Friday, March 02, 2012

Olympia Snow – Republican Party’s Most Moderate Senator – What her Departure Means in the Grand Scheme of the GOP/DNC Divide

Olympia Snow with Susan Collins - Republican Moderates Maine - image

Three-Term Senator, Olympia Snow of Maine has decided to call it quits, just months before the Maine Primary in June, basically handing a Senate Seat to the Democrats in November. Snow, whose career has endeared her own political party’s opposition, is one of a handful of “moderate Republican’s” in the Senate who caucus most often with their Democrat peers. Snow would have been easily reelected, according to news sources, although she faced two challengers in the GOP primary, there are four Democrats vying for the vacated Senate Seat.

Although snow is blaming “gridlock” and the “tone in Washington” as the reason for her retirement, the few moderates in the Senate, are more responsible for the gridlock than they can personally acknowledge - There is a difference between one being part of a political party and adopting the party ideology – voting straight party lines, and one who holds their convictions, but votes in the interest of their state, crossing the aisle to do so, if the other “team” has a better idea (See Scott Brown (R-MA) – versus the individual who represents a political party, yet votes with the opposing ideology over 70% of the time. In fact, Olympia Snow, rather than being a moderate Republican was more of a Democrat. Had she run as a Democrat, she may not have won those three terms, Maine having a somewhat quasi-Conservative streak, therefore one has to ask – what difference will it make should a Democrat take Snow’s seat – Not much in theory and practice, but on paper – the Republican Party loses a seat, and the media makes hay.

The Democrats are also deluded into thinking that they now will regain control of the Senate and the Congress, given the media accounts of Snow’s seat obviously going blue (and not, perhaps thinking things through, or just using the obvious implications as Public Relations. How Democrats will show this as a loss to Republican’s remains a mystery, but with a little help from the media, it appears they are winning the PR game.

Follow this logic: If one is not specifically tied ideologically to a political party, and they hold a public office, voting consistently with the “other party”, then one can be seen as somewhat of a hypocrite, or political opportunities. One of the two challengers to Senator Snow, Republican Ian Dodge, when disgusted with the Maine Republican primary contest, (and one must surmise other factors having to do with the GOP), he switched party affiliation, and is now running as an Independent (Bangor Daily News). There have been several Congressional Representatives and Senators, since the political party systems began, (which our founders warned against by the way) who switched sides as their ideology or options for reelection have changed. There is a reason why there should be multiple parties within these United States, (and there are, but weak, both in number and financially), in order to offset the “machines” that are the GOP and the DNC, having nothing to do with “the people” rather the power of those who hold the office. Therefore, what we currently have are those in office, either blue dog Democrat or Moderate Republican who are there solely for personal gain, not to serve their people. If they were there to serve, they'd switch affiliation and vote that parties platform.

The Collins-Snow Male Dopplegangers - image

Snow leaving for reasons of “gridlock”, are somewhat amusing, considering, Gridlock is when nothing takes place, there is no forward movement – had she voted on occasion, (with the other Moderates), the process would have moved forward, or not, depending on which “team” had the ball at the time. Gridlock in Washington results when both parties have only a small margin to get enough votes to do anything – and when four or five break ranks and go Democrat (Snow, Collins, etc.), everything stalls.

Therefore, this is much ado about nothing, there is no change, and both parties, will be the better for her retirement, as will the people of the State of Maine.

A Maine Fact: (which may clarify the politics at play) – was part of Massachusetts until the Missouri Compromise in 1820 – Those in the Senate wishing to balance the number of Free versus Slave States, gave Missouri Slave Status, but needed a Free State – Massachusetts was willing to oblige and gave the nation: Maine. Consider the ideology of Massachusetts, although considered a Blue (if not the bluest) state, there is a strong Independent streak, with the majority of the electorate undeclared (declaring a party only when one wishes to vote in a primary – then un-declaring once on has cast their vote. Although there is a remarkably strong liberal leaning, that is not the entire state, but the section West of the City of Westfield and north of the Holyoke – where if one takes a Sunday drive, one can still find little hippy festivals in the middle of summer – throughout the hill towns, as if traveling back in time to the 1960’s.

