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Saturday, July 07, 2012

Romney's Edsel Moment

Republicans were stunned by Justice John Roberts Supreme Court decision to support the Affordable Care Act. Governor Mitt Romney and his supporters counted on a defeat of President Obama's signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act, as issue to surge them toward 2012 election victories. Perhaps, they were counting on the influence of millions of dollars spent to defeat "Obamacare" in the national media, money they thought might influence Justice Roberts and other Justices.

It was Romney's Edsel Moment. Those old enough can remember Edsel, the auto industry's 1960s art nouveau designed car, named after the son of Ford Motor's founder. It was promoted with loads of advertising money but the design failed miserably.

Although Chief Justice Roberts justifably bristles at any political commentary on a US Supreme Court ruling, there's no way around the fumbling response by Romney and his campaign staff, wrestling with how to get over the Court's landmark decision. Regardless of how the decision was debated or arrived at by the Justices, the fact is, money spent by those opposing health care reform had little influence.

But the money keeps flooding in from Republican right wing extremists, who pay for relentless negative advertising, supporting Romney's candidacy like Ford promoted Edsel. Voters are being barraged by ads paid for by right wing extremists. If Romney wins in November, he will be bought and paid for by these radical investors in political influence.

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein correlated Romney's access to political action committee money as being something like the money spent creating movies. Weinstein spent essentially the same amount to promote the flop "Our Idiot Brother" as he did on "The King's Speech". We know the outcome. "The King's Speech" is one of the biggest hits in modern movie history. Weinstein says money promoting Romney is like supporting a flawed design.

So far, in Super-PAC Republican fund raising, $158 million was raised, compared to Democrats only $47 million. (Rachel) Maddow asked Weinstein why he’s a fundraiser for Obama and what he thinks about the disparity?

"You can spend all the money in the world, but if you’ve got a bad product, it doesn’t matter. Ask anybody on Madison Avenue, don’t ask the Wall Street guys, bring the advertising guys on. If I have a defective product, I can spend $5 billion and I’m not going to sell anything.”

Although it's politically comforting to agree with Mr. Weinstein (who also said he helped Republicans in the past, like Guiliani and others he named),  it remains up the voters to understand how right wing extremists want to buy the 2012 election.

Romney certainly had his Edsel moment when the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act.  

But, the future of America depends on an informed electorate. While negative campaign advertising saturates the revenue hungry media, many Americans will rely on the credibility of the political advertising to make their voting decisions. 

While Romney hides his secret investment profits in off shore bank accounts, his surrogates invest in his campaign like it's a commodity.  Let's hope these rich right wing extremists are promoting the political equivalent of the unfortunate icon, Edsel.



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