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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WASHINGTON — At a moment when the nation wonders whether politicians can agree on anything, here is something that unites the Republican presidential candidates — and all of them with President Obama: Everyone agrees that the 2012 election will be a turning point involving one of the most momentous choices in American history.

True, candidates (and columnists) regularly cast the impending election as the most important ever. Campaigning last week in Pella, Iowa, Republican Rick Santorum acknowledged as much. But he insisted that this time, the choice really was that fundamental. “The debate,” he said, “is about who we are.”

  • joeturner

    Speaking of redistribution, social security benefit recipients were informed recently of a raise in benefits from a cost-of-living increase. I know that tea-party advocates will refuse, out of principle, this increase…and the true believers will inform the govt that they no longer wish to receive social security benefits because that’s ‘distributive’ and will lead to socialism.

  • youg

    The Republicans have painted themselves in a corner. The crap that they are suggesting would make things worse. After all they are the party that was in charge for 8 years before the financial melt down took place. And they are the ones that have been total obstructionists for the past 4 years. Hopefully the Republicans and the Tea Party will be booted.

  • jussmartenuf

    First, you must have something to conserve to be conservative, and those like the Billionaires of industry have much to conserve. They take from our society and pay back less then their fair share and send jobs and factories overseas. They have taught the masses that it is a trickle down economic society and many with nothing believe this lie. It is a trickle up society, with every purchase of anything, money trickles from the poor who are the buyers to the rich that are the sellers, be it a candy bar or a set of cheap tires, a gallon of gasoline or a pair of shoes. If the billionaires paid more in taxes it would be returned to them in more purchases by a financially healthier 99% but they are too greedy to understand this.

    Second, Progressives should want a balanced budget as endless spending makes everything cost more in the way of more money needed for the interest on the debt for openers. Less money for interest, a major cost of our government, means more for programs to educate which is the beginning point of advancement. It means more for healthcare which is a runaway train as far as costs go and other social programs that pay back to the billionaires of industry a return on their tax investments.

    Third, the government does have a responsibility to regulate in favor of the 99% of our citizens. Anytime deregulation has taken place it is always followed by massive amounts of wealth being siphoned from the 99% to the 1%. Doesn’t anybody remember the deregulated housing bubble crisis of just 3 years ago that lingers today?

    Obama has been a disappointment in falling far short of his promises, but the Republican candidates are indeed terrible. Until we citizens are offered a true statesman for President he will have to do. My dream is that he is reelected and as a lame duck president, he grows a set of cajones, dumps his Wall Street cronies and makes real change for Conservatives and Liberals alike.

  • SandyJ

    Thank you for your concise, impact-full and correct narrative. You are exactly on the point and I don’t see how any informed and/or intelligent Conservative or Liberal could disagree. It amazes me how folks who have nothing and no hope for bright futures can believe the insidious lies about trickle down economic policies. Do you think the President WILL “grow a set of cajones” and “dump his Wall Street cronies” in his second term?

  • Vail

    I voted for hope and change not more big government not a 25 percent increase in the government workforce .it is ludicrous to try to paint Obama as a conservative. He has turned out ,contrary to his campaign, to be far more liberal that Carter . My hope and change now rests with Mitt unless Hillary chooses to run. She would have been a far better choice in the last election. First woman and a concenses builder like Tip and the republicans

  • Hankk

    My hat is off to all 4 of the above, they are all right on. This Nation will not survive with a teapublican president, or even with our congress like it is today. We as true Patriot Citizens of these USA must work to keep the Senate and take back the House. The only way for the USA to come back is re-establish our middle class, and put FDR’s regulations that kept the greed out of Capitalism back in play. Our President has got to know that we are with him and he need not cave to the radicals anymore. hannk, MI

  • Epicatastasis

    Obama is enough of a realist to understand that he must first survive in order to be able to change anything for the better. Once he gets a clear mandate from and the support of the people, he will be able to change things in a real positive way. Obviously the public has shown itself to be quite fickle and prone to follow propaganda.

  • Island Don

    Excellent E.J., you have nailed the new Republican philosophy. I have viewed Obama as the most tolerable conservative out there for 3 years! The Republicans have painted this centrist president as a radical left-winger hell bent on re-engineering our social structure. But they don’t realize that the greed and selfishness of the mega rich and the comfortably secure Tea Party has pushed them so far to the right that they find themselves at the radical fringe of socio-economic design for America. They have taken morsels of the precepts of the Constitution and twisted then into their own craven image of what our society should be. Whereas the Obama Democrats look to the overall spirit of the Constution to be their social roadmap. After all…”a government of the people, by the people and for the people” sounds a whole lot more socialistic than what they’re espousing!!!

