Monday, October 22, 2012

The Big Squeeze

You've likely noticed that you can't open a newspaper or your mailbox, or turn on a TV, radio, or computer without being flooded by political ads lately.

Even though ads aren't likely to change anyone's mind at this point, that isn't going to stop either side from dumping millions more into political advertising over the next two weeks. If you're tired of the monster of campaign advertisements choking all of us, let us remind you of something we've said for several years now.

The single biggest problem in our political system is money, in large part thanks to the Supreme Court, Citizens United, and the ideas that money is speech and corporations are - legally - people. No matter who wins, we need to make sure that after this election, we all focus on getting the money out of elections. As it is, advertising isn't the only place money is being unethically spent in this election.

The Romney family also has been putting their money into the voting machine company that will count the votes in Ohio - and that's a HUGE problem. Multiple investors and top level executives at Hart Intercivic have deep ties to the Romney family, including Mr. Romney's own son Tagg - the hothead who claimed he wanted to take a swing at the President (which is technically a Federal crime).

If you're wondering why we're not as focused on the substance of tonight's debate - foreign policy - the answer should be fairly obvious. When it comes to the facts of foreign policy, President Barack Obama and his administration have been amazingly successful during his first term.

The news that leaked out Saturday - that the U.S. and Iran may be on the verge of nuclear talks - was retracted publicly on Sunday. Because of the sources and writers associated with the news of this situation, we have no doubt that even if public talks are being denied, private talks are now likely ongoing. The steep sanctions President Obama has inflicted on Iran are driving its government closer to a diplomatic solution every day.

As far as Libya goes, as more details emerge, it appears the information given to Obama's State Department (including Susan Rice) that pointed to local non-al Qaeda militias being responsible was far more correct than the al Qaeda scare story that the right-wing has been pushing.

This is what actual diplomacy looks like under President Obama - and it's exactly the opposite of Mitt Romney's foreign policy.

Seventeen of twenty-four of Mitt Romney's foreign policy advisors are Bush era neocons, led by the same people who got us into the war in Iraq, including Dan Senor. Last week, Senor - one of the top members of a group called "The Foreign Policy Initiative" - even advocated the United States get involved with 'boots on the ground' in the civil war in Syria.

There is a serious reason why Mitt Romney remains vague about his foreign policy, and why - among all those ads swamping you right now - you will not see a single one that even comes close to describing Mitt Romney's foreign policy approach.

That's because Mitt Romney's foreign policy is the same as George W. Bush's & Dick Cheney's. Choosing Romney as our next leader very likely means Americans will keep sending our young men and women to die, for the indefinite future, into any country that doesn't bow to the bullying and cowboy diplomacy of a Mitt Romney administration.

President Obama, on the other hand got us out of war in Iraq, is pushing to get us out of Afghanistan, and - in case you forgot - President Obama is directly responsible for the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Keep these details in mind when you watch the debate tonight - which will thankfully be ad-free.

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