Eyes of the Beholder

This headline made me laugh — “Why isn’t Rick Santorum the GOP 2016 frontrunner?

Because he’s a dork, perhaps? Just guessing. But then I saw Brian Beutler call Santorum Conservatives’ Great White Hope — emphasis on the “white” — and I’m thinking, even if you agree with his crazy-ass ideas, he’s a dork. He’s the embodiment of dorkiness. American voters would elect a German shepherd before they’d elect a dork.

Now, I agree with Hunter that Frothy can be amusing as hell. Recently he said that abortion rights advocates cause boys to be uncomfortable showering in a gym. Which was a pretty awesome thing to say, in its way. Hunter reacts —

I … I don’t understand. I’m not sure I want to, mind you, but I’m just trying to parse out how this situation came up and why Rick Santorum was thinking about it. So the premise is that abortion rights advocates are wandering into YMCA showers and lecturing people? Did someone have this experience, where they were randomly accosted in the “mixed company” of a YMCA gym shower by a group of radical abortion rights advocates, and it made them sad and they said, “I know what I must do now. I must go tell Rick Santorum about this.” It’s no seven-foot-tall doctor, but roving public shower lectures on abortion rights certainly sounds like it could be the next big thing.

Seriously, you could do six months’ worth of comedy riffs on this. Still, Santorum is not just a dork, but a creepy dork. And when his Day of Judgment comes he’ll find the Pearly Gates blocked by Saint Margaret Sanger. And then he’ll be reborn as the poor and unwed mother of six disabled children. Mark my words.

Today’s Freedom News

So now Frothy vows to end internet and other porn (Note to commenters — remember to misspell “porn” so that your comment isn’t caught in the spam filter. Or just call it “santorum.”).

Santorum says in a statement posted to his website, “The Obama Administration has turned a blind eye to those who wish to preserve our culture from the scourge of pornography and has refused to enforce obscenity laws.”

If elected, he promises to “vigorously” enforce laws that “prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier.”

According to the Daily Caller article linked above, the way to “stop” internet porn would be to prosecute people who are receiving it. So if the Gubmint determines you are browsing in naughty places, the prosecutors might knock on your door, seize your computer and indict you for what you were doing with it.

Ain’t freedom grand? But one catch with this (hat tip Digby) — internet porn consumers disproportionally live in red states.

In 2009, Benjamin G. Edelman of the Harvard Business School published the results of a state-by-state study on the number of people who were subscribing to adult membership Web sites; Edelman found that eight of the 10 states that had the highest per capita consumption of online porn were states that Republican John McCain won in 2008’s presidential election. Utah topped the list, and other red states in Edelman’s top 10 included Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska, North Dakota and West Virginia. The only states in Edelman’s top 10 that Obama won in 2008 were Florida and Hawaii.

To be fair, this may be because other outlets for porn are less available in, say, Salt Lake City than in, say, San Francisco. But my impression was that porn is not the hot-button issue it was in the 1970s or so. See also Annie Laurie and Doghouse Riley.

The state of Texas, which tirelessly protects women’s freedom to not get abortions, has now gone a step further and liberated poor women from access to family planning services.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday that it will cut off all Medicaid funding for family planning to the state of Texas, following Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) decision to implement a new law that excludes Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program. …

… The federal government pays for nearly 90 percent of Texas’ $40 billion Women’s Health Program, and nearly half of the program’s providers in Texas are Planned Parenthood clinics. But the new law that went into effect earlier this month disqualified Planned Parenthood from participating in the program because some of its clinics provide abortions, even though no state or federal money can be used to pay for those abortions.

I’m sure the women of Texas are grateful.

Frothy’s Night

For once Nate Silver was a tad off, but he had said it would be close. So Frothy has won Alabama and Mississippi, and it looks like Noot will be second in both and Mittens third. I tried to see some TV commentary on this, but every time I turned to MSNBC either Frothy or Noot were talking, and I’d rather have my fingernails ripped off than listen to them. But I suspect this isn’t going to help Mittens much.

Do see this cartoon. It’s a hoot.

