A View from Left Field- A Look at Our Presidential Choices

A sneak peek at the presidential landscape


Napoleon had his Waterloo, Mitt Romney had his American Paper Company, Rich Santorum has his prayers for progress, New Gingrich his “sexcapedes”, Ron Paul his economized version of government and President Obama a record to be re-elected on.  Let’s take a look.

Napoleon’s attempt to become Emperor of Europe backfired.  Instead of forging ironclad control over the continent, he tripped up at Waterloo and spent the waning years of his life, imprisoned by the British on the island of St. Helena.  Too bad Hitler and Stalin didn’t get trapped in similar pages of history.

Romney’s campaign mantra reads, “I ran Bain Capitol and know how to create jobs.”  Care to dig a little deeper?  Romney sought to build a paper empire by having Bain acquire American Pad and Paper (Ampad), the lined yellow pad company, for $5 million down and $35 million in bank debt, a highly leveraged proposition. 

In order to become an all around paper supplier to national chain stores, Ampad purchased SCM, a file folder company.  Their first order of business was to fire all SCM’s employees.  However, they were welcome to re-apply for their jobs.  Many were retained, but the union was broken and the SCM employees that continued went back to work at a greatly reduced pay scale.  Ultimately, SCM moved its folder business out of Marion, Indiana to another state, creating havoc in the lives of many.

Next, Bain went back to the bank and borrowed another $200 million to purchase an envelope company.  However $70 million of that loan went to Bain and its investors.  In the middle 1990s Bain went public and used the proceeds in part to pay off a chunk of debt.  In 1997 Ampad bought Shade Allied, a continuous form computer paper company.  After Asian competitors came in and undercut the market, Ampad declared bankruptcy in 2000.  Stockholders were wiped clean and lenders got a fraction of what they were owed.  Moral of the story: don’t over-leverage your business because more often than not, you’ll get bit on your proverbial back-side.  You might want to check out Mitt Romney’s standing with former Ampad workers, before you cast your vote for him.  Job creator indeed!  Mitt worked his magic to turn something into nothing

Then there’s Rick Santorum, God’s last bastion of “goodness” on earth.  If we were electing a pastor, priest, rabbi, imam or holy man of any denomination, Rick deserves to be our popular choice.  He’s co-opted God’s countenance and wears it visibly on his sleeve; mainly as a ploy to capture evangelical support.  Unfortunately, there’s a conflict of interests here; we are electing a president, not a future saint.

What Americans really want to hear from Santorum are his plans for fixing the economy, creating fair trade practices, shrinking the national debt, keeping America safe from terrorism, fortifying our nation’s infrastructure and continuing Social Security and Medicare for the long haul.   And that’s just for openers!

In short, Rick our country needs more fixing and we are searching for an effective political leader who addresses those concerns.  We don’t want to replay ad nauseam same sex marriages, Rowe V. Wade, contraception, food stamps, gays in the military or separation of church and state.   We have bigger fish to fry and need a leader who can roll up his sleeves, join the 21st Century and deal with them.  You want to be president.  If it becomes mission accomplished, we hope God inspires you to take care of business for all the American people.  That’s what a president does, and that’s what we’re asking from you.

Newt Gingrich should be selling his life story to Hollywood instead of the American people.  It would make a sensational soap opera or “novella.”  As Speaker of the House he led the charge to impeach President Clinton while secretly carrying on a tryst of his own.  While his first wife lay in a hospital incapacitated with cancer, he gave her the “good” news, “I’m leaving you for my secretary.”   A similar fate awaited wife number two and now he’s onto number three.  Are these the “exemplary” qualities we want from our leader in the White House?  Instead of a family man, we’ll have a traveling man; moving far a field from family values.  Oh, and that $2.50 gallon of gas Newt's currently “hawking” on the campaign trail; look for that to evaporate as swiftly as his former marriages.

Few words  can be said for Ron Paul.  His viability as a presidential candidate shrinks faster than his desire to minimize the size of government.