  • drdavidgreen

    Mark Twain had it right. “Training is everything; training is all there is to a person.” For over a hundred years Americans have been trained to believe that it is the poor, rather than the corporations, that have been the biggest recipients of government assistance. That is not true and never has been. Think about massive land grants, subsidies to oil companies, huge construction and defense contracts, and of course the enormous tax breaks that are still in place. All that is neatly camouflaged by a rhetoric which paints the poor as the real beneficiaries of government largesse. There’s a Christmas-time word for such rhetoric: humbug. Unfortunately, that humbug is most easily foisted on people in times of stress, and America has been living in stressful times ever since the onset of the Cold War. When people are under stress, the first thing they look for is someone to blame. Ironically, part of the American Dream is that you don’t blame the rich because they are the people you hope to become, and you don’t blame those whom you wish to emulate. You blame those whom you least want to emulate, and they are of course the poor. So the Republican Game Plan is to keep the stress levels high, to keep Americans in a state of high anxiety, in order to keep them focused on their resentments. That is why Romney talks about entitlements and Gingrich about food stamps. Archibald MacLeish said it best way back in 1949: A people that has “been real to themselves because they were for something” cannot “continue to be real to themselves [when] they find they are merely against something.” So Republicans try to keep Americans focused on what they are against. That’s why they hate Obama so much. He broke the mold in 2008 by reminding Americans of what they are for. And they responded positively. And he’s been doing so ever since. That’s why the Republicans have been so obstructionist since January 2009 and why they continue to be focused on getting rid of him at all costs. He exploded their game; he called them out on their negativity. He’s still doing it, and after initialing blaming him for the lack of progress, the American people are responding positively again. He’s not only calling them on their negativity; he’s challenging them to come up with a positive vision for America. They can’t. They don’t have one. All they have is their negativity, because it’s the only way they can continue to distract Americans from the reality that their corporate sponsors are the real beneficiaries of government assistance. So Gingrich can talk about food stamps versus paychecks, but the only paychecks the Republicans have created are in foreign countries with cheaper labor. What the President needs to do, now and for the rest of the 2012 campaign, is to keep calling out the Republicans on their negative game plan, to keep calling them on their politics of fear and resentment, to keep reminding the American people of who is REALLY getting in the way of the American Dream. They’ll get it; they’re already starting to. Lincoln had it right. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

  • Dean May

    From a distinctly Non Ditto Head– dittos to all.
    Youg’s comment (2012 Elections) about the “8 years leading up to the financial melt down” got me to thinking about my time as a Deputy when you come to a crash your first priority is to deal with the after affects (injuries, traffic, etc.) but when it comes to writing the report (assigning blame) none of that matters when it comes to assessing the cause of the crash. It is what happened before the crash that matters – not the cost of the tow truck , ambulance etc. – true a concern and a cost, but nothing to do with what caused the problem. I am sick & tired of hearing that we can not blame the previous administration on are our problems if that is what is the cause – that is what is the cause let us get clear headed here – like not being able to blame speeding or DUI for somebody being in a wheelchair.

  • awegweiser

    PLEASE people. Could you not break your remarks into paragraphs or at least put in a space here and there?
    They are much more likely to be read if they are more readable. Thanks

  • dfrosenzweig

    No matter how conservative Obama might seem, he is still the most liberal of the candidates running for the presidency. Truly conservative voters are going to vote for a conservative candidate who is also afiliated with the conservatives’ favored party, the Republicans.

    No matter how quickly the conservative movement seems to be growing, or how much louder they are becoming in the media (much of this is the Tea Party), there are still way too many working Americans, in the middle and lower classes who are financially disadvantaged and being given the choice of having next term’s president be the one who best represents their needs. For them that’s never the Republicans.

    Two solutions I have to help weaken the Republican stance they presently have among voting America is to (1) not have the media give them any coverage/ support/ publicity, and (2) start and maintain many campaigns to bring lower class working Americans, and those who have lost their jobs, who are not yet registered as voters, to register so they can help keep Republicans grom regaining the presidency.

    The press holds much power and influene over the minds of voters by the coverage they are given as well as the coverage that mainstream Americans are given. Let the press show compassion for the people – the majority of Americans – and American voters will listen and vote for the party of the [majority of American] people.

  • kanawah

    Lizard man’s comment, “This is the most important election since 1860” it true. The American people have the opportunity to throw the republiskunks and the Transylvania tea party completely out of Washington. In the last 32 years, they have raped our nation. Now they put forth this collection of idiots for presidential candidates.

    Unless the American people are stupider than the republiskiunks, they will throw the entire right wing out of Washington.

