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2012 Election

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Why the Romnibus Wasn't the Omnibus
I have been a bad person. I did not vote. I confess it. I would rather be caught in a gay brothel dealing in underage boys than in a voting booth. The two are equally degrading, but voting carries the further implication of low intelligence. Ages ago a Japanese friend told me “We are not... Read More
NEW YORK - “It’s an ill wind that blows no good,” goes an old sailor’s saying. Meaning: some profit even from ill fortune. Hurricane Sandy (a silly name for a monster storm that killed at least 62 people and caused $20 billion damage) ravaged coastal New Jersey and inflicted huge water and wind damage on... Read More
Pace Dan McCarthy’s hope about the possible implications of a Romney victory, I think it may be time to hear counter-arguments. Although Dan is right that Romney holds no principles, and although the neocon form of aggressive liberal internationalism may not enjoy huge approval outside of Fox News junkies, this does not justify the belief... Read More
NEW YORK – October 5, 2012 – The two titans of American politics, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, locked horns this week in the first televised debate of the election season. Romney managed to show that he was still a viable candidate in spite of a barrage of recent criticism and increasingly... Read More
Watching the storm-battered Republican convention at Tampa, Florida, does not reinforce faith in democracy or the Grand Old Party (GOP). American political conventions traditionally mix back-room horse trading with tasteless hoopla in which mostly white, overweight, middle-aged delegates wear funny outfits and make fools of themselves. Once upon a time, candidates for president and vice... Read More
The Wisconsin congressman is, if anything, too timid.
Listening to Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers give her (and the Democratic Party leadership’s) reaction to the choice of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate the other day, I thought my ears had suddenly failed. Powers began to rail against Romney’s “dangerous” ideological choice; she assured the TV-viewers that this “is exactly what President... Read More
spirit of america / Shutterstock.com
Never in my life have I encountered a politician who does a better imitation of a mannequin than Mitt Romney, particularly when called on to address social issues. Does this presidential candidate have an “opinion,” for example, on recent attempts to run the food chain Chick-Fil-A out of large municipalities because its president, Dan Cathy,... Read More
Mitt Romney, who in the past was considered a moderate Republican, has surrounded himself with neoconservative foreign-policy advisors. Romney's chameleon approach to politics is to simply say, and sometimes do, whatever would appeal to his current audience. To win the governorship of Massachusetts, Romney had to be something of a liberal. To win the Republican... Read More
On July 11 Mitt Romney addressed an NAACP conference in Houston, and the GOP media oozed admiration for his presumed courage and outreach. Although Romney is not likely to get more than five percent of the black vote, our smiling warrior was still trying to court black leaders. Romney’s presence in the enemy’s lair was... Read More
Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
Romney owes his only win to English for the Children.
With Mitt Romney now the de facto Republican presidential nominee, I sometimes recall how I inadvertently launched his political career a decade ago, which is less implausible than it might sound. Unlike the vast majority of previous major-party presidential candidates, Romney has a remarkably slender record of election victories, having previously won just a single... Read More
As the president lurches left, Romney struggles to rally the right.
A recent syndicated column by Peggy Noonan makes useful observations, together with one rather questionable point. Noonan blithely assumes that while the president has “fully absorbed the general assumptions and sympathies of the political left,” his opponent Mitt Romney reflects “the general attitudes, assumptions and sympathies of the political right.” Noonan may be seeing something... Read More
Between Obama's left-wing agenda at home at Romney's neoconservative foreign policy, the right hardly has a choice.