Now let’s look what the current man in the White House has done.   President Obama stands tall, particularly in the realm of foreign policy.  He nailed Osama bin Laden and has other Al Qaeda terrorists on the run.  The unnecessary war in Iraq is done.  Afghanistan is winding down and thanks to American assistance Libya is a free nation. He’s focused on the Syrian and Iranian situation; and peppered throughout the Middle East are joyful citizens stepping out from under the yoke of oppression.  American effort under Obama leadership insured this “fait accompli. “

At home he devised a plan to save America’s auto industry and salvaged many thousand jobs in the process.  While not the best legislation possible, the president fashioned a responsible healthcare plan against the combative will of Republicans in Congress.  Many uninsured citizens will benefit from this legislation.  The job situation is improving and the stock market is trading at some of the highest levels in recorded memory.  He’s on the move to bring back manufacturing jobs with tax incentives for businesses that return to American soil.  All this and more, was completed in a little over three years, and achieved despite of an obstructionist Republican opposition.

Thus far, response to all the Republican candidates has been tepid at best.  Alternatively, they might seek a brokered convention.  In that way the GOP will comfortably satisfy their base and select the most reactionary candidate possible to represent them next November.

Republicans rail that they want their country back; Democrats want to move us ahead.  You make the choice.



This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Scott Killeen March 18, 2012 at 05:07 AM
So it's true after all, money can buy you happiness! Over four trillion dollars worth and about 100 billion in growth per month. FYI-Government Health Care is going to cost about double what the president and Democrats promised. When the bill was passed, President Obama and Nancy Pelosi said costs would be "around $900 billion over ten years." It's going to be close to $1.8 trillion and I'll bet anybody it increases another half! http://cbo.gov/ The government still owns 25% of the General Motors corporation, 75% of Bank of America, 77% of A.I.G and the list doesn't stop. The federal government is 15 trillion dollars in debt, that's 134,000 per every man woman and child in America. California has 1/8th of the nation's population but 1/3 of all welfare recipients. And this state will be okay? So this is how you move ahead?
Gary Miller March 19, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Scott, Hopefully, President Obama's Healthcare Plan will evolve to single payer. That will minimize cost. My goal is Medicare for all. As a citizen speculator in the stock market, I'm Ok with our holdings. We faired well with Chrysler and General Motors is on the up tick. Once Bank of America gets beyond the mortgage crisis, it will be fine. And A.I.G seems quite unlikely to fail. All in all I like our holdings. Things are looking up!
Scott Killeen March 19, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Gary, your quote is amazing,"We faired well with Chrysler and General Motors" really? American taxpayers will lose about $14 billion on the $82 billion cost to restructure General Motors, Chrysler! http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2011/12/gm-general-motors-chrysler-auto-bailout-loss-obama/1#.T2d_Po5j7Wo -So costing the citizens of the United States of American $14,000,000,000 dollars is called fair! Don't even start me on housing... http://www.forbes.com/sites/thestreet/2011/12/08/going-bankrupt-in-2012-but-keeping-your-home/ Insurance, really? You really want facts? Or just want to think things are looking up.
Gary Miller March 19, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Scott, the game's not over yet. Let's see what the American people ultimately wind up with. Also, even if we lose some monies, we saved 500,000 jobs as noted in the first link you sent to me. Also, we saved a major American Industry. How much is that worth? Also, how would you rate the state of our economy today as opposed the time that President Obama took charge of it in January, 2009?
Scott Killeen March 19, 2012 at 10:59 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p4-vPrcDBo http://youtu.be/DYwYFGZOFTc I would rate the economy today as about the same as January, 2009. Money has been thrown all over the world by the USA. The generation of today will not be able to sustain repayment of the American debt. The debt will truly be impossible for them to deal with. I would rather have suffered more ourselves than to push problems off unto the future, to people who will have no choice but to suffer with over burdening taxes. The words "saved 500,000 jobs" is not right when the government is basically paying for them. Another shell game of employees and money. Another 1.2 trillion of debt next year. Saved a American industry? Really? More people are employed by foreign car manufactures in the Untied States than American car manufactures. Nissan, VW, BWM, Honda, Hyundai and Kia. With two countries building more cars than the United States. FYI- none of those companies got any government loans! Take away all the government money that is being used and what do you know, it would be just like 2009... The government (Super committee) could not come up with a plan to save 100 billions dollars a year! You are right Gary, it's not over yet, unfortunately.
Scott Killeen March 20, 2012 at 05:56 AM
Still looking up? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/edwin-black/obama-national-defense-resources-preparedness_b_1359715.html