Is Maine much different when one leaves the coast – where tourism and factory outlets are prevalent?

Or Vermont – complete with the only Communist Senator in the nation?


Therefore, in this opinion, it is not a loss or gain for either party, but perhaps a gain for the pubic, that Senator Snow has decided to retire. Perhaps there are a few more that would join her, or declare themselves Independent, Communist, Green Party, what have you and stop being such a pack of hypocrites (this goes for both sides of the aisle.) As she was heading for victory by virtue of the (r) next to her name on the ballot (if one thinks that the general public pays any attention at all to who their elected officials are, think again), the seat will most likely go to the individual whom the electorate knows more about (by virtue of advertising) or will vote for whoever has the R in front of their name (Similar to MA voter who do the same, name recognition first, party second).

The general election will be another matter. Maine is a state that has some serious economic woes, little to no manufacturing, and a reliance on natural resources and the weather (tourism). November the nation will vote with its pocketbook, and the one individual standing that offers them the “hope” that they will alleviate the poor to what’s’ left of the middle class, financial burden, will get the job.

Snow will most likely be staying in Washington near K Street (where the lobbyist play) (Politico) – in an “attempt to influence the Government from the Outside”(Reuters)(a keyword for lobbyist).

Thursday, March 01, 2012

2012 Update - Romney Campaign Goes Divisive – Attacks Santorum for Attempting to Attract Democrats? – Media molds Santorum as “Social Candidate"

Romney, Santorum and Paul, two court Non-Republicans: Santorum to win the General, Pual to win the Delegates - Of note: Ron Paul has yet to criticize Mitt Romney - are they so similar in plans? image

It began with a Press Release from the Romney Campaign on the morning after Romney’s narrow win in Michigan – the title: “Republicans Call On Rick Santorum To Stop Teaming Up With Democrats”
The Body:

Boston, MA – Today, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, Delegate Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, Idaho Superintendent of Public Schools Tom Luna, and Former United States Treasurer Bay Buchanan will hold a press conference call to call on Rick Santorum to stop teaming up with Democrats in future Republican contests. Details are as follows:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012:

Event: Republicans Call On Rick Santorum To Stop Teaming Up With Democrats

When: 3:30 PM EST

Call-In Number: (866) 578-1005

Call Name: No More Dirty Tricks

This was followed by a second release introducing a new Romney Campaign Video available on his website which shows clips from Fox News interviews with approximately eight Democrats, one of which is a liberal talk show host that parodied Rush Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos, in getting the vote out for Santorum, and a Democrat political activist attempting to do the same – one of the interviewees suggests a “liberal blog” will be responsible for getting the vote out for Santorum to upset the GOP – the end message from the liberal talk show host suggests Santorum is the weaker candidate, as reasoning for voting for Santorum.

However, of the thousands of votes cast for Santorum, and the exit polls taken, the percentage of Democrats who voted in the Michigan primary was split, some did go to Romney while others went to Santorum, in numbers which suggest more of a temporary switch in party affiliation rather than an attempt to “support the weaker candidate”.

The back to back releases suggest that Romney is fighting hard at this point, going into Super Tuesday where the following states will hold open primaries: Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. However, the list of states, courtesy of The Daily Paul, 2012 Open Primary States The Key To Ron Paul’s Republican Nomination. suggests that the tactic might be employed by other candidates than Santorum, candidates who are interested in a)winning and b)attracting members of opposing parties, who will be necessarily for any GOP candidate, including Romney to court in order to win in the General Election.