As the November election approaches, I find myself faced with a dilemma. I would like to vote for the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as the better of two distasteful choices, but would have to hesitate at this point. It’s not that I’d be tempted to vote for Obama, although I can well understand the... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Mitt Romney will be the Republican to face President Obama in the fall. Tuesday night was the clincher, as the Mormon zealot won in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington DC. He may stumble on, but the Catholic zealot Rick Santorum is finished. It’s hard to detect any alluring feature in Romney’s psychic or political make-up, and... Read More
Ever since I dared criticize the Obama administration and its partisans, I’ve been getting less than friendly email messages. Supposedly I work slavishly for the GOP and spend every waking hour listening to Rush Limbaugh or trying to imitate his verbal outbursts. For the record, I’ve been attacking the GOP at the national level ever... Read More
Despite high unemployment and soaring gas prices, it seems the Obama administration may survive the November election. This is due not only to Republican infighting but also to the support given to liberal Democrats in the media, educational establishment, and entertainment industry. But even these factors may not tell everything. Perhaps more importantly, Obama and... Read More
Although not many people in high places may notice what I’m doing, I’d like to ask the following questions to three of the surviving GOP presidential contenders. First, why did Mitt Romney, as late as 2002, respond to a questionnaire from Planned Parenthood indicating that he fully supported Roe v. Wade and favored state funding... Read More
Column Subtitle
Vote? Why? What candidate in the quadiennial resurrection of the Mickey Mouse club wants to do anthing that I want done? I want to roll back the onrushing police state and return to constitutional government. The plunge into totalitarianism is a far worse danger than World War Two, in which the US was never in... Read More
As New Hampshire Goes…
He stuck his foot in his mouth a couple of times in the final days, but on Tuesday millionaire Mormon Mitt Romney cantered past the winning post in the New Hampshire primary with 39 per cent of the votes cast. Libertarian Ron Paul ran second with 23 per cent. Another millionaire Mormon, Jon Huntsman, got... Read More
NEW YORK – This great city is physically in America but it’s hardly part of the United States. New York is cosmopolitan, educated, outward-looking and liberal – unlike much of the rest of inward-looking America, which considers the Big Apple a den of moral and political depravity and vice. In return, New Yorkers (I’m one),... Read More
A Pink Slip for Obama
Anyone who writes about the economy or politics will tell you that the chances of getting a 100 percent "positive" reaction to an article is virtually zilch. It just never happens. Until now. Of the 50-plus e mails I've gotten since yesterday when Counterpunch published "Is it Immoral to Vote for Obama?", not one person... Read More
Facing Presidential Elections in 2012
Introduction: Two incumbent presidents are running for re-election in 2012, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Barack Obama in the United States. What makes these two electoral contests significant is that they represent contrasting responses to the global economic crises: Chavez following his democratic socialist program pursues policies promoting large scale long-term public investment and spending... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Across two evenings this week, we've been offered America's future in a couple of visions. Neither of them offered the prime vitamin of bearable politics, the promise of good cheer and a better life at the end of a shortish tunnel. Version one came in the Republican presidential candidates' debate at the Reagan Library in... Read More
In a syndicated column that was something less than objective, Matt Towery explains that “Romney has the most going for him in 2012.” According to Towery, “when staunch Republicans start considering the big prize—who can actually take the White House for the GOP—and when they see Romney ably debate Obama my guess is that even... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Will Palin run? Who knows, who cares? The press is agog because the ci-devant Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate is in the midst of her bus tour up and down the East Coast. A girl has to keep an eye on her tv ratings. At present the great bus tour seems to have... Read More
Surveying the field.
The politicians are beginning to shuffle into place for next year's presidential contest. (Or out of place: Haley Barbour announced this week that he won't, after all, try for the Republican nomination.) So who have we got? We have of course got Barack Obama. At this point I see no sign that anyone in his... Read More
Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel wonders who’ll be “the GOP’s next big thing” as she considers which Republican candidate has “the prospect of defeating President Obama.” While I agree with Strassel that the party needs a “hard-charging, big-thinking-articulate new face” and that the present field of candidates is less than inspiring, I find the... Read More
Let's take poison. Let's ride a motorcycle blind-folded, and other bright ideas.
