Category Archives: Prez Race 2012

“The divorcingest President”

I got an email from “my Buddy” this morning. It contained a fair question and I tried to treat it with a rational analysis:

From: “Your Buddy”
To: “Harry Welty”
Sent: 02-Feb-2017 15:28:58 +0000
Subject: 3 AM again |


Trump is the divorcingest President in our nation’s history.
So? Divorce is generally legal, and perhaps not even immoral. How many extramarital sexual involvements did William J. Clinton and John F. Kennedy have, although they were never divorced?

“Your Buddy”

To which I replied:

That’s an interesting point Buddy,

Just to set a rational foundation for my reply let me be clear. That last line of mine was a dig and by itself only a superficial sting. Although, to be fair to me I can’t off hand think of any one I know personally who has been married three times. That excess seems to be the prerogative of the rich. But affairs……..that is a fair point. I’ve had family members who cheated or thought about it. Even so, I’d consider them human rather than bad people. But let me stick with Presidential timber here.

A lot of American presidents have been rumored or known to have had affairs, sometimes a great many of them. And yet for reasons that could be labeled hypocrisy or political expediency the first serious presidential candidate I can think of who ran after a divorce was New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. He was widely condemned in his own Republican party and got hammered at the 1964 RNC Convention as an unfaithful libertine.

I do think that there is something admirable to be said for the virtue of loyalty which in marriage is generally referred to as fidelity. It is consonant with the traditional marriage vows of loving, honoring and obeying in sickness and in health. And so, when I was thirteen during the Goldwater boom Rockefeller’s divorce was scandalous. America has loosened up a lot as new generations came to see marriage as wonderful but recognized its imperfections – staying in unhappy relationships because of the kids, or the silent acceptance of spousal abuse. Sixteen years after Goldwater Ronald Reagan was just fine with the Republicans. Besides that, anyone prying into his life understood that it was his ex, Jane Wyman, who left him. Ron was an innocent.

But as to Kennedy, FDR, Harding and LBJ…..How about them? Well, political expediency may be their best excuse. They were fellows who really loved their wives and their families and weren’t willing to break them up or set a bad example for the wider community. So they sneaked around and hid their infidelities often with a compliant press’s help, turning a blind eye. Boys will be boys! Or these guys sort of did. There is little doubt that Ladybird and Jackie knew full well what their husbands were up to. Ladybird bore her betrayal with dignity. Jackie is said to have retaliated in kind.

Hillary put up with it too. Perhaps she was calculating. Perhaps she was simply being pragmatic. And on that score she managed to damage the Democratic party inadvertently in the long run by making her sympathizers defend Bill when the GOP went after his scalp. The Clintonista feminists opened themselves to the charge of hypocrisy for defending a skirt chasing, intern groping, possible rapist. Look what Donald Trump did with that! Of course, in Trump’s case it was a case of the pot calling the poor oven’s kettle black.

So is there anything else in my analysis of Trump that you would like to quibble with me about?

The case for Romney – in theory (mine)

I meant to start this when I awoke today. That turned out to be 2:30 AM. Only problem – I awoke to a second plugged drain flood disaster. I spent three vigorous hours mopping up. Now I’m moping. Analyzing Romney’s plusses is not something I have much energy for. But here goes:

I have little doubt that Mitt is a moderate at heart. I certainly welcomed his election as Governor of Massachusetts back when a few moderate Republicans were allowed to run in states that had no very serious GOP. His signature accomplishment was a very moderate Republican health care system, easily achieved with an overwhelming liberal democratic legislature with the aura of Teddy Kennedy back lighting the achievement.

It was a testament to his willingness to tackle a very tough issue and the eagerness of Democrats who controlled his state to run with their ball. It was genuine bipartisanship which is almost certainly impossible to imagine with Mitt as President.

Still, I give him high marks for pragmatism.

