ALL ABOARD the Nutbag Express with stops in Michigan, Arizona and Washington. Yes, the Washington state caucuses are held the same week as the Michigan and Arizona primaries, but have been given scant media attention. Even though the caucuses are non-binding and yield no delegates, all four republican presidential primary hopefuls are going to pay this campaign outlier a visit.
The near-term action is, of course, the Tuesday battle for primary votes in Michigan and Arizona. The pollsters say it’s close with Romney edging ahead in his home state and Santurm making a move in Arizona. I think Arizona is the wackier of the two, so Santorum may have a chance, though a number of Mitt’s fellow Mormons might tilt the final results in his favor.
As has been our practice in this hallowed space, let’s take a pre-primary look at the clot of extremist candidates. Santorum is always a good place to start. His strategy seems to be to out-extreme the far-right religious zealots. Examples abound on this site. Fair enough, he’s courting a certain segment of the vote and looking like they shouldn’t let him out on weekends to do it. Hold on. This is a man of parts. I think he actually believes some of his asinine views on women and contraception and such, but I think the real calculation here is to lock up a voting block that will actually vote. He wants to establish himself so deeply in their wheelhouse that they’ll give him the same percentage of their votes that the black population gives democratic candidates.
Bubbling below the surface and largely unnoticed by reporters are Santorum’s bonds to his corporate masters. Take his two consultancies – Consul Energy and the American Continental Group. Consul is one of those Mother Nature rapers that has its hooks into coal, natural gas and timber. A typical cough, cough, wheeze, wheeze, frack, frack, clear-cutting destroyer of the environment The Feds once fined them 5 ½ million for a massive fish kill in West Virginia. The company spends major lobbying money to perpetuate their heinous craft because they don’t want the EPA breathing down their greedy necks.
Santorum doesn’t necessarily want to abolish the EPA, he wants to abolish the laws that enable the agency do its job of protecting citizens from the Consul Energy’s of our world. Of late, he’s been highly critical of an EPA regulation limiting mercury emissions from coal-fired plants. Just kissing up to boss, Consul. All mercury emissions do is bring on asthma and heart attacks. These emissions also damage the brain and nervous systems, especially in children and those precious fetuses. Precious politically but as a practical matter, fetuses take a distant second to corporate money in Santorum’s pocket. Speaking of pockets, the EPA estimates savings of upwards of $90 billion annually through the avoidance of missed work days and hospitalizations due to Mercury pollution. But I thought Santorum wanted to save dollars at every turn. Repeat after me – not when it involves corporate money in Santorum’s pocket.
Rancid Rick also puts in time as a consultant to a consultant. American Continental Group spent $7 ½ million in lobbying last year and part of that money landed in Santorum’s wallet. They consult special interests right-leaning clients such as the democrat-hating U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Pfizer, Blue Cross and the ‘elite’ media powerhouse, COMSAT. Among the services listed on the ACG Website – ‘Legislative Advocacy’, a polite word for “lobbying” and his title of consultant notwithstanding, Santorum is a lobbyist.
In the upper right hand corner of the ACG homepage, you can click on the word, Chinese. I did and by golly there were the entire contents of the homepage in Chinese. So Santorum is likely playing a major role in giving away even more of the U.S. to our number one competitor. Is that the patriotic Santorum or the ‘owned by corporations’ Santorum?
With a 20 to 30% base of loonies locked up, Santorum needs to attract at least 25–30% of some other voting bloc. I suspect he’s making some outrageous promises to the corporate power boys to try to acquire those votes. A Santorum presidency? What a frightening prospect.
There’s been an interesting development in Newtville. Casino magnet Sheldon Adelson is seriously considering dumping $100 million of his $25 billion estimated worth into the coffers of a pro-Newt Gingrich Super Pac. Mitt has apparently lost some of his political cache with the fickle Adelson after his ongoing less than stellar performances in Michigan. We’ll see where this ancient asshole’s money lands. It could be the fiscal defibrillator Newt needs to get the heart of his campaign pumping again.
Last and co-least, along with Newt, is Dr. Ron Paul. I’m worried about Paul. I recently observed that he looked dog-tired in the Mesa debate. At 76, Paul is at the cusp of the average U.S. life expectancy. In fact numerous sources put the life expectancy of a doc at 58 years; If true, that’s pathetically low.
Dying is the eventual failure of a complex amalgam of cells, DNA, telomeres and other stuff most of us know nothing about. When oxides such as ethylene, sulphur and nitrogen (environmental pollutants, anti-EPA nutbags) and free-radicals start their menacing advance on cells; replication and division starts messing up and the old hayflick limit kicks in and Poof – start writing the eulogies.
A national campaign takes an incredible physical and emotional toll and that appears to be the case with Paul. Romney, no spring chicken at 65, looks to be bearing up well (HGH anyone?). Likewise Santorum, whose laid-back demeanor bodes well for such a task. Gingrich is a little older (69 in June) and heavier (probably south of 250) than Rick and Mitt and may be at risk himself. But Paul is the most likely to fall prey to something nasty. I’d like to see him abandon his hopeless presidential quest before he slumps over during some speech and dies. I’m serious.
Michigan and Arizona won’t tell us much, barring a dropout. We’ll have to wait until March 6th for the real gauge of this race.