In Romney’s attempt to suggest that only liberal Democrats who feel a need to protect Obama by voting for the weaker candidate is, to say the least ludicrous – it also sets the tone for an US versus them scenario, rather than a scenario where those of other party affiliations are invited to cross party lines. It is the theme that Washington Is Broken because of this type of divisive narrative, that has the Congress at the lowest possible approval ratings. In a matter of fact, it depends on the State and the makeup of the electorate, and if that state has any Manufacturing concerns.

The case of Massachusetts is a good case in point. Romney, who as Governor, must have worked with Democrats at some point, however, there are Democrats and Republicans and Unenrolleds, who have long lost the manufacturing jobs that have left the state, during the Romney administration and forward – those who long to have the plants up and running are more invested in Santorum, not as some sort of nefarious plot to undo Romney, rather as a choice, and a difficult choice, in voting, many for the first time, as a Republican in the hopes that Santorum’s 0% tax on Manufactures, Economic plan will work to their advantage. Although Romney may lead among Republican’s in Massachusetts polling (one poll taken by Suffolk University) they only represent 11% of the States electorate, hardly enough to propel a candidate to a win, even in the Republican primary. It is a tactical move on the part of the Romney Campaign to attack Santorum as they head into primaries on Super Tuesday, many of which show Santorum leading Romney by a handy margin, however, the question remains is it a wise tactic to use the policy of divisive politics in order to hopefully attract those hard-core Republican’s to swing to Romney, while alienating potential Democrats and Independent voters? That‘s a tough call and a real risk. The consistent negative advertising, and infighting, although of some entertainment value, leaves little time for the candidate that is not producing positive advertising, to get out his message. Perhaps that’s another Romney Strategy, who has the best attack ads win, but it may be a losing strategy.

Should Santorum do compare and contrast ads, while Romney is outspending him (and begging for donations to keep doing so), with attack ads three to one, sooner than later, appealing to the Republican base is going to come back at Romney and bite him in the proverbial (fill in the blank).

Of particular interest is the Virginia Primary where only Romney and Dr. Ron Paul are on the ballot, in 2008, Paul trounced Romney in Virginal, which, is one of those darned open primary states – it could happen again – giving Paul a much needed win.
Romney’s campaign has attacked any rival that appears to be besting him, until that candidate is so far back in the polls, or out of the race and it has worked just as it did in 2008 – but that was up to Super Tuesday. After that date, and those primaries, Romney fell flat and was out of the race by February.

In concert with Romney for some unknown reason, is the Media, who is attacking Santorum left and right – painting him as the candidate that is “social issues” driven, while completely ignoring his economic policy (which appeals to Democrats, Independents and yes, Republicans), and his foreign and domestic policies. This brings up an interesting point – since the media is known to be, in general, supportive of the Obama reelection campaign – why would they attempt to get “rid” of Santorum so soon? In polls, especially one taken recently by USA Today suggests Santorum would Best Obama in a matchup, while Romney ties the President. These polls, one must note, do change on a daily basis, however, the notion that Santorum, complete with three weeks wroth of “social issues” coverage by the media, can continue to lead Obama, speaks volumes.

Not only is Romney’s position that Senator Santorum is somehow out of line for attempting to attract Democrats to the Republican fold, but his claims as being the only one of the GOP candidates to best Obama in an election are also a stretch (given the nature of the polls and the fact that Santorum does quite well, so does Ron Paul for that matter).
In a recent interview on Fox News, Senator Santorum shot back against the media for not covering the his vital economic plan and focusing on the some of the statements he had made on the campaign trail. He also, and rightly so, stood up for his position, while noting he might have said it differently – is Santorum the only candidate to make what amounts to “gaffes”? Hardly, Romney “I’ll bet you $10,000”, and his recent comment in Michigan regarding his wife riding two Cadillac’s are perhaps not gaffes, but should be as they underscore the lack of connect to those voters earning under 100,000 per year (or more for that matter). In 2008, the campaign between Hillary Clinton and then Senator Barack Obama was filled with gems that were bandied about on Conservative News outlets. (The question should be: “Why is the media attacking the weaker candidate?”

