Tags: michigan | primary

Should Michigan Really Matter to Candidates?

Monday, 14 Jan 2008 05:11 PM

By Lowell Ponte

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Tuesday’s Michigan primary could determine whether former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or Arizona Sen. John McCain go on to win the Republican nomination and a chance to become president of the United States.

But Michigan is as atypical of the United States as was the farm welfare state of Iowa or the lily-white Live Free or Die state New Hampshire. (Pundits continue to evade the question why New Hampshire exit polls, not just polls taken days earlier, showed Illinois Sen. Barack Obama winning by five points or more, a discrepancy at least four times higher than what Democrats called election theft in 2004.)

While America mostly prospered from 2000 until 2007, Michigan lost 400,000 jobs and stands to lose another 51,000 in 2008, according to University of Michigan economists.

The reason why Michigan “artificially had a recession,” former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, is “because its government is so bad, its taxes are so high, its unionized work rules are so destructive . . .”

Democrats run Michigan’s legislature. Its Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm embodies the welfare socialist politics of her birth country Canada. Her foreign birth, like California RINO Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s, precludes her ever becoming president. (Sen. McCain was also born outside the United States and arguably may be ineligible to become president, as this column discussed last July 16. The Panama Canal Zone where he was born is again part of the foreign nation Panama. And you wondered why McCain favored open borders to our Latin American neighbors.)

If Romney cannot win in Michigan, he probably cannot win anywhere outside the Utah bastion of his Mormon faith.

Romney’s Mexican-born father George was Republican governor of Michigan from 1963 until 1969. From 1954 to 1962, George Romney headed American Motors, the now-extinct company that created the Nash Rambler and AMC Gremlin. George routinely took his son Mitt to the Detroit Auto Show, which opens again this week.

Gov. George Romney made his own presidential run in 1968, which imploded because he told an interviewer that during a trip to the Vietnam War front “I'd just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get."

In Michigan Mitt Romney is running in the state of his birth as the son of this moderate governor. It should be an easy victory — bad news for Romney because this means he will earn little credit for a win but be disastrously damaged if he loses.

Recent polls have shown Romney at best only slightly ahead of McCain, who carried Michigan with the help of Democratic voters who crossed over to weaken McCain’s rival Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Bush thereafter crushed McCain in the South Carolina primary.

Romney’s most outspoken support in Michigan in 2008 comes from the radical left Web site DailyKos, which urged its readers to vote for Romney to keep Republican candidates in conflict and spending campaign money to weaken each other.

“Jobs are leaving the state of Michigan,” McCain bluntly told voters during a speech in Ypsilanti. “They have left and will not come back, but we’re going to create jobs. We’re going to create a new economy.”

Romney, by contrast, has crisscrossed the state promising to restore the auto industry if he becomes president. But this seems unlikely in a rust belt state riven by union-entrenched class warfare, Democratic racial politics, and a huge welfare-dependent underclass of African-Americans who were given high school diplomas they could not read to protect the privileges of city teacher unions.

Michigan’s attempts to encourage investment and customers have verged on the insane. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, for example, has spent lavishly on a nationwide ad campaign using as its spokesman the actor Jeff Daniels, the peak of whose career was playing Jim Carrey’s typecast sidekick in the 1994 movie “Dumb & Dumber.”

That certainly makes me want to invest millions in Michigan.

Or consider Chevrolet trucks, doing ads around a catchy anti-capitalist “This is our Country” song by John (Cougar) Mellencamp, fresh from his 2004 music tour to raise money and preach class warfare ideology for liberal Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry.

Does General Motors believe no Republicans buy trucks? Why else would they select a partisan enemy of Republicans to sell Chevy trucks? This, too, is dumb . . . or dumber.

In truth, we may be wrong to think of the giant Detroit auto makers as capitalist companies. They are now so inbred with the union and government forces that control them that they have become the same species. Is this Romney-style corporate capitalism?

Two decades ago, General Motors used its political muscle to have the City of Detroit use eminent domain to blast 2,500 Polish-Americans out of their homes in the suburb of Hamtramck to clear space for a new Cadillac factory. This Roman Catholic community was blown away.

Today Hamtramck echoes five times each day with the call to Muslim prayer from local loudspeakers. This is the legacy of Arab workers imported by Henry Ford as well as of newer immigrants drawn to Michigan, the most Islamic state in America.

The congressman who represents half of Motown as well as Hamtramck, ultra-left Democrat John Conyers, provides a click on his Web site to convert its words into Arabic. And John F. Kerry came to Michigan seeking votes and dollars in 2004, telling a Muslim audience there that he opposed Israel’s building of a fence to stop suicide bombers.

How does Mitt Romney plan to restore capitalism and rule of law to such a state, and at what cost to taxpayers elsewhere?

Even after the U.S. Supreme Court told the University of Michigan to stop blatant racist preferences in its law school, the academics there thumbed their noses at the High Court and continued their racism using new pretexts.

The question after Tuesday should not be whether the AutoMittronic Mitt Romney won or lost, but whether anyone should pay attention to voters in a state as eccentric as Michigan.

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