Pat March 26, 2012 at 05:08 PM
To be honest I don't know what Republicans or Democrats want for the common citizen of this country. They yak and yak about moral issues, but offer no real solution to the unemployment crisis. Frankly, I think jobs are every bit as important as morality, even more so.
Harvey in S.O. March 29, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Right on Scott! You didnt mention Obama's minion in the justice dept Eric Holder: just ignore "fast and furious", AIG and crony capitalism, crony capitalism and Obama, Obama's appointed czars regulating life for Americans without their consent, Obama's BS about oil increasing in the US when issued oil permits are down [thanks to Bush]; US oil companies in the Gulf cannot get permits but Brazil does and is hailed as a hero for their attempts to develop their country; the use of taxpayer's loans for green jobs but whose investors [contributors to Obama] get repaid their money before any other creditors as these companies fail; the attempt to make the US a 3rd world country in little steps by increasing the value and number of those who feed at the public trough and decreasing the value of any kind of job producer in this country; his unfailing support of any union vs the common citizen; the huge increase in govt union membership since his admin started; his kowtow to the king of Saudi Arabia; an economy that refuses to get better despite the trillions thrown at it; the interest rates artificially kept low so the trillions Obama borrowed doesnt prevent his lavish increase in govt spending by interest payments on the national debt [consider 15Trillion at 5% vs one half percent is 750 billion vs 75 billion], Gary's obliviousness to crippling inflation on its way. And there is lots more, as you know. Thanks Scott.
Harvey in S.O. April 05, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Dear Pat, so are you saying that a man who feeds his family by any means is more important than he's a burglar or robber or swindler? Morality IS the foundation of a country or civilization. Do you see a moral difference between North Korea, Russia, Cuba, Iran or a hundred dictator-led countries around the world, and America? If you do see a moral difference then the difference between Dems and Repubs is easier to identify. Dems want to use the govt to attain their [usually unstated] goal of control; whereas Repubs or Conservatives want a limited govt as was outlined in our Constitution. Dems use fear for those dependent on govt telling them the Republicans want to keep them down without medical care, shelter or food. Their purpose is to maintain power. The republicans want to elevate each human being through education and vocation and opportunity. They dont want a huge FEDERAL govt; they want the STATES to have the control. This way a person can move from state to state as each state competes for each citizen; Imagine state govts competing for you to live there! You'd choose a state that has the lowest taxes, the fewest regulations, the best environments, the lowest crime and the most individual freedom. The Federal govt doesnt want that. The FEDS want the power. It's ALL about control over your life, Pat. BTW, the Repubs keep safety nets and cannot stand human suffering. The Dems promote human suffering so people will be dependent on the govt! Sick, isn't it?
Harvey in S.O. April 05, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Just a few more words: the Dems do not see themselves as causing suffering. They see public housing as a blessing, County General Hospital as a mecca for the poor, welfare as benevolence, govt this or govt that as honorable. They never see the immorality of using the govt to take from those who produce or have jobs and redistribute to those who have less. They do not see themselves as misguided people using the thugs of the IRS to accomplish their goals. They believe the "ends justify the means", which means whatever it takes to accomplish their goals is justified and moral. This of course contradicts the definition of morality. This is why the Left dooms any country it gets a foothold. This is the fight in America today: Big Federal Govt vs smaller Federal Govt; weak State govt vs. strong, local State Govts. If you've been watching Obama lately [April 2, 3, 4] trying to intimidate the Supreme Court into giving a pass to the unconstitutionality of his signature legislation Obamacare, then you are witnessing a tyrant in action. You want to believe in him. You want him to be other than he is. The fact is he is as good as they get, if you want a socialist or fascist. He blames Republicans for blocking him from nationalizing the healthcare system. There is not enough space here to continue a tirade. Just know your choice in November is between more govt and less personal choice/freedom or less govt and more personal freedom. And that's the bottom line.
MiniMax April 05, 2012 at 06:40 PM
The neo-cons are trying to deflect the focus of the debate. Here's something that should be considered when choosing the direction of our future.Check out this quote from Bernie: "This country does in fact have a serious deficit problem. But the reality is that the deficit was caused by two wars – unpaid for. It was caused by huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. It was caused by a recession as result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And if those are the causes of the deficit, I will be damned if we’re going to balance the budget on backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. That’s wrong.” – Sen. Bernie Sanders, Senate Budget Committee, 11/18/2011
Harvey in S.O. April 06, 2012 at 01:47 AM