Meanwhile, the Republicans Are Still Looking for a Candidate

We’ve been having so much fun I’ve been forgetting about the presidential primaries. So today is Super Tuesday. Nate Silver has Mittens winning Massachusetts and Virginia for sure and probably Ohio also, with Frothy a close second. Newt will pick up Georgia, and Frothy likely will take Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Mittens should end up with at least half of the delegates he needs to clinch the nomination.

Meanwhile, a few Republicans are beginning to suspect that the GOP brand is perhaps being compromised by extremism (ya think?) and have suggested that a good bottoming out, à la Barry Goldwater in 1964, might not be a bad thing. But they don’t think it will happen this year, because if Mittens is the nominee and loses, the whackjobs will see it as proof that they should have found a certifiable screaming lunatic real conservative to run.

Via Annie Laurie, Doghouse Riley:

THE 2012 Republican Presidential primaries will be remembered, if at all, for having taught us any number of things we already knew.

Rush Limbaugh is a human cloud of flatulence. Rick Santorum is a 10th century religious lunatic. Newt Gingrich is to serious politics what Newt Gingrich is to academic history.

Nobody likes Mitt Romney.

Of course the preeminent truth is that the whole goddam party is insane, and that the Press, having ignored the over-abundance of evidence of this for a generation, now finds itself incapable of dealing with this. Aside from the customary writing of scripts designed to encompass all such facts as aren’t truly inconvenient. Those, as always, get ignored.

The thing is, everyone on the planet whose head is screwed on all the way can see plainly that the GOP has driven itself into a ditch in the clown car. The only ones who can’t see it are most Republicans, and that’s because they are demented. So I don’t see them learning any lessons, no matter watch.

Tough Talk

Frothy complains that Mittens is a wimp about taxes.

Our economy and American families are struggling, and the country needs bold reforms and major restructuring, not tinkering at the margins. …my opponent in the Republican primaries, Mitt Romney, had a last-minute conversion. Attempting to distract from his record of tax and fee increases as governor of Massachusetts, poor job creation, and aggressive pursuit of earmarks, he now says he wants to follow my lead and lower individual as well as corporate marginal tax rates.

It’s a good start. But it doesn’t go nearly far enough. He says his proposed tax cuts would be revenue neutral and, borrowing the language of Occupy Wall Street, promises the top 1% will pay for the cuts. No pro-growth tax policy there, just more Obama-style class warfare.

Mittens is tinkering at the margins? Ezra Klein says,

Mitt Romney is promising that taxes will go down, defense spending will go up, and old-people programs won’t change for this generation of retirees. So three of his four options for deficit reduction — taxes, old-people programs, and defense — are now either contributing to the deficit or are off-limits for the next decade.

Romney is also promising that he will pay for his tax cuts, pay for his defense spending, and reduce total federal spending by more than $6 trillion over the next 10 years. But the only big pot of money left to him is poor-people programs. So, by simple process of elimination, poor-people programs will have to be cut dramatically. There’s no other way to make those numbers work.

In fact, Mittens recently proposed a 20% across-the-board cut in income tax rates. This is much more drastic than what he has been proposing, but he has to keep moving Right to stay in the race.

Not to be outdone, Frothy is proposing a ten-point Economic Freedom Agenda, which he says will balance the budget in four years. Yes, and I’m Jean Dujardin. And the dog.

Here are his ten points, briefly:

  1. Drill, baby, drill; frack, baby, frack; and pipeline, baby, pipeline.
  2. Deregulate.
  3. Cut taxes.
  4. Cut taxes.
  5. Lay off public employees.
  6. Repeal “Obamacare” and replace it with the better plan Republicans keep promising but can’t seem to find anywhere.
  7. Pass a balanced budget amendment.
  8. Make lots of free trade agreements.
  9. Cut the hell out of “entitlement” programs.
  10. “Revive housing” by finally killing off Fannie and Freddie.

Seriously. I left out some details, but the whole plan is such a fantasy the details are kind of irrelevant. Obviously if the country goes this way in no time we’ll be in such a hole that Greece will look good.