Monday, January 23, 2012

Yes, We Really Do Matter.

Remember the run up to New Hampshire's primary? It may now seem like a million years ago, but it's really been just two weeks. Then, we learned that Sheldon Adelson planned to up the ante for his BFF Newt Gingrich. And regardless of what he says about what he supposedly knew (or not) about how Newt's Super PAC would nip at Mitt Romney's Achilles' Heel,

Well, apparently Adelson is about to go all in... And so is his wife! And since this week may be the most critical ever for Newt Gingrich and his political career, as well as Mitt Romney and his political career, the stakes couldn't be higher.

And yet again, there will be increased focus on Mittens' full embrace of his role as "Mr. 1%".

No really, think about it.

But Gingrich’s upset victory in South Carolina seems to show that potency of arguments that highlight the unfairness and inequality of our economic system. As Ruy Texeira writes, conservatives “should realize they’re attacking the opinions of most Americans who do, in fact, believe the system unfairly favors the wealthy“.

On CNN’s State of the Union yesterday, Gingrich took a bit of victory lap on the Bain attacks, acknowledging that they helped him win South Carolina because, he argued, they show voters where Romney is vulnerable against President Obama.

Indeed, after several weeks dominated by the controversy over Bain and Romney’s tax returns, the former governor risks losing his frontrunner status. Romney is down by double digits in Florida and is barely hanging onto a one point lead nationally, according to Gallup. For instance, one self-described “scorned woman” in South Carolina told TPM that she voted for Gingrich, even as lurid new revelations about his second wife were emerging, because of Romney’s waffling on his tax returns.

It’s worth remembering that in its early days, the Tea Party was nearly as anti-Wall Street as it was anti-government, galvanized by the Wall Street bailout. Much of that resentment likely remains, despite the best efforts of conservative elites to redirect that anger toward the government in order to white wash the distasteful record of companies like Bain.

Even though Sheldon Adelson is also "Mr. 1%" and he apparently wasn't all that into Newt's Bain attacks, his donation to Newt's Super-PAC just as it was about to release the "King of Bain" anti-Romney movie onto South Carolina airwaves nonetheless triggered this debate on economic inequality on the right. And what really makes this interesting is that despite all the efforts of the Nevada Republican Party to make its caucus totally irrelevant, Nevada and our biggest concerns may matter more in this election than we had ever imagined. And especially if Mittens plans to hit Newton on housing while Newton hits Mitten on Bain, perhaps Nevadans really will see more of a discussion on economic issues that we want answers on.

Of course, this probably won't be good for the G-O-TEA. Remember this?

Mittens doesn't want us to... But that's too bad. And funny enough, Sheldon Adelson is doing his part to help us remember.

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