorships and the like,  is a matter of compromise.   Other qualifications are to cherish honest expression of opinions and the legitimate use of facts as well as the belief that presidential candidates must have a discernible degree of intellectual development to handle the vastly complicated issues they will constantly face.

In other words, not you Sarah Palin.  Even compared with the recent fun house road show called the Republican primaries, Sarah becoming a national political figure is the strangest political event in my life time, at least since Joe McCarthy.   I’m not denying she has ability, just saying she was a big fish in a small pond who thought God was opening the channel to an ocean of opportunity when it was actually Steve Schmidt, a McCain adviser who initiated her rise to fame and regrets it to this day.

It was only after her dazzling speech at the nominating convention that Schmidt realized how ignorant she was of the world outside of Alaska.  If she were honest with herself, and didn’t have the ego of Donald the Hairdo,  she would have known she was not ready for prime time.  One of her aids later made a point that when she was asked the fatal question by Katie Couric:  “What do you read?”  And she came up with nothing,  she actually did read magazines and newspapers, but they were all about Alaska.   The implication is she instinctively resisted revealing that limitation, and instead wound up looking dumb.  And blaming Couric ever since for the “ambush interview.”

Anyway, my main point about  Sarah is that she’s a useful litmus test for determining who on the right haven’t lost their senses through the rise of the far right.  Near the end of Rule and Ruin, the author lists several conservative thinkers such as David BrooksDavid Frum, Reihan Salam, Andrew Sullivan and Sam Tanenhaus (*1).   I Googled each along with ‘Sarah” and just as I suspected, their opinions are similar to my own.  (click their names and see for yourself).  I could add others to the list like former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel or conservative columnists Kathleen Parker and  Peggy Noonan.

All of the above – except maybe Noonan –  are probably thought to be RINOs – Republican in Name Only – by the Republican right.  That’s reason enough for me to welcome them to Centerville, even though some might reject the invitation, especially Noonan.  But that’s OK, she has come up with a couple of the best  Palin zingers.  One, when Palin was originally the VP candidate – she said:  “Sarah Palin doesn’t think, she just opens her mouth and words come out.”  And more recently when Sarah tried to compare herself to Ronald Reagan, Peggy essentially summed her up  as a “nincompoop”.

My point isn’t to trash Sarah, but I don’t mind if Peggy and other Republicans do.  Had it not been for Steve Schmidt’s mistake, Sarah would have no credentials to be a national figure and the (fading?) de facto queen of the Tea Party, but I’m sure she sees it all as a matter of her God and her grit and her subsequent money a well deserved blessing.

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(*1)  Ross Douththat was also listed in the book, but he was an  initialPalin backer who ….well, CLICK and see.   Sam Tanehaus is more subtle in his critcisms, but if you look hard, you’ll find them.

Radical Centrists Unite!

In an earlier post, I called former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman ”the conciliatory conservative,”  which puts him in my big

Feeling strongly both ways

Feeling strongly both ways (Photo credit: futureatlas.com)

tent of centrism, not in every way of course, but broadly enough that one could reason with the man.  For  example he said:  “Call me crazy, but I believe in global warming” (*1).

In an earlier draft I had titled that post Radical Centrism.   I realize that seems to be an oxymoron, but one definition of “radical” is “marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional.”   Since political polarization has become the norm, centrism is a considerable departure.

Later, while exploring the now defunct Americans Elect I encountered an article by Tom Friedman written last July titled:  Make Way for the Radical Center.   That bolstered my sense that I was on to something.  He wrote:

“Thanks to a quiet political start-up that is now ready to show its hand, a viable, centrist, third presidential ticket, elected by an Internet convention, is going to emerge in 2012. I know it sounds gimmicky — an Internet convention — but an impressive group of frustrated Democrats, Republicans and independents, called Americans Elect, is really serious, and they have thought out this process well.”

Well, not well enough, as ‘Elect closed up shop a week or two ago.  I’m not knocking the effort, though. At least it was a serious attempt at breaking the death hold the two old,  squabbling parties have on the wheel of our ship of state. The lesson to be learned is not to become more pessimistic, cynical and depressed but to understand more deeply the obstacles to overcome in order to change our ship’s course.   Unlike the Titanic, we have some time.  We need to embrace patience and try harder, and in more ways.  My guess is Americans Elect will regroup and give it a better try next time around, perhaps in a very different form.

