Most important MSM/Serious Person fact about Romney: he once strapped a dog, inside its carrier, to the top of the family truckster. So you know.
What we have now is a right wing party, the GOP, and a center-right wing party, The Democrat. Obama ran as and is governing as a center-right technocrat… and still can’t get much done in the face of blanket GOP opposition.
Sadly, admitting to or even obliquely referencing this reality is an unforgivable heresy and likely as not to get you run out of Serious Person circles forever.
- Q: The Constitution says that 'the Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes… to provide for the… general Welfare of the United States.' But I noticed that when you quoted this section on page 116 [of "Fed Up!"], you left 'general welfare' out and put an ellipsis in its place. Progressives would say that 'general welfare' includes things like Social Security or Medicare—that it gives the government the flexibility to tackle more than just the basic responsibilities laid out explicitly in our founding document. What does 'general welfare' mean to you?
- Rick Perry: I don’t think our founding fathers when they were putting the term 'general welfare' in there were thinking about a federally operated program of pensions nor a federally operated program of health care. What they clearly said was that those were issues that the states need to address. Not the federal government. I stand very clear on that. From my perspective, the states could substantially better operate those programs if that’s what those states decided to do.
- Q: So in your view those things fall outside of general welfare. But what falls inside of it? What did the Founders mean by 'general welfare'?
- Rick Perry: I don’t know if I’m going to sit here and parse down to what the Founding Fathers thought general welfare meant.
- Q: But you just said what you thought they didn’t mean by general welfare. So isn’t it fair to ask what they did mean? It’s in the Constitution.
- Rick Perry: [Silence.]
- Q: OK. Moving on [...]
- MIKE: During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves, 'what next'? Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey. We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together. We have always been a band in the truest sense of the word. Brothers who truly love, and respect, each other. We feel kind of like pioneers in this--there's no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring-off. We've made this decision together, amicably and with each other's best interests at heart. The time just feels right.
- MICHAEL: A wise man once said--'the skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave.' We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we're going to walk away from it. I hope our fans realize this wasn't an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way. We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It's been amazing.
- PETER: One of the things that was always so great about being in R.E.M. was the fact that the records and the songs we wrote meant as much to our fans as they did to us. It was, and still is, important to us to do right by you. Being a part of your lives has been an unbelievable gift. Thank you. Mike, Michael, Bill, Bertis, and I walk away as great friends. I know I will be seeing them in the future, just as I know I will be seeing everyone who has followed us and supported us through the years. Even if it's only in the vinyl aisle of your local record store, or standing at the back of the club: watching a group of 19 year olds trying to change the world.
PS, Bill: Wikipedia has a fascinating entry on just how it is that marginal tax rates work. Surely a man with your tremendous job-creation skill-set (one that has led to the employment of four score and seven employees) can read and understand this. So you know: not actually half your income. Even if it happened. Which it won’t, since it’s a figure (like most you employ) that you pulled out of a falafel.
The Republican Party in the United States—15 months before the next presidential election—has already burdened itself with an array of front-running presidential candidates […] [and] it now seems a necessary qualification for the Republican nomination, at least at the present primaries stage, to be a born-again fundamentalist Protestant. Yet in the United States the majority of the electorate is not fundamentalist, evangelical or Protestant.
This last bit is key. If we assume that the economic situation gets no worse and, perhaps, even improves a bit between now and 2012, and we further simply take the polling of the GOP field as it stands today (giving the nomination to Perry in a walk), it’s very hard to see how he beats Obama. So: Perry gets crushed in the general election. In the inevitable “we lost because we weren’t conservative enough” aftermath, how exactly does one make that case? Because that’s the case that will be made. The “message of the American voter” in delivering a massive tidal wave of support to 2012-Obama will universally be seen to have been a clear, ringing demand for lower taxes on the rich, a dismantling of the social safety net, and that the poor and out of work should just go die in the streets already.
Perhaps you just blame Boehner. You’ve presumably lost some House seats (but retained the majority). Cantor wants to be Speaker, so you spin it as “Perry only lost because Boehner was too easygoing on radical urban liberal Obama.” Seems impossible that anyone would buy it, but then most of FOXnews’ more successful narratives seem pretty unlikely when viewed in the abstract.