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Ever More Surreal

Wednesday February 22, 2012

Countdown Vol. 10, No. 36

 

Romney In Trouble

In last week’s Countdown, we noted that Santorum has been (a) on a winning streak and (b) polling ahead of Romney in Michigan, Romney’s own home state. In effect, Santorum has become the new GOP frontrunner. Well, there is more bad news for Romney: his fundraising advantage is tanking. January was a terrible month for him not only for this election cycle, but also compared to what he raised in January during his 2008 failed run for President. Worse yet, his campaign is burning through the cash very quickly, spending 3 times what they earned in January. If this trend continues, Romney may have to dip into his personal wealth (and, boy, what a pool of wealth it is) like he did in the 2008 race. To keep things in perspective, Romney still raised more money than any of the other Republican candidates, but the previously decisive gap in their fundraising abilities is certainly shrinking. By the way, did you see Romney’s attempt at appealing to Michigan voters? You may want to keep some painkillers nearby if you’re going to watch the video, especially the part about how Michigan trees are the right height (with a line like that, how is he not ahead in the polls already?).

Obama's Radical Islamic Policies

Over the weekend, Rick Santorum got into some hot water for suggesting that President Obama had “some phony theology” which was not based on the Bible. Obama’s campaign wasn’t happy with the comment, saying that Santorum went “well over the line” by attacking the President’s faith. But don’t worry; Santorum’s press secretary Alice Stewart explained that this was all a misunderstanding: Santorum wasn’t attacking the President’s faith, just his “radical Islamic policies.” Oh, thank God it’s just his radical Islamism; for a second there it sounded like Santorum was questioning the President’s faith. Stewart later said she misspoke and was actually trying to say “radical environmental policies.” Nicely done, Ms. Stewart, nicely done! If you ever find yourself in trouble and in need of damage-control, you know who to hire. “Your honor, my client wasn’t trespassing through his neighbor’s backyard, he was just trying to burn his house down.”

Son of Islam

Asked whether he believed Obama is really a Christian, Franklin Graham insisted he couldn’t answer that question, and that Obama had to be asked directly. Asked whether Santorum was a Christian, Graham answered in the affirmative, “there is no question, I believe he is a man of faith” (and he thinks Romney is not a Christian because he’s a Mormon). So why does Graham doubt Obama’s faith and not Santorum’s? Because, according to Graham (and we’re dead serious here), the President has given Islam a “free pass,” because the Muslim world “sees Barack Obama as a Muslim, as a son of Islam,” and because he is “more concerned about [Muslims] than the Christians being murdered in the Muslim countries.” Of course, violence against Christians is totally acceptable in Islam, according to Graham’s kooky imagination, because “under Sharia law, a Muslim can take a Christian’s property, he can take a Christian’s wife, he can take his daughter.” Stop trying to wake up, this isn’t a dream, this is really the take of a prominent religious figure who’s given airtime on major American networks. Next up on MSNBC, Nazi and Ku Klux Klan leaders will give us their take on the alleged secret agenda of our black president, and the “real” beliefs of Jews in Congress. Oh wait, that would be totally ridiculous, racist, repulsive, and underserving of airtime.

Godwin's Law 2012

If you’re not too worried about the damage happening to America because the guy running it is a “nice guy,” Santorum warns, you may want to think of World War II and how “over in Europe” some guy who was initially underestimated turned out to be “not so good of a guy after all.” Santorum denied that he was comparing Obama to Hitler (yeah, that terrible “guy over in Europe” during World War II must’ve been some bad Italian baker who uses moldy dough for his bread or something), but Romney’s campaign is not letting Santorum off the hook easily. Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstorm explicitly accused Santorum of “making a comparison between President Obama and Hitler.” Don’t worry; it’s not just campaign trail rhetoric that’s getting nasty, it’s also TV spots, with negative ads making up over 50% of GOP campaign advertising this election, compared to only 6% in the 2008 election. Hurray for American unity and civil discourse.

Don't Count Paul Out

Remember Washington County in Maine whose vote was postponed due to inclement weather? Well, the votes were just counted, and it’s good news for Ron Paul: he won that County, earning 83 additional votes. The bad news for Ron Paul is: winning Washington County was not enough to upset Mitt Romney’s state-wide victory. In a remarkable display in support of the only veteran running in this election, several hundred veterans marched to the White House on President’s Day carrying Ron Paul signs and flags. Ron Paul is also upping the ante against Santorum, releasing an ad describing him as a “fake” conservative. Of course, Romney could never pull off a “fake conservative” attack ad on Santorum without (a) spending the first 5 seconds of the ad asking people to place pillows under their jaws, and (b) opening himself up to a response in kind, so he must be happy someone else is going after his new adversary.

Can We See a Gingrich Comeback?

With no wins under his belt since his South Carolina victory over a month ago, and with Santorum’s rise as Romney’s conservative alternative, Newt Gingrich is looking increasingly irrelevant at this point in the primaries. Well, his campaign may have a savior. Do you know Sheldon Adelson? He’s the right-wing “pro-Israel” billionaire whose $5 million donation to a Gingrich Super PAC is speculated to have turned Gingrich into an anti-Palestinian fanatic. Adelson, who complained he’d been “trash[ed]” unfairly, says he might now give Gingrich $100 million. “Invented people” probably won’t cut it this time. For $100 million, Palestinians may have to be declared subversive creatures from Kepler-22b sent here to destroy planet Earth. But if it means Gingrich will stay in the race long enough to provide us with more entertaining materials, we’re down for it. Or are we, really? Tough one…

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