  • Old Democrat

    I was beginning to think that all the people (especially Republicans) were so stupid they were believing this crap the Republicans were spewing. How could the 99% even think that the republicans were on their side. The only people they want to help are themselves. They do not want America strong as one people. They want to divide and conqure. They care for no people who are distressed. They say just get a job and work for your money. Then they underfund education so no one is trained, disband Unions, take bailouts and million dollar bonuses ,only want their tax breaks. They claim that big businesses are the hirers, studies done by universities have proven that big business have done the most laying off and sending of our jobs overseas cause it helps their bottom line not Americas. The business that have hired are the small and middle sized business that have slowly hired on people. I shudder to think that the very people whose schools are loosing their funding, need social security, medicare, some welfare benefits to survive are even thinking about voting for a republican. The primary choices for republicans shows how stupid (Perry, Backman) racist (paul)closets full of skeletons (Cain & Newt)and big business rich (Romney). Let’s fire them all in the senate and congress and get some real citizen representatives in there now. Get a grip people!!

  • ncal

    An income tax flat rate of 1% of revenue — corporate or individual — generates current federal receivables. 2% would double it. True since Steve Forbes campaigned on this proposal in 1980. Even x% for individual revenue and 1/x% for corporation revenue would generate current receivables. So every percentage you’re paying over 1% is paying that much more than your fair share. Which corporation is paying their fair share?

  • Loreto

    As a former Republican activist, I am deeply concerned about the comments offered by the candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination. The leading candidates, Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich seem to be speaking lies and falsehoods as if there were no tomorrow. Romney, whom I used to like and trust has turned out to be a downright liar. Go back to Romney’s tour as Gov. of Mass, he was an outright Liberal Republican, today he’s acting like Barry Goldwater. Gingrich uses history to change the actual facts. He claims he balanced the budget. He did not, The President proposes the budget, as all Presidents do, the House and Senate have to approve it as modified by both Chambers and the President is the boss, he says Yes or No, not the Speaker. To my knowledge, Gingrich has never been President, unless he wrote his own name in his own history books. If Romney wants to end ALL entitlement programs, what’s he going to tell all of us who have paid social security and medicare premiums for the last 50 years? We paid those premiums, one for a secured retirement and the other for health insurance, these programs were not free, we paid for them. Medicaid is a different issue. Health care costs are a different issue, Mr. Obama does not increase costs for hospitals, prescription drugs, or doctor visits. It’s the doctors who do not drive a 1967 VW, or it’s the hospital executives who earn in the high six or low seven figures, and definitely insurance and pharma execs who easily make seven figures, without bonuses.
    I can no longer support any current Republican candidate, they are bonified LIARS.

  • FryarTuk

    The tea party candidates want America to return to the days when children worked as janitors, coal miners and machinists. They want to return America to the days when child birth was scarcely a 50-50 chance of survival, when it was common for folks to die of a small wound, when hunger lines encircled every food distribution center in the nation and when voting participation was restricted to the upper class and their minions. The Democratic party has to clarify the issues the 2012 elections and shout it from the rafters.


    every politicion is a self-serving hypocrite. the G.O.P. as constituted now is nothing but a front for faschist corprate welfare. prescot bush, and all of his decendants should have been prosicuted for treason. the current crop of reps. is embaressing, at best. we don’t seem to get it, the rich care only for themselves voting for a party that won’t spend a dime on education, but billions on prisons, and corporate wars?? you gotta be dumber than a box of catlitter.

  • JACK1078

    It is truly refreshing to see so many others who see through the propaganda and lies perpetuated by most of the current crop of Republican contenders for the presidency. I grow more and more confident each day that President Obama will be reelected and provided the opportunity to work for the betterment of our nation, unfettered with a Democrat/Independent majority shift in the composition of the new house membership and, hopefully, enough progressive new senators to assure a filibuster free senate.

  • k.drone

    I have not experienced the liberal aspect of “Obama” yet,he did however follow in the footsteps of Bush and seemingly has not enjoyed the walk as he has complained about him step by step, although the grandiose notion a sudden “change” was going to emerge is a pipedream and great sales pitch.
    However Bush inadvertly set the country tone for a small town fair mentality and Republican economy, where little things make a difference…his distraction with the larger than life and massive body of power ruling the classes obviously from the backburner of his personal upbringing kept him contradicting what seems to be the inevitable. Obama has been a buffer of sorts, and as mentioned in the beginning of these short notes, seemingly regrettably from his end. Its unfortunate although that many liberals, “democrats” and the like are the ones clouded by propaganda, as they react adversely to every single Republican quiver, like trained animals ready to attack, as instructed by their figureheads. What is interesting is people are finally a bit more aware of each other and their feelings to politics, many feel cheated, and who do they complain to about this? The Department Of Consumer Voted Affairs?
    The U.S. has been stagnant for awhile, I really do not understand how the government is going to change anyones lives when its supposedly run by the people, supposedly to date as Citizens United gave corporations a “new life” now the government is a living breathing entity as well? If this were true the government has many voices speaking at once, and it is easy to conclude the shcizophrenic effect of multiple voices controlling ones thinking requires medication, hence the F.D.A. is now our God.