How often have you heard about some poll or another than indicates 60% or more, often many more, of Americans agree on things like a federal budget that includes reduced spending and some higher taxes, or a woman’s right to chose when it comes to abortion,  or to break up the large financial institutions that are too big to fail, which of course, means we must bail them out when they do.

There does seem to be what Richard Nixon liked to call a “silent majority” on many issues, but we are obviously stymied when it comes to turning our majority  into political successes.

The obstacles are many, such as party polarization and political gridlock, and the ever increasing influence of monied interests.  “We have the best Congress that money can buy,”  quipped cowboy humorist and social commentator Will Rogers early last century.  The line isn’t funny anymore.  It’s too true to be funny.

How could we change it?  What would have to be done?  And could we find the united energy to get it done?   I say when we believe we can get something done that we want done, we have the energy to do it.  Whether this is in our personal lives or together.  But if we don’t believe

A general problem Americans Elect  encountered was a lack of belief that their internet convention could  really make an impact.   Frankly, it reminded me of voting for high school student council.  Really, what did it matter?  It got snagged in a catch 22 (*2).  For the process to work (or at least to have a better chance), many people had to believe it could make an impact.  Since many did not believe, they did not participate, ergo it made no impact (*3).    It just fizzled out.  It’s like with consumer confidence.  When high, consumers buy.  When low they don’t.  If many consumers come to doubt and fear the worst, they stop buying, and help make the worst more likely.

And there is another huge obstacle for centrists to overcome.  In comparison to the left and the right, centrist passion is lacking to begin with.  We are too reasonable, too drawn to such notions as “moderation in all things, ” uncomfortable chanting slogans.   Can you imagine us marching about shouting:  “Moderation in all things!  Moderation in all things!”

Not a gut grabber.

In contrast, those on the far left and far right feel lots of passion for their positions.  Those on the left imagine unfortunates trampled by a heartless system.  They are for the people.  Those on the right imagine themselves as the unfortunates, having their lives constricted and fortunes reduced by a faceless bureaucracy whose prime mission is to take their money and waste it, usually on those undeserving folks that the left so loves.

Not an upbeat picture for centrists I’m painting.  I know.  But we have to start where we are.  And it is not entirely bleak.  There are a number of centrist efforts afoot, and many, many reasonable people from center left to center right who I think would be able to come up with compromises if somehow our political system could be restructured to allow for it.

I am one centrist who feels passionate about these issues because I believe we must collectively come up with some big answers to big problems or this nation will bear little resemblance to the one I grew up in.  If you do not feel passionate, consider these words by the novelist Bernard Malamud.  “Man is passionate by nature.  If he does not act passionately, it is because he is confused.”

If you haven’t gathered by now, this blog is aimed at clarifying our confusion, so that over time we may act together passionately.

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(*1)   “Moderation in all things” is not a commandment, but an attitude.   Most of us aren’t moderate in some things, and maybe we are right when we are not.   I see centrists in agreement over a number of issues, at least to the point where an honest discussion can take place, as opposed to the posturing and misinformation which now prevails.

(*2)   Catch 22 was a popular novel decades ago, if you aren’t aware of it.
It’s title became a catchword to describe being trapped in a dilemma, with no way out.  It you want to know more, click explanation.

(*3)  It may be that the process stalled primarily because few even noticed it.  It would be interesting to know how many people even checked out their web site.  Many of my friends never heard of it.

The End of Trust?

Sorry folks, but the answer is yes.  As if you didn’t know.

Dwight D. Eisenhower photo portrait.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rather than me listing all the sources we generally don’t trust, just make your own list.  To the extent we trust is the extent to which those people have shown signs of thinking as we do.  Sticking with like minds is one of several factors that foster an increasingly polarized electorate, but that is a secondary effect to the primary one:  a loss of trust in government, science, social science and journalism.

What used to be trusted authorities, more or less, now seem dubious depending on one’s biases.   Coupled with that is the ease in which we all can find support for whatever theory or prejudice we have through Twitter or the internet, that razor sharp double edged sword.