Almost forever, the record for stupidity was held by Lumbo, a Cambrian trilobyte born to an early family of retarded trilobites. Lumbo also had Down’s Syndrome. It ws an unbeatable combination. Nobody and nothing was as slow as Lumbo. It was thought that he would hold the record for all time, but then came the... Read More
The Fundamentals of the Campaign were Unsound
"I don’t know what more we could have done to win this election,” John McCain said in his concession speech in the Biltmore hotel in Phoenix. Actually there was a lot he could have done. He ran an awful campaign. Obama is now enveloped in an aura of inevitability, but let us raise a toast... Read More
Perspectives - Jeff Smith / Shutterstock.com
What the Doctors Saw
John McCain’s charges of sexism against Barack Obama must ring mighty hollow to those who know him best, and we dare say his second wife Cindy would have an acerbic comment or two of her own if freed from all constraints. The social culture of the Naval Academy at Annapolis shaped McCain. His own recollections... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
In the crucial final weeks of the campaign John McCain is mostly doing only one event a day. This is the man of whom his primary care physician at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, said to journalists in a conference call last May 23: “At the present time, Sen. McCain enjoys excellent health and displays... Read More
The Debate in Nashville
The presidential campaign plummeted into imbecilic tedium last night in Nashville as Barack Obama and John McCain faced off in the second debate. The encounter took place against the vivid backdrop of economic catastrophe, the obvious failure of the $700 billion bailout to turn the tide, Tuesday's market averages hurtling into the abyss, a paralyzing... Read More
Electing a Head Case
I frankly don’t believe John McCain’s medical records, or at any rate the portions released to the New York Times. The man was held in solitary for years, tortured until bones fractured, until he confessed to war crimes, until he tried to hang himself. That he broke can’t be held against him: Almost anyone would... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
In whatever years remain to him – and the health prognoses for McCain are cloudy at best – McCain should look back at the 48 hours up to and including Friday night’s debate in Mississippi as the Rubicon he was too frightened to cross. He spurned a huge chance to turn the tables on his... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Democrats, exquisitely sensitized to the footfalls of defeat by the disasters of 2000 and 2004, caught the first menacing chords of impending disaster last weekend and have been panicking ever since. The hours they had to revel in the apparent success of their Denver convention and Obama’s big speech were pitifully brief. The very next... Read More
CounterPunch Diary Obama's Speech; McCain's Palinomy
I’m no great fan but certainly Barack Obama gave a strong speech on Thursday night that reassured an edgy Democratic Party that he is ready to trade blow for blow with John McCain, his Republican opponent. His tone of decorous pugnacity calmed those fearful that the Party had saddled itself not just with a black... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Amid these very bad weeks for Republican John McCain’s hopes for victory in November, the cruelest blow of all is surely that President George Bush has decided to let McCain sink, without even pretending to toss a life belt to his fellow Republican. Two mean-spirited men by nature, Bush and McCain have never liked each... Read More
Unasked-for Advice from Fred to Obama
No, you didn’t ask my advice (doubtless an oversight) and he didn’t authorize me to nominate him. I don’t know whether he wants the job. However, I am a citizen, and believe I have the right to inflict the vice-presidency on anyoneNow, why Webb? Think about it. You’re a black guy running for president. Obviously... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Only two people have ever defeated a Clinton in electoral combat. The first was a Republican, Frank White who evicted Bill for a couple of years from the Arkansas governor’s mansion in 1980 and – a man of principle – used this window to try to install creationism as a palatable option in high schools.... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Ever since she realized back in early March that Obama was going to take the nomination Hillary Clinton’s long-term strategy has been to do her best to ensure McCain will win this November so she can become the Democratic nominee in 2012. But she had a short term strategy too and on Friday she deliberately... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Every few years New York City cops hear the growl of clear and present danger and subdue the threat with powerful volleys of lead. With Sean Bell, an African-American, in November 2006 the fusillade rose to 50 shots, deemed necessary by the men in blue to lay low Bell outside a nightclub in November 2006.... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Even though she won by a 9.4 per cent margin and not the blow-out victory in Pennsylvania she was predicting a month ago; even though Barack Obama is decisively ahead in both the delegate count and the national popular vote in all Democratic primaries and caucuses this far; even though polls show Americans think Obama... Read More
Pyrrhus' Playbook A Great Day for John McCain (and Maybe Nader)
The race for the Democratic nomination now lurches on to what is already being billed as the next major battleground in Pennsylvania on April 22, and any Democrat with any memory of kindred blood lettings in the past should shiver as history begins to repeat itself. After eight disastrous years of Bush, with a candidate... Read More
CounterPunch Diary The Mushrooming Clouds That Hang Over McCain
Until last week John McCain's political handlers had been complacently sketching out their basic strategy: to portray Obama as a mere novice in statecraft, devoid of those powers of mature wisdom and sober judgment with which the seasoned McCain is so richly endowed. The problem here for McCain is that he's a dunderhead in statecraft,... Read More
When is a Delegate Not a Delegate? Lessons for Barack Obama
Barack Obama and his supporters are exuberant after their victories this last weekend in the Washington and Nebraska precinct caucuses, in the Louisiana primary and the Maine municipal caucus. But they would do well to remember that since the mid-1970s the Democratic National Committee has spent countless hours plowing firebreaks between expressions of the popular... Read More
Both Parties Fracture Super Tuesday's Vote for Chaos
Super Tuesday was planned by both parties as the coronation of a candidate, followed by six months furious fund raising to finance the fall race for the presidency. Such hopes were deliciously dashed on Tuesday as chaos descended on both parties. John McCain won his Republican primary contests largely in states which will probably vote... Read More
From Hillary's Whitewater Deal to Bill's Uranium Mine to Obama's Ba'athist Ties
Back in 1992 it was the Whitewater real estate deal that plagued the Clintons, though fortunately for them, Jeff Gerth's initial expose in the New York Times on March 8, 1992, was incomprehensible. Hillary Clinton and her lawyer Susan Thomases muddied the trail by maintaining falsely that Mrs Clinton's billing files--which would have disclosed her... Read More
Adios Rudy! Farewell Edwards! Hello Ralph! McCain vs. Clinton?
Before his handlers told the press Bill Clinton wouldn't be taking any more questions, the former president gave it as his considered opinion that his wife and John McCain are a lot alike, and that assuming the two become their parties' nominees, the fall campaign would be "the most cordial in history." Setting aside such... Read More
CounterPunch Diary The Campaign in Black and White
He's a smart fellow and so Barack Obama surely knew what was in store for him if he ever looked like taking the Democratic nomination away from Hillary Clinton. The Clintons' relationship with African-Americans has always been starkly instrumental. When he was in trouble with white voters in New Hampshire in 1992 Governor Bill sprinted... Read More
Strange Alliance Now Nader Claims He Didn't Endorse Edwards
In our column on the CounterPunch home page yesterday on the New Hampshire primary Jeffrey St Clair and I wrote in the penultimate paragraph: In testy messages to both of us yesterday Nader denies he endorsed Edwards before the Iowa caucus, asserting that all he did was quote approvingly a phrase of Edwards concerning Hillary... Read More
The Empire Strikes Back Back From the Dead in New Hampshire
Unlike her husband in New Hampshire in 1992, Hillary Clinton not only came back from premature announcements of her political demise. She actually won the Democratic primary by a narrow 2 per cent, 39-37. (In 1992 Bill, battered by reports of his infidelity, came second to Paul Tsongas by 8 per cent.) The prime reasons... Read More
Category Classics
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. -- March 3, 2007
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution
An alliance of pro-immigrant Democrats and anti-immigration Republicans could finally fix our broken system
Not What Tom Jefferson Had in Mind