That question will be answered within the next week, as Santorum and Romney will face off in states both north and south - should the media ratchet up the rhetoric on Santorum, one would hazard to make an educated guess that Romney is Obama’s preferred candidate – as his campaign has suggested in the past. Santorum represents a threat precisely due to his ability to connect with Union members and independents, voters who Obama desperately needs in the upcoming election and voters who, Mitt Romney cannot win without. Santorum shows his political acumen while delivering a message he truly believes in – restoring the manufacturing might of America, while Romney fights to prove he is the most conservative of the four remaining candidates. It is a question of which message will resonate with voters, especially in the Massachusetts Open Primary – states that may be more of an embarrassment that Michigan should Romney not win handily.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Worth Reading - Article by Dr. Jay Fleitman - on The Shift in Health Care Delivery -

Usually one finds this blog commenting on an particular article, however this one article by Dr. Jay Fleitman is not only of great import, but aslo informative. To that end, it is shared here in the interest of the public.

From the Hampshire Gazette: "Jay Fleitman: Liberty bows in health care shift

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

NORTHAMPTON - As chairman of the board of a local health care corporation, I recently prepared for our annual meeting, which was attended by over 100 physicians and representatives of the hospital administration and board of trustees. I discussed new and coming health care vehicles we have with the major insurance companies of Massachusetts.

These will fundamentally change the way health care is delivered. They carry acronyms like AQC (alternative quality contract) and ACO (accountable care organizations). These are known as risk sharing arrangements, which means that the providers of your medical care, hospitals and physicians, are at risk for the cost of the health care services they deliver to their patients. The less they spend on delivering those services, the more they are awarded in bonuses.

Yes, there are incentives built in for delivering quality care, but the real driver in these plans, both through private insurers and government, is to reduce the money spent on medical care. Legislation coming on Beacon Hill will accelerate this process already in place through Medicare and large Massachusetts insurers.

The holy grail and ultimate endpoint of this process is population-based care. This model has associations of physicians and hospitals being paid a lump sum to manage care for an entire defined population of consumers.

This is the future envisioned for American health care. The health care dollar, it is argued, will be more efficiently managed by consortiums of experts whose job it is to define what choices are acceptable.

One thing is conspicuously missing from these discussions. This is America, land of the free, a nation predicated on the liberty of the individual. The discretion of the individual citizen and family to control their own destiny is never part of these deliberations. The American citizen will be progressively stripped by experts and payers of their freedom of choice in personal health care decisions.

Americans would never tolerate this interference in our choices of food. We chafe at the government forcing our choice of light bulbs. Yet, for health care we are giving away our freedom to entities with no knowledge of the intimate details of our lives.

The money being managed by these systems is the private citizen's money. Whether it is your taxpayer dollar being spent in a government program or the insurance premium being paid by your employer as part of your reimbursement package, it is the individual's money being given over by proxy.

The "individual mandate" requires the citizen to buy insurance or pay a tax surcharge. By having everyone in the pool, the premiums on average are cheaper for everyone. What's next? Tax anyone over the age 50 who doesn't have a colonoscopy because they may ultimately cost the system more money if they develop colon cancer? This is not so farfetched. We tax cigarettes with the rationale that smokers cost society more in health care costs. The Massachusetts governor recently applied the same notion to raising taxes on candy and soda.

The Republican presidential candidates speak of fundamentally restructuring the health care system, and they are right. The health care dollar must be in the hands of the American citizen, not distributed in larger and more remote schemes by insurers and bureaucrats who are distant from individual choice.

This is not hard to craft. Indiana offers state employees the option of having catastrophic insurance that protects them after $8,000 in medical costs, and a health care savings account that covers the first $5,000 of the up-front cost. The employees keep the unspent money at the end of the year. Eighty percent of employees chose that plan, and their freedom in administering their own health care costs them 35 percent less than usual insurance plans. If someone understands the benefits of a medical service and decides not to spend their money on it, that is their choice to make. They may have better use of that money - a child in college or a sick parent.

