On Friday, I read Tom Morello’s op-ed slamming Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who was recently named as Mitt Romney’s running mate, with humor. Admittedly, I’ve never been much of a Rage Against the Machine fan, but I do listen to a lot of music, mostly punk rock, where political opinions are easily found.
I put together a piece for The Daily Caller on Friday evening looking at Morello’s comments, also noting that view of a statist government is truly a way into slavery for America and his praise of Che Guevara, a vicious murderer, is truly perplexing:
[I]t is ironic that Morello, who fancies himself as a defender of the so-called “99 percent” while at the same time making millions selling his music, frequently promotes Che Guevara, the Marxist “revolutionary” who in 1959 assisted Fidel Castro in the violent overthrow of Cuba’s Batista regime.
Guevara, whose image can often be found on T-shirts sported by middle-class white kids, was nothing short of a murderer. As explained in “The History of Ernesto Che Guevara — A Short Story,” Guevara personally oversaw the execution of some 2,000 political prisoners and became known as the “Butcher of La Cabana.” Only 180 of his victims have been documented.
And yes, the title is meant to be funny. Venezuela’s socialist dictator, Hugo Chavez, recently said some nice things about President Barack Obama and took some shots at this opponent, Mitt Romney:
Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has signaled a preference in the U.S. presidential campaign by comparing Mitt Romney to his own challenger.
Chavez, who is up for re-election a month before U.S. President Barack Obama, has in recent weeks expressed a clear preference for the man currently in the White House.
In a campaign speech Saturday night, Chavez equated the agenda of his challenger, Henrique Capriles, with that of Romney, saying both men represent the callously selfish capitalist elite.
“I believe the person to best explain the loser’s agenda isn’t Barack Obama but rather Romney, because it’s the extreme right-wing agenda that borders on the fascism of the United States,” Chavez told tens of thousands of supporters in the western city of Maracaibo.
“In the end, it’s the same project,” Chavez said, referring to Obama as “a good guy.”
Over at BuzzFeed, Andrew Kaczynski has unearthed video of a 2008 health care forum where then-presidential candidate Joe Biden came out against the idea of an individual mandate. His opposition, however, was pragmatic, rather than principle. Here’s what Biden said:
One word Americans don’t like — ‘mandate.’ They don’t like the word ‘mandate.’ I dont’ want to make this hard. I want to make this simple, and not susceptible to what some of the insurance companies and the right-wing will argue this is; a mandated socialistic system. I don’t want Harry and Louise eating me alive.
Here’s the video:
The reference to “Harry and Louise” points to the ad ran in 1994 that opposed the health care plan being pieced together by the Clinton Administration. The ad helped solidify opposition to the plan and eventually led to its demise.
On Thursday, Jaime Daremblum, who is a former Costa Rican ambassador to the US and now a fellow at the Hudson Institute, wrote a piece called The Cuba Fallacy. In it he tries to argue against lifting the nearly 50 year old US embargo against Cuba.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: “The U.S. embargo against Cuba is the single biggest reason that Washington and Havana do not enjoy better relations. If we want the island nation to become a democracy, we should drop sanctions and pursue a policy of aggressive engagement.”
It is a simple and seductive argument, which explains why so many people have embraced it. Unfortunately, it is based on a fallacious reading of history and a naïve understanding of the Cuban dictatorship.
Over the past four decades, every American president who has pursued a serious rapprochement with Havana — Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama — has been left shaking his head in frustration. Whenever the United States has extended an olive branch, the Castro regime has responded with an act of foreign aggression (such as lending military support to Communist forces in Africa or killing four Cuban-American pilots) or domestic repression (such as jailing a U.S. citizen on bogus espionage charges) so provocative that it effectively ruined any chance of détente.
Daremblum also goes on to detail some of the human rights abuses committed by the Castro regime.
As noted yesterday, President Obama has made it clear that he intends to use Bain Capital as part of his campaign against Mitt Romney. His team no doubt hopes that they can reignite the same populist craze that put him in the White House by tearing down private equity in the process, despite the fact that he takes their money (a shocker, I know) and took economic advice from Jon Corzine, former head of MF Global.
But a new poll from Rasmussen shows that the attacks aren’t working, and may indeed hurt Obama more than it helps him:
Democrats have begun criticizing Mitt Romney’s business record, but a plurality of voters view the Republican’s business past as a positive.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that Romney’s track record in business is primarily a reason to vote for him. Thirty-three percent (33%) see his business career as chiefly a reason to vote against him. Twenty-two percent (22%) are undecided.
Don’t look now, but Occupy Wall Street’s 15 minutes of fame isn’t just fading quickly. The Associated Press reports that they’re also low on money:
A finance report shows the group that galvanized the nationwide movement against economic inequality six months ago had about $45,000 left in its main account.
That’s for the week of March 2. Weekly donations plummeted to about $1,600.
The report on the group’s General Assembly website says at “the current rate of expenditure” the Occupiers will be “out of money in THREE WEEKS.”
Yeah, this is me not caring. Don’t get me wrong. They had a couple of legitimate points in their message, such as the TARP bailout being a bad deal for taxpayers and criticism of the government. But their solutions to were terrible because they would’ve place further reliance on the government and would have used force to take more from taxpayers through taxation.
The grievances that Occupy Wall Street put forward certainly do deserve a spot in the marketplace of ideas in the public discussion, but I reject them almost entirely. But my personal experiences with them make me, on the whole, take them much less seriously.
The folks from Citizens United are putting out a new documentary, Occupy Unmasked, which exposes the radicalism behind the Occupy Wall Street movement and its goals are. You can watch the trailer below, though most of what is seen is familiar to those of us that followed OWS during the fall or were involuntarily exposed to a protest:
Democrats may want to heed the words of pollster Douglas Schoen, who recently went inside Occupy Wall Street and found that the protesters do not represent mainstream America; instead many are the scum of the intellectual left (to borrow a phrase from Ayn Rand):
Last week, senior White House adviser David Plouffe said that “the protests you’re seeing are the same conversations people are having in living rooms and kitchens all across America… . People are frustrated by an economy that does not reward hard work and responsibility, where Wall Street and Main Street don’t seem to play by the same set of rules.” Nancy Pelosi and others have echoed the message.
Yet the Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people—and particularly with swing voters who are largely independent and have been trending away from the president since the debate over health-care reform.
The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies. On Oct. 10 and 11, Arielle Alter Confino, a senior researcher at my polling firm, interviewed nearly 200 protesters in New York’s Zuccotti Park. Our findings probably represent the first systematic random sample of Occupy Wall Street opinion.
Ok, it’s not a real endorsement, but the Socialist Weasel had some kind words for Huntsman during a recent interview in Newsweek:
Now he is directing his outrage at President Obama, a man he helped win office in 2008. “I don’t understand why he’s chosen the path he’s chosen, why he did not come in fighting for the working people of this country,” Moore tells Newsweek. “He could have been a great president. He could have pulled us back from the abyss.” Instead, “he came in more as Neville Chamberlain, wanting to appease Republicans.” Moore hasn’t even decided whether he’ll vote for Obama again in 2012; he likes Jon Huntsman on the Republican side, saying “it’s crazy time over there” and Huntsman is the only “sane candidate.” “If the Republicans were smart, they would nominate [him].”
Huntsman unveiled a solid tax reform plan last week, but he has said recently that he “wouldn’t hesitate” to ask the rich to make sacrifices to deal with the deficit. If it’s just means testing entitlements, that’s not a bad idea, but the rhetoric is all too similar to what we hear from President Obama. But at least he doesn’t talk about wealth in collectivist terms like Michael Moore often does.