So MiniMax: What is a neo con? Are you trying to say Obama has no responsibility for the state of the Union? It's all Bush's fault, right? Huge tax breaks for the wealthy? I got a tax break last year [2010] of $800. Everyone I know got something. I'm not wealthy so I sure enjoyed getting this little refund from the taxes I already paid. You know what? I spent it. If 100 million Americans got $800 or thereabouts, how many jobs is that? The point is, the more money all of us have in our pockets the better we all are. This is basic economics 101. So what is the goal of hitting the wealthy with higher and higher taxes? Why not just eliminate the wealthy? Why not have a 100% tax on everyone, then there wont be any class warfare and arguments for it will evaporate. But you know the answer to that: a 100% tax means we get paid only from the govt and only what the govt wants to pay. [Sounds like Obamacare, doesnt it?]. And since they will want to appease their electors it would make no difference what your job: brain surgeon or trash collector or medical researcher or bus driver; all will get paid the $200 a month that is paid in Cuba or other communist countries. Because MiniMax, the issue is freedom from govt control. American capitalism is designed to allow a person to better themselves; it is not a guarantee. You can tax all you want but you must realize the Left NEEDs capitalists to tax, otherwise their little control game collapses. Parasites NEED their hosts!
robert April 06, 2012 at 09:56 AM
Right on. you know i just love it how they conveniently leave out the part where Bush had actually been warning of possible recession for years since April of 2001 and sounded the alarm for years but the democrats was against any reform. a black democrat even compared the reform of housing to "lynching". barnie frank stated that fannie and freddie wasnt in a crisis over the calls from the bush administration for reform. even mccain and a few others introduced a bill to the senate but it wasnt even voted on because they didnt have the votes. what was obama doing while this was going on? oh thats right, running for president.
Pat April 06, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I don't mean a burglar or a bank robber or a scam artist or a drug dealer. I mean job training for decent jobs with decent wages and benefits, which would help people get decent medical coverage and thus away from socialized medicine and crime. There will always be criminals like the above who operate outside the law, and that would include white-collar criminals like Ken Lay and Bernie Madoff. I'm just saying the current crop of presidential wanna-bes are not addressing the jobs-for-Americans issue; instead they're chattering about everything else. And to me that's the bottom line. The two phrases you give -- "You want to believe in him. You want him to be other than he is" -- can also apply to fans of Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachman, and Newt Gingrich just as easily as it's applied to Barack Obama and other Democratics. Republicans are angels and Democrats are demons? Not true. Both parties have good and bad qualities. Such is the nature of politics and super-rich politicians, Republican or Democrat. The common people are at the mercy of both.
Pat April 06, 2012 at 04:30 PM
If Republicans can't stand human suffering, why haven't they done anything about it? Why haven't they made it easier for people to train for jobs? Why haven't they made it easier for familiess to get basic medical coverage and mental health services for mentally ill family members? Why haven't they helped keep up public services (like those for parks) and libraries open, and help the average college student get an affordable education? Why haven't they helped unemployed people get off unemployment and back into the workforce? Why haven't they helped women more? Answer me that without mentioning the Democrats...if you can. I'm suppposed to worry about the government running my life? They already do, just like they did my parents' lives and the lives of their forebears; they had to pay the government for such things as police, fire department, driver's licenses, car registration, and they had to pay their state and local taxes just like everyone else to pay for those services. Governments have run everybody's lives since governments have been around in all their various forms -- monarchy, tyranny, republic, democracy, socialist, you name it. It's a basic fact of life for every single country on the face of this planet; it has been for eons and will be for eons more, regardless of who's in power.
Scott Killeen May 30, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Just a little more for you Gary..."looking up"? http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/30/news/economy/May-jobs-report/index.htm?hpt=hp_t1
Gary Miller May 30, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Scott, You know and I know that trends don't go straight up or straight down. Since President Obama took office, the unemployment rate has dipped by nearly a percentage point. We are not out of the woods yet, but in general we are moving in the right direction. The housing market is improving and jobs are increasing. Check out Romney's record on job creation, if you think he'll do better.
Scott Killeen May 30, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Are you seriously saying unemployment has dipped because of President Obama? Please explain how this has happened to me, I obviously have seen other reasons why. Gary, also fill me in on what jobs Barack Obama created before he was President?


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