In order to contemplate ways to restore trust, it seems useful to recollect how we lost it.  Yes, that really deserves a book or two, but who has time to read two more books, if one reads books at all.    So, if you cut me some slack I’ll try to give a sort of fairy tale synopsis, which can be amended later.

Once upon a time there was a generally well liked President called Ike.  There were lots of  “I like Ike” buttons around to prove it.   Frankly, Ike’s eight years in office in the 50s seemed pretty dull, a time  one writer described as “when America stood still.”   I think he meant culturally, though.  A lot was actually happening in Ike’s two terms, a national highway system for one, housing developments  burgeoning, another.  Also, though not Ike’s fault, McDonalds were beginning to pop up all over  like weeds.  They had ever changing signs telling the numbers of burgers sold, while it was still only in the millions.

Culturally, there were some ripples  in the form of rock and roll and a handful of so-called “beatniks”, who provided a little color to a white bread landscape.   Also, socially, racial injustice was made more obvious to we whites, many like myself, who lived in virtually  all white towns.   First, by blacks demonstrating in the south where the trampling of their human rights was most outrageous.

It was also a time when government seemed to work.   Good President Ike was a Republican, but he was a moderate one, who did not rail against  “liberalism”, a good idea since it reigned theoretically supreme while conservatism was fighting for attention.

The authority of certain figures and institutions to be  arbiters of knowledge was generally accepted.   Science and scientists were particularly respected.  Scholarly efforts in history and political science also were assumed to be relatively impartial and informative, except by right wing extremists, like the  John Birch Society.  And journalists were generally believed to be fairly  “objective” with the The New York Times the gold standard in that profession.

Such were the days during the two terms of President Ike, days that keep looking better all the time.   Than John Kennedy was elected along with his elegant wife Jackie and the White House appeared to be a second coming of Camelot.   Certainly a lot more sparkle than the days of Ike and Mamie.  JFK has been dubbed the first TV president.  He wouldn’t have stood a chance without TV, according to David Halberstam, a well respected and prolific journalist now deceased.

Kennedy, an undistinguished short-time senator, would have remained too obscure to beat the Democratic party apparatus without televison. He played to the cameras as if each was a Stradevarius and he was Itzhak Perlman, while looking fresh as a daisy.  Then there was poor Richard Nixon, who was visibly sweaty and looked a little unshaven.  All of his experience and brains undone by a case of the sweats and black stubble broadcast throughout the land.  Our periodic silly seasons began at that moment.  (Nixon also came off as a used car salesman, which didn’t help.)

All seemed possible in the land of Camelot until President Kennedy was shot in Dallas in 1964.  I was in college when classes were called off after hearing the news.   Girls broke dates that weekend feeling it not fitting to be out partying at a time of national mourning.  Not that I had a date to begin with, but………..and then a couple days later, sitting watching TV with my fraternity brothers, there was Oswald, the killer, walking between deputies when this fellow, Jack Ruby, jumped out and shot him, RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF US .  Now that was reality TV.

When I think of JFK, I think of two legacies (while I try to forget all the womanizing).  One, was a fresh sense of  idealism captured in the words:  “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”  I bet one could write an interesting book on those whose lives were changed by those words.  The famous diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, now deceased, would be among them.  The other legacy;  he left us with a big toe in Vietnam.  His supporters argue he meant to withdraw it after he won a second term that was not to be.

As for our still trusting government, scientists, journalists, etc.  All of this was still pretty much in tact and “liberalism” was about to really take charge  in terms of President Johnson’s “great society” programs  and changes in civil rights laws.

It has often been said that what Kennedy wanted to do, Johnson did do.  Not inspiring, like JFK, Johnson was a rough cut outsized Texan who had spent years in congress prior to becoming the VP and then an accidental president.  Also unlike Kennedy, he knew how to twist arms better than Hulk Hogan, and he wanted to establish a liberal legacy that out shone that of the Kennedys.   Sadly, he also wanted to jump into Vietnam with both feet, which diverted money away from his great society and eventually forced him out of office,  in disgrace in the eyes of many.