His entire 2012 presidential campaign has been marked by exceptional pragmatism. By that I mean Mitt has said whatever was necessary to stay in the race. He began by being “severely conservative” although no one believed him. He hung in through the entire nomination process by remaining the 2nd choice in state after state and waiting until his poorer and more ideological challengers faded from the scene when they could not match his deep pockets.

One major objection I have for this pragmatism is that it seemed unconnected to any real conviction. It is usual for candidates for national office to begin by appealing to the party then softening the sales pitch once nomination has been achieved. In this case Mitt Romney was given tremendous cover by his Party for an unprecedented disavowal of his early adherance to the party platform so eager are they to defeat the incumbent President.

The question this leads to is how much freedom from the platform will a President Romney be granted or how much independence from hard edged party planks will Romney display.

There are two possibilities here. Romney will be kept on a short tether or Romney will redifine what it is to be a Republican and bring the party to the center again.

The second possibility is intriguing. The party elders, the same ones Sarah Palin so harshly criticizes, would welcome a less extreme party the better to win future elections as the electorate changes. The Tea Party which took the GOP into a nose dive into extreme rhetoric has largely evaporated and a new GOP House of Representatives will be a less friendly place for ideologues like Michelle Bachman should she be reelected. A President Romney might very well prove to be another Ronald Reagan or George HW Bush.

It would be no picnic for Democrats to be sure but the way the election seems to be swinging the Senate will remain in Democratic hands denying Romney and the extreme Republicans the trifecta that could grind Democrats into the dust. For those like me who would like to see two more centrist national parties this would be most welcome.

It would come however with some drawbacks such as the ability of a new President to nominate one or two new very conservative Supreme Court Justices. This is one area that Romney would almost certainly defer to conservatives.

That’s pretty much it. Romney could be surprisingly moderate and could help move his party that direction. If he is elected that is what I would hope for. I don’t blame moderate Republicans for voting for Romney on this basis.

Unlike moderate Republicans, or whatever passes for moderate republicanism today, I’ve watched Romney change his stripes so often I don’t trust him. He won’t be as liberal as Barack Obama so Republicans have good reason to vote for him on that score alone. The trouble is that Obama has proven to be a very good moderate. Why he even implemented a moderate Republican health care plan – Mitt Romney’s.

Here are some of the best known pundits electoral guesses for today’s election.

The case for Romney – vox populi

(That’s Latin for “voice of the people) I will vote for Obama for a second time this year and with great enthusiasm.

I’ve been planning to post a serious case for casting a vote for Mitt Romney. (which I won’t be doing for a hundred and more reasons all previously posted here at Lincolndemocrat) Until I get around to that after some painting and home repair I’ll leave you with what I think is a fair and random sampling of Mitt’s supporters from a recent political rally:

Purple civility

My recent posts here and here on how bifurcated America has become because of our red and blue politics is, no doubt, a passing phase. We old farts will all die and our children will slap the dust off their dungarees and adopt equally foolish political agendas. I have lived through the bifurcation being a stubborn “liberal” Republican who was pushed to the sidelines and who chose to spend the last twenty years twitting the purges. My first precinct caucus was 1970. In 1992 I ran as an Independent candidate for Congress against both the Democrat Jim Oberstar and the Republican Phil Herwig. The Republicans good naturedly let me back into their caucuses after that and I subsequently ran as a Republican in two legislative campaigns in 2000 and 2002.

In 2004 (or so) I attended my first Democratic precinct caucus. I felt very out of place despite the fact that on issue after issue I agreed with the resolutions being offered up from the folks I was caucusing with.

This change is just what my generation called for back in our youth when we (not me) said of the two parties that they were so similar they were like Alice in Wonderland’s twins Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.

My argument for keeping the two parties the way they were, is the very same one that Mitt’s Dad, George Romney, outlined to Barry “Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is no vice” Goldwater. He pointed to the often dysfunctional politics of the European democracies where Communists and extreme rightist parties fought for control. Romney lost that argument and today the European’s parties are more like America’s old Democrats and Republicans and our parties have taken to extreme rhetoric.