We can open up markets across state lines, giving consumers far more choice in products.

I manage my medical practice by these politics. I believe that it is my duty to the fellow citizens who seek my care to respect their autonomy. I inform them of their choices and options, so they are able to exert control over their lives.

I am tempted to say that if Americans continue to cede their freedoms, the nation deserves to lose them.

Unfortunately, we are the protector of these freedoms for generations to follow, and so we squander their heritage as well.

As a physician living in Massachusetts under mandated Universal Health Care, as well as the Federal version, one can get a better grasp on the problems faced by physicians in their health care delivery and the solutions they offer, based on expertise not owned by a bureaucrat. Many thanks to Dr. Fleitman for sharing this most important article.

2012 GOP Update – Romney Wins AZ, Home State MI by 2 Points – Santorum Pulls Independents, Democrats and Conservatives - Analysis

Romney and Santorum - which is the better general election candidate? - image

2012 GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, won both the Arizona primary and the Michigan Primaryheld on Tuesday, February 28, 2012. Romney was expected to handily win in Arizona, with his main GOP Rival, Rick Santorum, focusing on Romney’s home state of Michigan and the all important state of Ohio, which votes on Super Tuesday. Romney won his home state of Michigan by 2 points, a victory and a win, yet the signs that Romney would have trouble in the general election are evident in analysis of the voter turnout. An excellent opinion piece from CNN Politics, suggests that the better general election candidate lost Michigan – Santorum who pulled independent and union voters in a larger margin that Romney or Paul – those votes which are crucial to a win in November.

Following GOP logic, that the moderate candidate is the only candidate that can win an election has cost them dearly over the years, (See McCain and Dole), while the candidates they despise, do best in coalescing a broad range of voters (See Reagan and now Santorum). There are several fallacies being presented in this primary season that should be addressed – these are part and parcel of the effort for campaigns to win at any cost – and the establishment GOP to push its “favorite son” forward. The first that Obama would prefer to run against a weaker candidate, such as Santorum is nonsense – it has been suggested that the Obama Campaign was prepared only for Romney, and Santorum or Gingrich were not the candidates they would want to face in a general.

Additionally, the fact that Democrats who cast votes for Santorum are doing so in some effort to derail Romney as a preferred candidate is ludicrous (as noted in the opinion piece from CNN). Santorum’s blue collar background, and his political acumen, allows him to attract those blue collar and independent voters that are necessary to win, while Romney continues to alienate the Conservative’s who came out in droves in Michigan as elsewhere. Understanding that each state is a separate entity, with each holding a diverse electorate, one must look at the States won and lost by Romney in his 2008 bid, to see a pattern that has developed which does not bode well for him in the general – regardless of which candidate is the “anti-Romney” and how much those that would support Obama to push Romney (and those in the establishment GOP with the firmly held belief that only moderates will prevail). The labeling of Santorum as some sort of religious, for lack of a better word, crackpot, is specifically designed to push voters towards Romney – while attempting to drown out the larger and more important messaging of Santorum on manufacturing as well as foreign and domestic policy. It may have worked with Mike Huckabee in 2008, allowing McCain to best Romney (moderate and more moderate), but Santorum is a different candidate, who has a solid track record of knowing how to campaign and how to win elections. Granted he did lose Pennsylvania, in his last Senate race, something that is consistently pointed out by Romney surrogates, however, the more salient facts are that he had lost the race to a Blue Dog Democrat, with family ties in the State of Pennsylvania in a year that was simply poison for Republicans. His loss was not personal to Santorum; rather it was endemic to the Republican Party itself.