In terms of “the end of trust” Johnson sewed the seeds for the beginning of the end in two ways.  First, through the famous  “daisy” attack ad against Barry Goldwater that cemented his winning his own term as president.  Second, his lying us deeply into the quagmire of a Vietnam War.   Both can be considered breaches in trust that would have lasting consequences.  More about each in my next post.

Well, boys and girls, that’s  enough for now.  For those wanting to hear more of the story, I’ll put up a special post this Sunday and then likely finish it all up with my regular post on Tuesday .

True, False or Just Plain Dumb?

Official photographic portrait of US President...

(Wikipedia)

As you may well know, the Obama team put out a 17 minute film in March titled The Road We’ve Traveled narrated by Tom Hanks.  The film puts everything Obama did in his first term in the best light possible, leaving out “inconvenient truths”  (the director earned an Academy Award for that one, by the way.)

Asked why the film avoids many of the controversial aspects of the administration, producer/director Davis Guggenheim told ABC News that the audience doesn’t expect to see the negatives from Obama’s first term.

“It’s a campaign film and I think people who watch it understand where it’s coming from,” he said.

Excuse me, but I don’t.

Tom Hanks at a ceremony for George Harrison to...

( Wikipedia)

I like Obama and believe, as Hanks stated in the film:  “Not since the days of Franklin Roosevelt had so much fallen on the shoulders of one president.”   Hey, that’s why I give Obama so much slack, and think he has done a good job under nearly impossible circumstances.  Not great, but what do you expect from a short term Senator, law professor and community organizer?   I’d say he’s got a lot better executive credentials now.   And,  I think he can learn from his mistakes.  …I still have a little audacity of hope.   And look at the competition.

So, you know which corner I’m in, but I still don’t get the film.   I see it as a gift to the Republicans, a big old pinata plastered with Obama’s face, something they continue to whap around.   Oddly, for once truth is on their side.

As FactCheck.org summarized:  the film “…. casts the president, not surprisingly, in the best light. But the 17-minute video lacks context and takes liberties with some facts on health care and the auto bailout.”    Glenn Kessler, the Fact Checker at the Washington Post wrote that the film presented:  “A misleading account of Obama’s mother and her insurance dispute…” which was used to humanize his health care plan.  And other fact checkers wrote similar things.

Here is the problem to me.  It is so easy to find misleading statements in the film that some of Obama’s real successes get dismissed by the ease of opposition criticism, like the revival of the auto industry.  In the film Hanks states:   “With business booming, (GM and Chrysler) repaid their loans.”   While that is technically true, it is misleading enough to be dubbed false.

GM and Chrysler were turned into New GM and New Chrysler through the process and it is only the loans to the new companies which have been paid back.   That was only a small fraction of the money the government ponied up.  Treasury is still on the hook for billions, but much of those billions is in stock, which can be sold some day to recoup more ……  Anyway, this is so complicated I’ve established a separate page to try to sort it out.  Click Auto Bailout.

Here’s the bottom line.  About $80 billion was “infused” into the auto industry and about $40 billion of that has been recouped by Treasury.  But “we” own lots of stock in the new GM and its former finance company, now called Ally, so in the end, the auto bailout might cost us taxpayers $14 billion or a few billion more.

That’s the real issue.  Was that $14 billion well spent.  Well, it seemed to save a 1,000,000 jobs at a critical economic moment and, though Ford wasn’t a direct beneficiary of it (it was of some other funds), it’s CEO, Alan Mulally, was in favor of the bailout as their own suppliers would be badly hurt if the other companies went down, triggering a domino effect.

It seems to me a strong case can be made in favor of the bailout, but it gets lost in these silly sidebars, in this case one provided by the Democrats themselves.

So, tell me again why that film was a good idea.   Aren’t you trying to get independents and maybe some Republicans who find Mitt even harder to swallow than Barack to come on board?  Do you think propaganda will swing the undecideds your way?   Especially with the Republican War Room dissecting every misleading statement or portrayal in that film and serving each bit on a platter to one news organization or another.  It’s like you tossed hand grenades at them, and then they took out the pins and are throwing them back.

Just Google around some and see the hay the Republicans have been reaping from this.  You can start with a recent editorial in the San Diego Union titled:  A Barrage of Dishonesty on GM.

That’s one hand grenade coming back at you.