Yachtboating; the New Swiftboating?

John Kerry and his swift boat crew

In the 2004 Presidential campaign the political gloves came off, so to speak, when a group of Vietnam War veterans was enlisted by a Republican special interest group (known as a 527 or the equivalent of today’s SuperPac) released negative campaign ads calling into question the validity of John Kerry’s war record and his subsequent protest against the Vietnam war. They essentially painted Kerry’s service as dishonourable.

None of it was true, of course. Kerry served on river patrol in what was called a ‘swift boat’. And he served admirably going in to attack the enemy when called upon to do so. He was decorated for his service. But Kerry made one mistake in that he failed to defend himself from the attack ads. Whether he didn’t want to accuse fellow veterans of lying or whether he thought it was just an absurd issue that everyone would see through, it didn’t matter. Kerry failed to define himself and in doing so he allowed others to do it for him in the public’s eye. He was what is now called in modern political terms, ‘Swiftboated’ much to the chagrin of veterans who served during that period. And he lost the 2004 election possibly because of it.

Critics have begun to accuse the Obama campaign of doing the same thing to Mitt Romney over the questions about his years and service at Bain Capital. Some are calling it swift boating or ‘Swift-Baining’ or ‘Swiss Boating’ referring to Romney’s Swiss bank accounts. But is it really the same thing that happened to John Kerry? Continue reading

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We Are the Dog on Top of the Car

Courtesy MoveOn.org

Some rather enterprising individuals have taken to following the Mitt Romney campaign bus around in A Cadillac Esplenade (in a nod towards Ann Romney) complete with sponsor stickers on the side and with one special feature: a fake dog strapped to the roof. It’s an hommage to Seamus, the late Irish Setter that belonged to the Romney family that Mitt put in a kennel and tied to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive to Canada. The now infamous story that Romney originally intended as a humourous anecdote had the unintended consequence of sparking outrage among animal rights advocates.

When asked later if he regretted sharing the story Mitt responded that he probably wouldn’t have told the story because of the negative publicity. Not the welfare of Seamus, but how the publicity made Mitt look bad. This is just one of many examples that are indicative of how Mitt Romney would govern as President. Continue reading

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The Tipping Point in the Presidential Election is…Omaha?

An electric electoral conundrum in Omaha

It’s a tight race. President Obama has maintained the lead but surprisingly, for an incumbent, not by very much. Conservatives have wistfully hoped that there would be some watermark that would propel Mitt Romney into the lead but it has never materialized. In fact, it seems that every time Romney opens his mouth he does more damage to his campaign than any external criticism.

But most pollsters and our own Godparent site Five Thirty Eight at the New York Times list several states as swing states that Mitt Romney has to win in order to get to 270 electoral votes. Nate has calculated the ‘tipping point’ state or the state Romney must win in order to have a chance at victory. We here at 538Refugees have called Virginia as the tipping point state but as the race tightens before November that state could be Ohio.

Of course there are a number of potential outcomes that could play out including an electoral tie. For example if Mitt Romney wins Ohio and Michigan but not Iowa the electoral count would be 269 to 269. In the event of a tie the House of Representatives would call the winner as Aaron Burr found out in 1800 when the outgoing House voted Thomas Jefferson into office. For the sake of argument we’ll consider a tie a Romney victory based upon the make-up of the House of Representatives.

Underlying such a scenario is an oft overlooked electoral vote. Continue reading

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Can’t Steal Thunder That Wasn’t Yours

I like Tacos. Did you know you can pull your car up to this place and order tacos and then drive up to the window and they have them ready for you?

538Refugees predicted back in April why Marco Rubio would be the VP pick because of Romney’s lagging support amongst the latino/hispanic community. There was also the perception that it wouldn’t hurt Romney’s chances to carry the swing state of Florida despite evidence to the contrary that shows that historically VP picks rarely result in the home state guarantee.

Romney, of course, hasn’t helped himself in the matter by publicly declaring that he would reject the DREAM Act. Whether hispanics think immigration is a priority issue or not, it’s got to speak volumes to them about how a Romney administration values their cohort.

Then came the Obama administration’s historic announcement this past Friday and the ensuing maelstrom of criticism that its timing was merely for political gain. Well, yeah. But not for the reasons Republicans think. Continue reading

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President Obama Delivers a Lamerse Hacia Abajo (Smackdown)

Excuse me, sir. It’s not the time for questions!

(Note: That translation may be a butchered Internet search but hopefully it gets the point across)

President Obama just delivered a proclamation that amounts to an abbreviated version of the DREAM Act that Republicans in Congress refused to pass. The House passed with most Republicans abstaining but even with a 55 vote majority, Senate Republicans blocked the DREAM Act with a filibuster.

The DREAM Act was a bi-partisan bill that Republicans actually favoured. It was designed to provide guidelines for immigrants who were in the country through no fault of there own to help them become legal immigrants. It was not an amnesty program but it would keep people who had been brought to this country when they were babies, grew up and went to school here, and even served in the military from being deported to a country they had never known and perhaps didn’t even speak the language.

So the President directed the Department of Homeland Security to create a means to provide temporary relief to those people who live under fear of deportation until such a time as Congress decides what to do about the immigration issue. Continue reading

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The Multiple Mendacity of Mitt

 Disney Animated Features

We did an article a while back where we noticed a pattern in Mitt Romney’s public statements. He makes statements that are demonstrably false or misleading and even when the media points out that these statements are incorrect, the Romney camp refuses to walk them back and even leaves them out there in the public ear. So it’s not surprising that someone started compiling a list of all these whoppers. Yosef 52 who posts at Daily Kos published the following list sourced from a dedicated website, Romney the Liar run by Joseph Miller (JosephMiller41@twitter; probably the same guy). Rachel Maddow has also been instrumental for exposing the untruths and she has also been key in getting other media outlets to take Romney to task.

When confronted with the inconsistencies He claims, “What’s sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander”. Setting aside Mr. Romney’s unusual interpretation of that old saying, the implication in that statement is that The Democrat camp is lying so it’s okay for Mitt to lie. I can’t recall anyone in the Democratic camp actually out and out lying but that isn’t really any excuse for Republicans to keep doing it.

Anyway, we’ll keep adding them as Mitt Romney keeps making them up. Enjoy. Continue reading

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Was Wisconsin Worth It?

It’s Over.

After a year long backlash against Republican Governor Scott Walker the results are in. Walker and his Lt. Governor will retain their seats. Of the four other Republicans on the recall ballot, only one was ousted by Democrats. Former Senator John Lehman reclaimed his Senate seat in the 21st District from Senator Van Wanggaard by less than a mere 1,000 votes. Both parties are calling this a victory since Lehman’s win gives control of the Senate back to the Democrats which will effectively stop Walker’s legislative onslaught of measures designed to usurp unions and gain complete control of Wisconsin’s legislature for corporations.

Republicans are claiming victory by just not losing. But that pyrrhic victory came at a price. Continue reading

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