The fact that states have primaries that are open and allow Democrats to votes in Republican primaries and vice versa, only highlights the fact that Santorum understands the campaign far better than the other candidates – he openly courted Democrats in Michigan, a move derided by the Romney Campaign and the Press (See Boston Globe article Santorum Defends Calls to Michigan Democrats). There is little to no evidence, outside of a few individuals interviewed by CNN and the Detroit Free press, that a local left-wing radio talk show host, picking up on an old Rush Limbaugh “Operation Chaos” strategy (vote for the candidate that will push out the best candidate), had any significant effect, and can be taken with a huge grain of salt. One must look to the fact that liberal radio talk shows have insignificant shares of the marketplace versus the powerhouse that is Conservative Talk radio. Therefore, it was more likely the campaigns robocalls to Democrats that got out the vote for Santorum, pulling him within 2 points of Romney in his home state of Michigan.

Next on deck- Super Tuesday – which will allow the candidates to pull more punches, and prove their mettle to the American public. The wins, and the losses of the southern and Midwestern states, which hold the largest share of delegates, will allow the dust to settle, and the road to the nomination will be more apparent to the general public. If Romney can pull better than he did in 2008, it will be surprising. He won 12 states in the 2008 primary season, several of those won by much larger margins and or not at all in 2012 – Colorado, Minnesota and Michigan for example. Regardless of the candidate that emerges, be it Romney or Santorum, that candidate will be tested and able to best face a challenge to the President, it is a question now, of which of the candidates will appeal to those who hope to stay the party course, or elect a Conservative who has broad enough appeal to pull the independents and the Democrats desperately needed to win the general.

Finally, the question must be put forth, if Gingrich or Paul were not in the race, would Romney have won either Arizona or Michigan? Ron Paul’s supporters are difficult to determine, however, Gingrich’s supporters would most likely gravitate to the less establishment GOP candidate – that would have pushed Santorum past Romney in both states. Should either of these candidates drop out of the race, hypothetically, then it is more probable that Santorum would best Romney handily in the upcoming Super Tuesday states primaries – It is probable by polling that he will, even with those candidates in the race, win in the Midwest and the South – a fact that has been clearly lost on the establishment GOP but not on the President’s supporters. Watch for more focus on the “social issue” Santorum from the press, as well as claims regarding the effectiveness of the “liberal talk show hosts” ability to pull a Rush Limbaugh.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 GOP Update – Michigan Swings in Final PPP Poll toward Santorum – Election Predicted to be Cliff Hanger

Public Policy Polling’s final marginal’s on a two day poll released yesterday show a Rick Santorum with a one point lead over Mitt Romney in Michigan. (PDF here.) - the poll has a margin of error of 3.2 points. There are several points in the poll that are of particular interest – the first being that early voters (18%) polled cast their votes by a margin of 56% Mitt Romney to 29% Rick Santorum, however, those that have yet to cast their vote prefer Rick Santorum to Romney by 40 to 33%. Santorum, whose economic plan suggests a zero tax for manufacturers, does slightly better with union members 37 to 32% to Romney, with 8% of the poll taken including Democrats (63% Republican, 29% Independent). The majority of those included in the poll did not watch the last debate (66 to 34%) and 27% of those responding may change their minds going into today’s vote. The statistics what Michigan voters are seeking in a candidate is most telling – with 56% preferring a candidate that they agree with on issues, and the top priority being the economy besting social issues by a margin of 64 to 19%.

Public Policy Polling, a Democrat leaning polling firm, is most often rock solid in predicting outcomes this close to an election, predicting Santorum’s Trifecta in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri. The fact that they are this tight, with a swing in Santorum’s favor the second day of polling, gives Santorum a slight edge, but still within the margin of error – making the Michigan Primary a nail-biter.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Establishment GOP and Main Stream Press – Fear of Santorum – The Battle Between Conservatism and Moderates within the GOP – Analysis

Santorum - Feared by the GOP Establishment and the left - photo time magazine

First an article from the Daily Beastheadlines: “The GOP’s Panic over Rick Santorum”- which speaks to the GOP’s first choice Romney and their failed “strategy” for him to win the GOP nomination. The article notes that that polls show Santorum leading Romney, either one on one or with Paul and Gingrich, however, if it looks like Romney is out, the GOP has Chris Christie, new to the political stage as the Governor of New Jersey waiting in the wings to take on the Party’s Minimization. The article describes the reasoning that Santorum’s “controversies” will turn away young voters – rather than say a Mitt Romney or Chris Christie might get them to the polls in droves (Note later remark is bloggers sarcasm).

