Mitch McConnell's Rand Paul Kentucky Nightmare

Once upon a time there was a man named Mitch McConnell. 

Now Mitch, more than any other politician in his province, knew how to win elections.  He would ask rich people to give him lots and lots of money.  He would then take the money and use it to trick poor people into voting for him.  After he won, he would help the rich people make even more money.  The rich people were very grateful, and Mitch was very happy.

When Mitch's friends in other provinces saw how happy Mitch was, they asked him to be their leader.  "Help us win elections and be happy like you," they said.  So Mitch became their leader.  Sure enough, the rich people began giving Mitch's friends lots of money, and Mitch's friends won lots of elections.  They were all very happy.

Then, one day, everyone in the land suddenly stopped making money.  The rich people soon made all their money back, but the poor people grew even poorer.  They became angry, which frightened the rich people.  "The poor people are misguided," they said to Mitch.  "Don't they know that if it weren't for us, they wouldn't have so much as a crust of bread?  Help us help more of your friends get elected, so we can make more money, so the poor people can have a crust of bread."

Now it so happened that in Mitch's province, one of his old friends -- his name was Jim -- had gone funny in the head.  Mitch knew that no matter how much money the rich people gave this man, the poor people would not vote for him anymore.  So Mitch ordered one of his newer friends -- his name was Trey -- to take the rich people's money and use it to get himself elected.

Meanwhile, the poor people in Mitch's province were still very angry.  They were so angry that a few of them went almost as funny in the head as Mitch's old friend Jim.  They were called "Teabaggers", and they didn't like Trey.  They liked a man named Rand. 

Now Rand talked crazy talk, and Mitch knew that no matter how angry the poor people had become, they would never, ever vote for Rand.  He was too crazy.  Nevertheless, the Teabaggers were persistent, and they used Mitch's own rules to make Trey go away so that Rand might try to get himself elected.

So, in the end, Mitch had to ask the rich people to give Rand money, even though Rand couldn't win.  And Mitch had to pretend he liked Rand, even though he didn't.  And Mitch had to defend Rand's crazy talk, even though he couldn't.

And that's why Mitch had nightmares for months and months and months.  It was all because of Rand and the Teabaggers. 

It got so bad that Mitch almost forgot that he looked like a turtle.  But that's another story.

From my blog



Two Trends on Election Night

By: Inoljt,

Last night's election exhibited two trends: one positive for the country as a whole, and one more ominous for Democrats. Firstly, Americans rejected negative campaigning and extremism - whether it be in Virginia, New Jersey, NY-23. Secondly, the electorate as a whole shifted quite profoundly to the right. This post will focus on the first aspect.

Negative Campaigning and Extremism

In the most-watched races, voters chose the side that espoused moderation and ran a positive message. The Democratic candidates in both Virginia and New Jersey focused on the negative: state congressman Creigh Deeds of Virginia spent most of his time attacking Attorney General Bob McDonnell's college thesis, while Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey launched a barrage of negative ads. Both candidates lost.

There tends to be a myth, commonly repeated by the media, that negative campaigning works. They point to former President George W. Bush, whose Swiftboat ads ensured a 2% victory over Senator John Kerry. The truth, as recent elections show, is more complicated: Senator John McCain, Mr. Deeds, and Mr. Corzine all pinned their hopes on tearing down their opponent and all lost.

The other race featured the victory of moderate politics over extremism. In NY-23,  a Republican-represented district since the Civil War, conservatives sabotaged the moderate Republican candidate in favor of hard-line Doug Hoffman. Fortunately, voters in upstate New York rejected the Glenn Beck nominee and instead chose Democrat Bill Owens, an independent turned Democrat.

Thus the election results enforced a positive trend in politics - one of moderation and positive campaigning focused on the issues, rather than divisive personal attacks. For Democrats like myself, however, the other trend - a rightward shift - is more worrisome. Hopefully it more reflects right-wing anger than the true national mood.

There's more...

Nawaz Sharif: A return to extremism and instability

At the end of the 1990's, under the leadership of Sharif, the economy of Pakistan suffered immensely. Due to nuclear proliferation, Pakistan suffered from crippling economic sanctions. The poverty rate hovered near 35%, and real growth in GDP was lackluster, ranging from 1.8% to 4%. Sadly, enormous resources were diverted to rapid development of nuclear weapons technology, a technology that ended up undermining Pakistan's security by fueling an increased arms race with India.

There's more...

The Devil We Already Know: Nawaz Sharif destabilizing Pakistan and undermining relations with U.S.

Pakistan is a country that is continually tested and stressed. Whether it is via Kashmir, tensions with India, being a defacto battle ground on the war against terrorism, or just facing the challenges of being a developing nation with tens of millions living in poverty, the challenges faced by Pakistan are many. The latest challenge to face Pakistan is in the actions of Nawaz Sharif. His challenge to the current democratically elected leadership is not only short-sighted and self-serving, it threatens the stability of Pakistand, and the stability of the region in general.

There's more...

End our 50-year national nightmare: Vote Obama!

(Here's a letter-to-the-editor that will be printed in my local paper here in North Carolina. Permission hereby granted to use any part or all of it in letters to your hometown papers.)

There's more...


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