I have had one gadfly critic from the beginning of the blog in 2006, My Buddy. The emails have grown heated between us but they have not stopped except for a few months when I quit replying to his emails because of my irritation. We still come out swinging when we think the other has said something bone headed. Here’s a recent sample of our quibbles as our November 4th election draws near:

I liked McGovern, and I voted for McGovern, but the video clip at

is an example of why my internet home page; and why I visit web pages other than that of The Lincoln Democrat; and why I am disinclined to vote for Obama. If his behavior regarding what recently happened in Benghazi; and if the lame stream media’s coverage of it doesn’t suck; please tell me why.
Your Buddy


The NY Times had a hurricane to cover. Big Surprise no Benghazi coverage.

I suppose you’ve forgotten the democrat’s complaints that the Lame Street Media didn’t cover the bull on WMD’s and other crap justifying Bush’s Iraq invasion. Media blindfolds can work both ways.

The outrage was amped up in the Fox segment. The Judge sounds a lot like the retard bashing Coulter and so did the interviewer. [I confused the male blowhard with the Judge who was the female interviewer] Listen to the interview again. Sounded like a bunch of cackling hysterics. Who can blame them? Looks like Benghazi is going to get the same pass the WMD’s did.

As for the lame street media, I get most of my stuff from the tax payer’s dollars at NPR. This is what they had to say about Benghazi today: But it’s probably not true. It comes from all those bitter enders at the CIA.

I’d like to hear Coulter and crew piss and moan about this while we dig out from the GOP’s global warming and beach front flooding debacles. Obviously, God wants Obama to win. That’s what I’d expect the Pat Robertson’s of the GOP to say.

At least my father-in-law who watches FOX all the time is hard of hearing and isn’t [always] very clear about what is being communicated. He has the good sense to be oblivious of and to


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I’ll believe its the last email when I stop seeing any more of them

After receiving a host of emails from the Obama campaign over the past year the pace of emails has picked up greatly as the campaign nears its end. It all started when I sent a $100 donation to the 2008 campaign. With three days left before the Tuesday election I finally got one with a title sufficient for me to open: “Goodbye Harry.”

Obama – Biden

Harry —

This is me saying goodbye to your inbox.

I know, I know. But PLEASE don’t celebrate until you’ve hit submit on that donation.

Seriously, we have our final big budget meeting tomorrow, and we need your help.

Even if this is your first and last donation to the 2012 campaign, it’ll make a big impact on these last few days:

Thank you for coming through.

Your friend,


Rufus Gifford
National Finance Director
Obama for America

After six months of massive unplanned spending on home repair I don’t feel at all guilty for not contributing this round. Besides I’ve inundated my eight loyal readers with criticisms of the GOP and Mitt Romney. That’s my contribution.

Climate of Doubt

A few years ago most Americans had come to believe that humans were altering the Earth’s environment. Frontline recently reported on the concerted effort by GOP leaning groups to undermine that belief.

I did not watch this because I have a life and only so much time to live it. This was probably a very important 60 minutes.

I have had a lengthy email debate with my Buddy which I’d like to post tomorrow. My Buddy is the only person who takes me to task and gets under my skin. I appreciate it. I did however take him to task for allowing Obama’s impeached explanation regarding the four deaths in Benghazi trump such things as Climate change which would affect billions.

Frankenstorm candidate

The water off the eastern seaboard is hotter than ever before this time of year. That will power up the “frankenstorm.” One candidate and his party thinks its a joke.

That joke will drench Massachusets where after four years of being a “bipartisan” governor Mitt Romney’s disapproval rating was 60%. Mitt’s getting the last laugh.

No Problem! Its only the pansy liberals in the Northeast who will get walloped. It’ll clean out the system like Katrina cleaned out that den of iniquity and bastion of poverty New Orleans.

Sherman, Cynthia, Vickie, Ursala and my racial attitudes

For those who are clueless about the significance of the last post a new AP poll prompted me to write further.