Following that logic, the man who has professed to not the office (so many times that it has become legendary) – and article from CBS alludes to the same theme – titled “Michigan may be Romney's last stand”, the CBS piece illustrates the rise of Santorum and the polling in Michigan, and should Romney lose Michigan, the GOP powers that be promise a “Brokered Convention” – this according to non-other than Chris Christie.
Needless to say, this same type of rhetoric from both the Press and the Establishment GOP was heard once before in 1980- the candidate was Ronald Reagan – and the panic was the same – how the tune changed once Reagan became the most popular of Presidents, and is now seen as the “bar” for all GOP Presidential hopefuls.

This is the problem with the national GOP – they believe that unless they run a “moderate” candidate, they cannot win (having short memories – see Reagan) – therefore they run, the Bob Dole’s, the John McCain’s, the appeasers to the left, and the result – they lose. Whiel losing the GOP might or might not pick up a majority –but a lot depends on the strength of the GOP in general and specifically the Speaker of the House – and right at the moment, John Boehner is more Romney than say Gingrich – who was successful is accomplishing just that – with Dole as the nominee. From a strategic standpoint, the only candidate that would worry all sides and achieve a rally to the base and independents who are fed up with the Obama administration policies (specifically economic), is Rick Santorum. Ron Paul, the perennial candidate, has a good percentage of the youth vote locked up – and as far as the youth vote goes – they generally do not account for a large enough percentage to affect an election. However, the “religious right” does. The Evangelicals and the Catholics are two of the largest voting blocs in the nation – If they come out in droves for a candidate (2000 and 2004 for George W. Bush (Evangelicals) and 2008 for Barack Obama (Catholics), then there is an effect, a real effect on who becomes the nominee.

Therefore, although the press and the national GOP and the DNC are terrified of the fact that those two factors, who they both court and dismiss at the same time – (being somewhat elitists) – when a candidate is surging who may be more credentialed than the rest of the PAC, but is not moderate enough for the taste of the national GOP, or the press, he is labeled “controversial”. Santorum has made statements that are just that, controversial to those who have no idea of what Catholicism entails, or the “Sexual Revolution – not the Progressive viewpoint, but the religious and also statistical viewpoint – and the latest charge that Universities might be teaching students liberal, progressive and anti-religious ideology. The problem with Santorum is that although one might not want to take a good looking the mirror, he does – he doesn’t mince words, and he makes no apologies for his statements.

The fact that colleges and universities are catered left (including Catholic institutions) is no secret. One is challenged and derided if one is not “secular” - it is a fact, but one must ask the college students, not the media and those elitist who were in agreement with the general think.

The Chicago Tribune in a piece that might be considered somewhat misleading given the headline “Rick Santorum rejects absolute separation of church and state” – speaks to the differences between Romney and Santorum, however, emphasized Santorum’s note on the “class system” developed by progressives.

The former Pennsylvania senator also doubled down on comments he made the previous day that believing everyone ought to go to college is snobbish and devalues the hard work done by Americans who don't hold college degrees. (Chicago Tribune)

It has become part and parcel of the American think that without a college degree on can do nowhere, however, those graduating from college today are faced with a choice between which fast food chain they are going to work for, assuming there are jobs available.
The Progressive ideology suggests that there is a class system (this is a taught at most universities in Senior Seminars): The First Estate, (those coming over on the Mayflower), the Second Estate (the Kennedy’s, Roosevelt’s, etc. who are very wealthy), and the Middle Class (or Elites), those who have a four year degree, then the Blue Collar workers (those who hold a high school degree and work in public service (police, firefighters, etc.) and then the “masses” – those who hold no degree.

