Santorum rallied around radical rhetoric, the GOP continued their war on women, Obama responded to a campaign of diversions, Sarah Palin made a surprising forecast, a Conservative character slammed “The Lorax,” and the Ed Show covered it all.
It was a week stuffed with radical rhetoric, as unlikely Republican frontrunner Rick Santorum served up his ultra-conservative message to hungry fundamentalist voters. As the convention approaches, GOP presidential candidates are ramping up assaults on each other and on the president, with the former Pennsylvania Senator offering a buffet of outrageous statements.
Santorum came out preaching on Sunday, attacking everything from Obama’s religious faith to the public education system. Appealing to the same constituents that labeled Obama as a Muslim terrorist in 2008, radical Rick claimed that the president’s policies are grounded in “some phony ideology…not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology.” While he didn’t manage to define Obama’s clandestine theology, a Santorum spokeswoman “accidentally” referred to the President’s “radical Islamic policy” during an appearance on msnbc. On Monday’s Ed show, Joy-Ann Reid explained that Santorum “feels the country should be governed…by the rules of the Catholic Church.”
In addition to his vision for a Catholic-American theocracy, Santorum also lectured voters about his views on education. We learned that his radical plan is rooted in the belief that a family should be able to pick and choose their child’s curriculum. It calls for the expulsion of all federal and state funding from public education. msnbc Contributor E.J. Dionne told Ed that taking government money out of education would essentially flunk the American dream.
But it was Santorum’s remarks at a Georgia rally on Sunday that fully exemplified the extent of his extremism. In a lengthy rant, Rick puzzlingly equated America’s current condition to that of the pre-WWII era, saying that a major threat to the country is being ignored. Part of his analogy drew an unmistakable comparison between Adolf Hitler, as the leader of the bygone-threat to America, and Barack Obama, the nation’s alleged biggest danger today. E.J. Dionne said that he “cannot believe the Hitler metaphor” was used, and wisely called for a ban on such comparisons in American political rhetoric.
Rick Santorum wasn’t the only one pushing a radical agenda this week. Republicans also sustained their war on women’s reproductive rights. A newly proposed Virginia bill would require women seeking an abortion to first undergo a highly invasive trans-vaginal ultrasound. Ed asked President of the National Organization for Women Terry O’Neill on Monday what her thoughts were on the procedure. O’Neill said that because it would be non-consensual, she considered the intrusive practice to be rape.
Perhaps former SNL cast member Amy Poehler said it best Saturday, when she shouted “Don’t tell me what to do!” to conservative legislators.
On Tuesday, Ed deconstructed the reasons behind the intensified attacks on the president, and the GOP’s new focus on contraception, abortion and even gas prices. With the Dow Jones breaking the 13,000 mark for the first time since 2008, Republicans no longer have recession-laden fuel to power their campaign against Obama. According to Ed, “The economy is not the President’s weakest spot right now.”
In a diversionary campaign, right-wingers are taking the focus off of real issues and are parading social conservative flags in an effort to rally a small fundamentalist population. But in doing so, GOP leaders have alienated a massive portion of the electorate, including moderates and independent women.
Mitt Romney knows a little something about alienation. On Tuesday, he split with his party by saying, “as you cut spending you slow down the economy.” The Democratic-leaning sentiment left Mitt in a hairy situation. Going against the Republican grain is likely not the best move for a candidate who has already spent over $32 million only to end up bleeding in the polls.
A hemorrhaging GOP train-wreck is not bad news for all Republicans. Sarah Palin hinted this week that a brokered convention might be her ticket back into the presidential race. Regarding this possibility, Palin said “perhaps it would be in the end very good for our party.” Ed was joined Wednesday by Ring of Fire Radio Host Mike Papantonio, who called Palin “a shameless manipulative opportunist who has never stopped trying to run for president.” The last time the Alaskan’s name was on the ballot, American voters made their voices heard loud and clear.
American voices were audible in other ways this week. Wednesday brought a major victory for Democrats and women across the country. The party that supposedly champions limited government has forced its way into bedrooms across the nation. Concerning his state’s controversial new abortion bill, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell finally conceded that “mandating an invasive procedure is not a proper role for the state.” Ed noted the significance of this win, saying “the American people will not sit quietly while a political party tries to stomp all over their rights.”
GOP Presidential hopefuls tried to stomp on the President during Wednesday’s twentieth and final debate before the Arizona and Michigan primaries (Feb. 28) and Super Tuesday (March 6). Newt Gingrich called Obama “the most dangerous president on national security grounds” in American history. Ed pointed out that it was as if the candidates had agreed to unite against the president rather than take serious jabs at one another. Despite their alliance, former Democratic Senate staffer Jimmy Williams told Ed that overall, it was the Obama campaign that was energized by the debate.
Obama took up the topic of energy at a University of Miami speech on Thursday, which further fueled support for his re-election. Responding to fuming Republican criticism, the president dismantled the GOP’s drilling proposal and condemned conservative celebrations of higher gas prices as evidence of his failure. In reality, as Ed pointed out, “American oil production has increased dramatically under President Obama.” Nevertheless, John Boehner told Republicans to “embrace the gas-pump anger they find among their constituents.” Fox News jumped on the bandwagon, not even attempting to hide their glee at rising gas prices. Obama struck back, saying “only in politics do people root for bad news.”
And finally, to cap off a week of cartoonish republican rhetoric, Lou Dobbs publicly denounced the new animated film “The Lorax.” Without any evidence, Dobbs drew the conclusion that “the president’s liberal friends in Hollywood [are] targeting a younger demographic using animated movies to sell their agenda.” Oh the places they’ll go! Ed sketched out the facts on Thursday, explaining that the Dr. Seuss book on which the movie is based was written 41 years ago. According to Ed, “Maybe they’re just upset that these kids’ movies are more realistic than the cartoon characters in front of the cameras.”