Principal Sconiers is an African American and one of the few who are employees of the Duluth School District. So, my early comparison of her to Allen West and Michael Steele, both African-American Republicans, leaned heavily on generalization.

The poll shows that roughly half of all American voters have negative racial sterotypes of black Americans. I believe it was that fact that explains the very nice things Rush Limbaugh and other creepy GOP pundits had to say about Obama when he was fighting for the nomination against Hilary Clinton in 2008. I think Rush and crew were trying to shame Democrats into nominating a black candidate who he was confident American voters would not elect. No matter what American voters do this election they fully earned my admiration in 2008. They pretty well shut Rush up for a couple of three months till he found his bile again.

I learned about race in Topeka, Kansas. As a very young child I was surprised that all black people looked alike. By second or third grade they no longer looked alike to me and I later became aware that the ability to differentiate between people of different races took experience. (Pearl S. Buck, a white daughter of missionaries in China had no difficulty differentiating between the faces of Chinese people but when she found herself among a gathering of fellow white people was astounded that they all looked the same to her)

One school year I was actually a white minority kid in my sixth grade class. Fifteen white kids, fifteen black kids and one Native American. Coincidentally that was in Topeka, Kansas where the the suit leading to Brown vs. Board of Education was settled by the US Supreme Court in favor of integration.

I walked past the homes of many of those black kids some days to get to school. Many lived in “Tennessee Town” and their cracker box houses rested on cinder blocks to keep them above the damp soil. Some of the black kids came from families with 13 or 14 children and so did one white Catholic kid who taught me how to play “Spit in your eye.” (I only played it once after which I quit it cold turkey when I learned that the name of the game was also the object of the game)

By this time I knew these black kids as the individuals they were. Sherman was the jerk who took my precious art projects and strewed them out on the playground. Cynthia was the girl with two last names representing two different men, a father and step father, whose anxieties drove her to act superior and harass other kids. Vickie was a tomboy who I so liked that I invited her to my halloween party that with my parents help became the talk of the school for a few days afterward. Ursala was the grossly fat girl I suppress a cringe when I had to square dance with her for a phy ed class. Billy Moore was the beautiful athlete who went on to become a phenom in high school. I also met my first peer named Harry, just like me but black as coal. My chief recollection of Harry was a dramatic home run he kicked in Kickball on our school’s asphalt playground studded with tether ball polls. One of the polls was conveniently situated right on the line between third base and home plate and as Harry rounded third looking over his shoulder at the ball he had kicked so far away he ran into the damn poll and lost half his front teeth.

Black Duluthians are still a small minority in Duluth and I feel I owe it to them to remember their individual natures if for no other reason because of my own early experiences. I no longer talk to Mary Cameron who I helped elect three times to the School Board. I once joked with Tim Grover, who I also no longer speak to, that I kept Mary in my cellar. I have a earthen floored space under our sun room in which I placed the middle panel of a bill board I ordered for Mary and placed on a 4 by 8 plywood sheet in my front yard one election. Today its in my “wine cellar” with Mary’s smiling face looking up at me every time I retrieve a Cabernet.

Sconiers herself is no stereotype. Her husband is Egyptian. Her predecessor Eddie Crawford is also black but he’s an individual too who hails from the Caribbean.(NOTE CORRECTION BELOW)

Its not just white Americans who get caught up in generalizations about complicated people and who carry prejudices.

I recall my Buddy sending me lots of essays by Ward Connerly, a black Californian who fought to eliminate affirmative action. He resented the excuse it gave white Americans to accuse Black Americans of preferential treatment. He also thought it crippled black Americans by making them think they really were inferior to whites and needed special help. A lot of blacks didn’t know what to make of him either. I remember Mary Cameron attending a local gathering with him uncomfortable because a lot of her friends disapproved of his politics.

