GOP Already Grasping at 2016 Straws with References to Hillary Clinton’s Age (July 2, 2013)

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Latter-day Republican Party patron saint Ronald Reagan was 69 years old when he was elected President in 1980, and 73 when he successfully sought a second term in 1984. President George H. W. Bush was 68 when trounced at the polls by young, upstart William J. Clinton in 1992.

Former Kansas Senator and Majority Leader Bob Dole had logged 73 years on the planet by the 1996 Presidential campaign, which saw him fail to unseat an incumbent Clinton. Today, at nearly 90 years of age, Dole remains a relevant voice of reason, challenging his party mates to reengage common sense reality. In May of this year, Dole famously told Fox News that the the GOP should be “closed for repairs” while it assembles a party platform standing for more than fractious negativity.

In 2008, Arizona Senator and Republican Presidential nominee John McCain, then 72 years of age, was rumored to have considered a unique offer to the American public. For the price of one victorious election, the elder statesman pondered resolving concerns about his age with a commitment to just one term in the Oval Office.

As the right continues to awkwardly flounder in its attempts to connect with mainstream voters, Americans are being treated to the latest in a seemingly endless string of political ironies. The party of old white men, keenly anticipating another electoral drubbing in 2016, have resorted to attacking presumed Democratic front runner Hillary Rodham Clinton on the basis of her maturity.

In a recent New York Times article entitled, Republicans Paint Clinton as Old News for 2016 Presidential Election, writer Jonathan Martin observed, “At a conservative conference earlier in the year, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, ridiculed the 2016 Democratic field as ‘a rerun of The Golden Girls,’ referring to Mrs. Clinton and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is 70.” It is worth noting that the hapless Senate Minority Leader is himself 71 years of age.

To quote protagonist Meredith Grey of the long-running ABC drama Grey’s Anatomy: seriously? Is this the best that the GOP can do before Hillary officially tosses her hat in the proverbial ring?

Matt K. Lewis of The Week wrote a companion piece to the Times article, aptly titled Why Republicans should shut up about Hillary Clinton’s age. Among a number of cogent perceptions, Lewis declares, “The cult of youth, of course, is silly. Age can bring wisdom, and youth often equals ignorance.” Let’s zero in on the last part of the second sentence. I will take the poise, experience and cool intellect of a seasoned Clinton over the ignorant hubris of a Paul Ryan, Rand Paul or Marco Rubio anyday.

Ryan’s ongoing quest to win the serious policy wonk award has been undone repeatedly by his blanket disregard for anyone but millionaires – not to mention those 2012 campaign workout photos (egads). Rand Paul’s approach to female reproductive rights reads like this: “I think there should be some self-examination from the administration on the idea that you favor a woman’s right to an abortion, but you don’t favor a woman or a man’s right to choose what kind of light bulb, what kind of dishwasher, what kind of washing machine.” And Marco Rubio has plenty to sort out before he could ever be considered a palatable candidate, such as how the grandson of an undocumented Cuban immigrant can align himself with today’s Republican Party in the first place.

According to polls conducted in early June, Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating with American voters stands at 58 percent. This is down from a December 2012 high of 70 percent, before the GOP enjoyed their weak Benghazi scandal feast. But with Clinton currently out of political office, and the famously short term imprint of the national news cycle, experts expect those numbers to climb back steadily.

If I were a Republican strategist, I’d be worried too. A field of anemic males versus one-half of one of the most formidable couples in political history is a daunting prospect. But instead of resorting to disingenuous, hypocritical, agist barbs, why don’t you boys go out and find yourselves a platform? Expecting to gain traction with “Hillary is old! Na na na boo boo!” fully explains your present state of voter alienation.

The Republican Party Resolves to Destroy Middle Class Once and For All in 2013 (December 27, 2012)

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Paul Krugman, the famed economist and Op-Ed columnist forThe New York Times, has, in recent years, coined quite a few clever nicknames for hypocritical fiscal conservatives. And in referring to fiscal conservatives, he does not write of the dying breed of Republicans like Bob Dole, the former Senator, Presidential candidate and disabled war veteran who was humiliated in public by his own party earlier this month.

Dole made a rare appearance in the Senate chamber several weeks ago in an attempt to promote passage of a seemingly benign U.N. Treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Designed to improve access and mobility for the disabled across the globe, the treaty met with defeat from the crazed likes of political also-ran Rick Santorum, who decried the treaty on the catch-all Tea Party grounds that it posed a “direct assault on us and our family!”

It’s enough to make you wonder if Dole asked Santa for a time machine this Christmas so he could venture back to 1996 and fall off the stage at that rally directly onto Santorum’s delusional, useless noggin. It’s frightening to consider that in 2013, nearly 20 years after his failed bid for the Oval Office, Dole would be considered an unelectable liberal radical within his party’s ranks.

But I digress. When Paul Krugman writes of “deficit scolds,” “bond vigilantes,” and my personal favorite, “prophets of fiscal doom,” he refers to true charlatans like Congressman Paul Ryan, who wrote former President George W. Bush a budget-busting blank check for eight years, rubber stamping every unaffordable idea of which Dubya could dream, before suddenly putting on his serious monetary face the minute a Democratic President took the oath of office.

For months, nay years, we have been hearing from Ryan and his ilk that failure to address our long term budget deficits presents dire consequences, an imminent collapse of American security and respectability at a minimum if not an outright nullification of our entire way of life. As we moved ever closer to the edge of the fiscal cliff, the caterwauling grew louder…until it became clear that there’s just no way that President Obama is going to go against public opinion and leave the Bush-era tax cuts intact wholesale.

And just like that, the old fiscal cliff doesn’t seem so scary to GOP leadership. After all, when you come down to it, it’s not Ryan, Santorum or the one percent who will end up hurting if Congress blows past its 2012 deadline, right?

Those who booted up their computers this week to catch up on post-holiday news were greeted with headlines like this: “Senators Returning With Little Urgency as Fiscal Clock Ticks.” Writers Jonathan Weisman and Jennifer Steinhauer report “With just five days left to make a deal, President Obama and members of the Senate were set to return to Washington on Thursday with no clear path out of their fiscal morass even as the Treasury Department warned that the government will soon be unable to pay its bills unless Congress acts.”

Why the sudden move away from Republican baying about the dangers of falling over the fiscal cliff? Another writer for The Times, Nelson D. Schwartz, offers a possible answer: “Some hits — like a two percentage point increase in payroll taxes and the end of unemployment benefits for more than two million jobless Americans — would be felt right away. But other effects, like tens of billions in automatic spending cuts, to include both military and other programs, would be spread out between now and the end of the 2013 fiscal year in September.”

Why worry about what happens at the end of the year, in other words, when it is merely the unemployed and the working middle class who will take an immediate hit to their financial solvency? And lest anyone think the GOP is really troubled by the “automatic spending cuts,” it is best to keep in mind that the word “military” is the only one that gets their attention.

By now I really ought to be used to this sort of disingenuous skullduggery, the seamlessness with which members of the GOP establishment will hold the ENTIRE NATION and its future hostage in order to save some millionaires/billionaires a few bucks, but I must confess, I am not. I urge the mass media to give these tricks their proper title – treason.