What Mitt Has To "Own"
Return all the missing things to their owner.
|You have to talk to the hill billies, Barack. (cartoon source)|
By the numbers:
1. When Mitt tells the next whopper
Perhaps a "proportional" and "Presidential" answer does, actually, lie somewhere between being a roll over and being an uppity black man, however a more populist approach is also possible. The progressives in the audience want a "blood match." Mitt's handlers want uppity.
We have to remember that almost everyone has already decided on their vote.
So, how about: "Well, you've convinced about half of the country that you aren't actually going to cut $5 Tn from the revenue with your 20% tax reduction. I figure that the other half of the country already knows better. My arithmetic is telling me that if you cut 20% from revenue that is going to amount to $5 Tn dollars. If you have some other way to figure this out to come up with a different answer, it's time you told us."
"There's no telling what you actually plan to do of course. But, if we cut $5 Tn from the tax revenue in a budget that is already borrowing 40%, we're either going to need to borrow it or gut all the programs that middle class tax payers are paying for now. We're not only running out of folks who want to lend us money like that, but I think we're also running out of tax payers who want to pay their taxes and not get anything back."
2. Make Mitt own the National Republican Party
Republican Senators and Congressmen have made a totally unmanageable list of bizarre proposals and statements along with proposing an equally bizarre string of legislative bills. The House has been especially bad about this. The incentives to behave this way come from being inside the "FOX bubble." These statements and bills need to be dragged out of the "FOX bubble" into the light where everyone is faced with a decision to either live with them or not.
Mitt has to either own or disown the Republican Senators. It's only fair for Mitt to have a chance to say which way he's choosing to go. If he jumps into the clown car, he pays the price. If he disavows any responsibility for what members of his Party are doing and saying, who is left in charge of the Republican Party? There actually are such things as accountability and discipline.
It's no secret that Mitt wants the Republican Party to control the government. Is the "free for all" just going to keep going like it is now?
How does Mitt feel about Wall Street and bank regulations? He has said that he wants to get rid of them. Is he willing to "own" this position? American voters already lost around 40% of their total wealth the last time.
3. Make Mitt Own the State Republican Parties
The GOP's biblical "War on Women" has been conducted at the state by state level where Republicans have taken control. What does Mitt think about all of this? More importantly, what does he think about these state level actions one by one -- item by item?
Does Mitt support the 1,100 bills passed by these Republican state legislatures aimed at undoing Roe vs. Wade? Forced attendance at trans-vaginal ultra sound movies? There are entire states under Republican control that are flat out eliminating all access to reproductive health services. Does Mitt support this? What does Mitt think is going to happen in these places? Does Mitt support that?
GOP controlled states have been suppressing the voters who might vote against them. Does Mitt support that? He hasn't spoken against it! Would he like to speak in favor of it or against it right now? Where does he stand? Voters have a right to know where he stands.
How about Mitt and ALEC? More and more voters now understand that ALEC is the origin of laws like Florida's "If I feel threatened, I can shoot you" law. ALEC is also known to be the backbone promoting the wild anti-organized labor laws being passed in Republican controlled states. Does Mitt want labor unions suppressed?
ALEC is the source of the ultra-smelly "relaxation bills" which have been emerging state by state where Republicans have taken control -- especially the "relaxation" of environmental protection bills that cost polluters money.
There is probably no more scandalous avenue for oligarch dollars to find their way into state elections than via ALEC. Does Mitt think that this is healthy for democracy? He either does, or he doesn't. He needs to say -- or, very visibly -- not answer.
4. Make Mitt Own His Policy "Fluidics"
Mitt is standing there on that debate stage with a huge collection of violently contradictory policy statements. We could careen through this list, but why bother? Mitt has to "own" his contradictions. Just as much, he has to "own" whatever remnant of his policy is not contradictory. It's fair game to ask him what parts of his policy statements he has not contradicted.
Are you a different kind of Republican than George W. Bush?
Do you think "trickle down" worked?
Are there any details about the Republican health care plan? Your plan in Massachusetts included abortions and birth control. Does your new plan include these same things? You once said that you would support Roe vs. Wade as "settled law." How firm is your new position, Mitt?
Also, while you were Governor, you signed laws controlling firearms. Since then, you've changed your mind. How firm is your new position on gun control?
5. The Full Scope of the Bush Economy
Say it. This country is still staggering after the blow inflicted by the Bush W. administration. The economy of Europe was also damaged. American voters underestimate the scope of the damage.
The bank account [Treasury] is $14 Tn overdrawn -- about $6 Tn worth of debt during the last administration -- all of it since the 1980's..
The cash register is empty. Various Republicans including Paul Ryan -- took plenty of stimulus.
There aren't enough customers to make the economy run. Lots of Americans don't have money to spend. Those who do are scared by what just happened last time. Because of what finally exploded in 2008, middle class Americans lost 40% of their wealth -- their home equity, their pensions, their health insurance plans and their savings. Many of them lost their houses and their jobs.
When will Democrats quit blaming George W. Bush? When he and his friends return the money.
6. Make Mitt own the Ryan Budget
Mitt said that he thought it was fabulous. Is he "on board" with all of it? Has he dumped parts of it? Doesn't the Ryan Budget include the 20% tax cut?
By the way, a 20% tax cut reduces the revenue for the Federal Government by $5 Tn in 10 years. Does Mitt have a plan? Is Mitt firm on that?
The Ryan Budget includes the proposal for "vouchers" to replace Medicare.
Is Mitt firmly on board with that?
The Ryan Budget permanently ends Planned Parenthood. Does Mitt have a plan for women's health care? Is Mitt firm on that?
The Ryan Budget reduces the total block of safety net programs by 16%. This includes food stamps, housing assistance and earned income deductions. Is this also Mitt's plan?
The Ryan Budget reduces investment in transportation by 25%. Does Mitt want to cut this, too?
The Ryan Budget reduces federal support for general science, space programs and basic technology development by 6%. Is Mitt firm on this?
The Ryan Budget reduced expenditures for education, training, employment and social services of all kinds by 33%. With math and science grades at all time lows, does Mitt think this is a good idea?
Mitt has to either "own" every one of these or present his alternatives. It's either fabulous or it's not, in which case it's something else. If it's something else, what is that?
7. Tactics on the Stage
Don't speak longer. If Romney starts ham hogging the debate time, become harsher and more direct but stay rigidly inside the time limits. There are plenty of things that Mitt will have to dodge the instant after you say them. You need to say them.
Every time you look at the camera and smile, your national poll numbers go up.
Savage Republicans in the Senate. Mitt either agrees with them or he doesn't. He needs to say. For example, what does Mitt think about Mitch McConnell's "one term President" crack? What does Mitt think about a record number of filibusters?
Help yourself to a few MeanMesa "zingers," Mr. President.