With only 14 days to go until the general election, candidates in all races are beginning to feel the heat of the looming "deadline". With the exception of the first presidential debate, the remaining 3 were all knockout wins for the Democrats. There's also the conflicting messages and gaffes from Republican candidates, which is unusual considering that they were a fairly unified party in previous elections.
The last two presidential debates showed a candidate Romney repeatedly in conflict with earlier positions and even statements on his website. They warned us that they would be shaking the etch-a-sketch, but it's still surprising and jarring that they don't seem to realize that they can't really erase past statements that he and his campaign have made.
At the last debate (ostensibly about foreign policy, although domestic agenda were certainly brought in), Romney was either agreeing with President Obama (or stating positions/actions that the president had taken as his they were Romney's ideas alone), or taking positions that were at odds with the current reality
. It's almost as if they are ceding the foreign policy "win" to Obama.
They are also ceding other positions as well, though likely not intentionally. One of Romney's 5 points in his 5 point plan is to increase U.S. oil production. As it turns out, the U.S. is well on it's way to becoming the world's top oil producer
, surpassing even Saudi Arabia.
The "we built that" meme is also taking a beating as it becomes more clear that Republican lawmakers have needed a helping hand from the government
. Whether it's government contracts in the case of Steve King (R-IA) or stimulus funds in the case of Paul Ryan, Republicans are having to admit that no person achieves success in a vacuum, and often the wind beneath their wings is provided via the federal government.
The Republicans are definitely seizing the religious extremist social positions, which appeal to a continually shrinking minority of voters. This is often centered on the abortion debate with tangentially related topics like rape and contraception being pulled into it. Republicans have managed to alienate voters in general (and women in particular) in every case by treating women as chattel. The latest to enter the fray is U.S. Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock (R-IN), stating that pregnancies as a result of rape are part of God's plan
, and abortion should be disallowed in those cases. Fortunately, Democrat Joe Donnelly is ahead in that race, and this latest comment should seal the deal.
It should also reinforce the notion that Republicans are willing to roll the calendar back 60 years when it comes to women's rights.
The desperation and "win at all costs" mentality that it generates has led to ethical and illegal attempts to suppress the votes of those that tend to vote for Democratic candidates. Besides the regressive voter ID laws, and states purging voter rolls
, there have been several cases of voter registration fraud. Raine has covered those here
, and Dems in Congress have urged the DOJ to investigate
There are also the cases of possibly intentionally misinforming voters by sending out voting materials with the wrong election day on them
. This has already occurred in Arizona, where the English on the form had the correct date, but the Spanish date was incorrect
Over the course of the next two weeks, we will be bombarded with political ads. Through all that sturm and drang, we need to be hyper-vigilant about voter suppression, and continue to point out the hypocrisy, inconsistency, and downright reactionary positions in the rhetoric coming from the Republicans.