Americans are no different than most people who have gotten set in their ways. They have to be dragged kicking and screaming into a new age. As a child during the centenary of the Civil War I guessed that it would take another 100 years before America would be far enough along to elect a black President. I was off by fifty years. Like Michelle Obama who caught so much flack for saying she was proud of America (finally proud if I recall) I too was proud. I stuck an editorial cartoon of Lincoln’s statue giving Obama a thumbs up next to my computer.

So, half of all Americans, white Americans are prejudiced (often unknowingly) against blacks. That didn’t stop them from voting for Barack Obama. Only about 5% voted against him solely because of his “race.” That many may vote against Romney because of his Mormonism. Its our vote to do with as we please prejudices or not.

Not all blacks will vote for Obama some because of their own prejudices. His father was a real African and not and African American descended from a slave family. That’s the real resentment I sense when I hear him attacked by such as Allen West or Herman Cain or even his own Chicago minister Jeremiah Wright Sr.

Its not all that different than Romney’s campaign chairman John Sununu who sneered that Colin Powell only endorsed Obama because they are both black. Cheap sterotypes are too easy.

CORRECTION: Some years after this was posted I talked to Mr. Crawford and learned that his father was an African American in the military who married a French woman. When the family moved Crawford stayed in Duluth.

While David Brooks correctly sees the GOP for what they’ve become…

Peggy Noonan returns to the fold with a historical fantasy about Obama’s ultra liberal attack on the Grand Old Party.

He misread his Republican opponents from day one. If he had been large-spirited and conciliatory he would have effectively undercut them, and kept them from uniting. (If he’d been large-spirited with Mr. Romney, he would have undercut him, too.) Instead he was toughly partisan, he shut them out, and positions hardened.

The Eunuch’s Endorsement

I speculated that the Trib’s editors would simply write the endorsement for the DNT’s owners. I wonder if they had to ask permission to post this disclaimer in the paper today?

This political endorsement was determined by Forum Communications and was written by the Duluth News Tribune”

Its for Romney. I didn’t read it. Writing about moving “forward” reminds me too much of the civic do-gooders who told Duluth to “move Duluth forward” and support the Red Plan. Their math was just as bad as Romney’s.

Class to No class

An Open Letter to Ann Coulter
Posted on October 23, 2012 by Tim Shriver

John Franklin Stephens

The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last night’s Presidential debate.

Dear Ann Coulter,

Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.

Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.

Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.

Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are, and much, much more.

After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.

I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.

Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.

No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.

Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.

A friend you haven’t made yet, John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia

Romney Jobs or Jabs?

It wasn’t just closing down US companies and sending their jobs to China. It was crony capitalism and lobbyist inspired laws that gave Bain’s gamblers a sure thing and screwed everyone else.

Read David Stockman and weep. I’m sure the Republicans will want to send Reagan’s Budget guru to the woodshed again.

Bain Capital is a product of the Great Deformation. It has garnered fabulous winnings through leveraged speculation in financial markets that have been perverted and deformed by decades of money printing and Wall Street coddling by the Fed. So Bain’s billions of profits were not rewards for capitalist creation; they were mainly windfalls collected from gambling in markets that were rigged to rise.

Remember the K Street follies? That’s what it is to be a Republican today, that and granting “personhood” to any lucky sperm that makes it to an egg.

Last night’s Pinochios

My Buddy sent me this link to the Washington Post’s fact checking of last night’s VP candidate’s debate.

No comments were offered on the debate by my Buddy but I took his link to suggest that he wanted to reinforce his contention that both Democrats and Republicans can be disingenuous. I’ve got half a dozen other emails from my Buddy waiting for me from the last couple days to look at. I may or may not get around to looking at them.

I did take time to watch the debate. I enjoyed Biden’s performance grins and all. My wife told me it was bad debate style. So is stammering and looking down at your notes for too long when someone is staring at you unblinkingly.

Biden wasn’t going to let Obama’s penchant for virtuous and boring corrections of the record get in his way of reigniting the Democrat’s Presidential campaign.