It is the most ridiculous and misleading piece of useless information that is given to students that are about to receive a 4 year degree – that somehow the Kennedy’s are American Royalty, that they are now elite, and that the rest of the groups are “beneath them”. (This blogger had to sit through that course and not without a bit of argument). It is the most anti-American thought process, a class system in a nation that was designed to give opportunity for all, regardless of education, regardless of social standing, and yet, the courses and dogma give the student the impression that they are part of a social class – one last ditty from this course – certain things are not to be told to the “masses” because they cannot handle the information – no kidding. Also one is not supposed to "share" this "entitled" piece of information (indoctrination?)

When Santorum spoke of Kennedy’s speech on Separation of Church and State, he spoke to the fact that Kennedy was distancing himself from his Catholicism as he was facing a fierce battle for the nomination and his Catholicism was being used against him quite effectively – he needed to come up with an assurance – and he took the progressive stance – which appeased those on the left who feared the Pope would be running the United States (no kidding those were the anti-Kennedy ads from within his own party). It is an oxymoron to say the least, when the Constitution directly states that the State should make no religion primary, and protects the practice of religion – that’s it in a nutshell. The Separation of Church and State means simply that the United States cannot set up a Theocracy – and as far as anyone who studies the Constitution or has read the Bill of Rights – it is difficult to misinterpret. Yet if it is in the political interest of the Press, or a party – it is done so on a daily if not hourly basis.

The message one will hear is that Santorum is out of touch, right wing, when the reality is, he is a Catholic, with Catholic viewpoints (not shared by all Catholics, just as there are differences in all Christian and Jewish faiths (Orthodox, Conservative and Reform, for example) and one must suspect others not mentioned. His points are not within he mainstream think regardless of whether they are right, and that is all one hears. One does not hear about his economic policies nor his foreign and domestic policies, nor his energy policy. Rick Santorum is not Mitt Romney or the establishment GOP candidate – Good! Good for the Country – especially if they learn about his non-controversial statements (press and GOP speak) but rather his sound policy statements. The fact that Chris Christie, and the balance of the GOP standard bearers are threatening a “brokered convention” (just like they did in 1980 – except they wanted to run George H Bush instead of Reagan) – is just that, a warning to those who might see chaos and vote for Romney against their better judgment or their own preference.

The likelihood of this happening is nil, but the GOP and Press shoving this down the voters throats “literally’ is ridiculous. From this perspective and without a Chrystal ball – no one knows at this point who will win Michigan and or Arizona (as polls are too close to call), and on Super Tuesday, ten states go to the polls: Alaska - which may go to Romney, Georgia where Newt Gingrich and Santorum are doing well, Idaho, Santorum, Massachusetts, Santorum or Romney, North Dakota, Santorum, Ohio Santorum, Oklahoma Santorum, Tennessee, Santorum, Vermont – Romney, Virginia Ron Paul or Romney.

The fact is that Romney on Super Tuesday, based on current polling, may take 3 states, and with proportional delegates awarded in some, pick up a few. It is where he suffers, in the middle of the country and the south, which makes it impossible for a candidate, a GOP candidate to win the nomination and then win the presidency.

A closing though, Rick Santorum is not Ronald Reagan, but their current situations are so similar, one must make the comparison – one might suggest that Santorum would be the candidate to best Obama, given the national polls as well – therefore, the media fights against another Conservative taking the role of President, and so does the National GOP. It is a question of power, having power over those “masses” that is at stake. Santorum is, for all intents and purposes, a working man’s advocate, and that just breaks all the rules of both the Progressives and the national GOP – to encourage a working man (or woman) to believe they are of equal worth to the Elite – it’s simply heresy.

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