The RPs Debate Romney Bullying: Greg Harris Hits Back

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I truly hope discussion about the Post piece doesn’t turn into debate about its timing versus substance.

Reporters are digging into Romney’s post, just as they dug into Obama’s (Rev. Wright, etc). In doing the digging, they came upon the recollections of grown, prosperous men about a bullying incident that haunted them through the years. A peer at their school was harassed, held down and sheared. The prosperous son of a Governor/Big 3 CEO committed the act. That’s pretty damn mean.

What concerns me all the more is that Romney seems to acknowledge the incident, though with faint memory. I think a human being should remember something like that–that is, unless they are wired differently.

Of course, this wouldn’t be as relevant if Romney’s policy positions didn’t reveal callous attitudes towards the GLBT community. Physically restraining a “different” student is one things; policy prescriptions that restrain an entire population from military service, the right to marriage or even civil unions, brings such dehumanization to scale.

The RPs Debate Romney Bullying: Greg Harris Forays

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It doesn’t take a decades old bullying incident to illuminate Mitt Romney’s views towards gays. His current public policy positions say enough. Mitt Romney believes that gay people are second class citizens.

Mitt Romney believes the humanity of gay citizens is not equal to the humanity of straight citizens. Otherwise, Mitt Romney wouldn’t advocate for denying the basic right for gay people who love one another to marry one another.

Mitt hails from a party that often claims government encroaches on religious liberty. But Mitt’s vision of government encroaches on my religious liberty. I am Jewish, and Reform (and Conservative) Judaism recognizes the rights of gay folks to get married. But under Mitt’s governing philosophy, the government would supersede the right of my faith community to recognize and sanction gay marriage.

Small government and individual liberty aren’t universal principles within the modern Republican Party. They only apply to those who were born the “right” way.

Greg Harris Withdraws from Commissioners’ Race

Delaware Online has the scoop on contributing RP Greg Harris:

An Ohio former elected official is coming to work in Delaware because he was “awarded a major contract with a nonprofit group in Delaware that seeks to improve public education in that state,” according to an Ohio newspaper article.

Greg Harris, a Democrat, dropped out of running for commissioner in an Ohio county after his firm was awarded the contract, according to City Beat. The story does not name where he’s headed to in Delaware.

I was checking out his Twitter account this evening. He posts a lot about education, including Delaware news. I’m not sure where he leans in the ed reform debate, but he get a retweet from Diane Ravitch on April 2. On the other hand, he’s also tweeted links to theRodel Foundation blog.

The RPs Debate the 2012 GOP VP: Greg Harris Jumps In

Greg Harris’ Response

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I predict Romney will give Captain Caveman the nod.

Mr. Caveman’s Neanderthal views on women and science will help shore up Mitt’s cred with the GOP base.

See video of Caveman’s oratory below:


Greg Harris: Some “Occupy” Valentine’s Day Cards

The RPs Predict the New Hampshire Primary

OK, folks, round two of the 2012 GOP presidential primary, which means round two of the fearless predictions of our recovering politicians.

Last week, our RPs boldly made their Iowa caucus prognostications, and with the exception of RP staffer Zack Adams (who predicted the correct finish of the top 6 candidates) and Artur Davis (the only contributing RP to predict the correct order of the top 3), well…let’s say they are lucky to get a second chance. But this web site is all about second acts, right?

And we ask you to join them in the comments section as well.  No fun prizes, but instant fame and glory to the reader who is the closest.

So, here goes the New Hampshire experiment:

The RP: Romney 39; Paul 19;  Huntsman 17; Santorum 12; Gingrich 11; Roemer 1; Perry less than 1%. Ron Paul let me down — big time — last week, but I still have confidence that the independents will keep him in a solid second place.  And I predict that the media darling, John Huntsman, will underperform. And my big surprise:  Buddy Roemer ekes out 6th place from under Rick Perry’s nose.  Oh, yeah, and Mitt Romney wins big. Yawn.

Paul Hodes (contributing RP and former New Hampshire Congressman): Here goes from the Granite State…Romney 34; Huntsman 19; Paul 18; Gingrich 14; Santorum 12; Perry 3

Zac Byer (RP Staff): 1st – Mitt Romney (32%); 2nd – Ron Paul (19%); 3rd – Jon Huntsman (15%). [Click here to read his Zac’s full report from Manchester, New Hampshire.]

Jason Grill: 1. Romney (Needs at least 35% or a 10 point win); 2. Huntsman (The candidate with the best chance to beat President Obama in the general); 3. Paul (Another third place finish, but still relevant); 4. Gingrich (Edges out Rick, but Tick…Tick…Tick…SC is next. Boom); 5. Santorum (No Iowa magic tonight); 6. Perry (Already hunkered down in SC for his last stand)

Greg HarrisRomney – 35; Huntsman – 21; Santorum – 16; Paul – 13; Gingrich – 11; Perry – 4

Steve Schulman: With apologies to Frank Sinatra…Mitt Romney – If he can’t win it here, he can’t win it anywhere…Ron Paul – He’ll do it his way…Jon Huntsman – Strangers in the night…Rick Santorum – Please don’t talk about him when he’s gone…Newt Gingrich – Fly him to the moon, let him play among the stars…Rick Perry – Ain’t that a kick in the head…And too bad Michele Bachmann dropped out … that lady is a tramp!

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The RPs Predict the New Hampshire Primary

Greg Harris: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised; It Will Be Tweeted

“Any man today can lay claim to being filmed”

–Walter Benjamin, The work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction 

Time Magazine recently named “The Protester” its 2011 “Person of the Year.”  In a year defined by an Arab Spring where the people of Africa and the Middle East risked life and limb to demand democracy, and Americans “Occupied Wall Street” to reclaim democracy, Time’s choice made perfect sense.

But I submit that a strong runner up for “Person of the Year” should be “Social Media”—that is, “Facebook,” “Twitter,” and handheld devices (PDA’s, etc).  No, these social media tools aren’t actual people, but they provided the tools for the protesters to organize and reveal to the world their plight.

When studying for my doctorate, I immersed myself in the Frankfurt School of philosophy .  Many of its leading thinkers were weary of the rise of technology as a tool for totalitarians.  Theodor Adorno even warned of a “culture industry” wherein consumerism masks itself as choice, instilling a false sense of personal freedom when there was no real freedom.

A dissenting view within the Frankfort School came from Walter Benjamin, who believed new technologies (in the context of his writing, the increased use of film and photography) could have a political effect that could be liberating if placed in the hands of the people.  Benjamin, a Jew fleeing from the Nazis, committed suicide when it appeared he was going to be captured and sent to concentration camps.  At a time when Hitler was in power and using film for purposes of mass propaganda, Benjamin’s technological optimism, in context, seems surprising. 

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Greg Harris: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised; It Will Be Tweeted

Our Contributors Predict the Iowa Caucuses…

After two years of campaign, hundreds of pundit prognostications, and thousands of cable news sound bites, at long last, what you’ve been waiting for…

Our fearless contributors — Contributing RPs, Friends of RP and RP Staff — offer their predictions for tonight’s Iowa caucuses.

And you can too — please give us your predictions in the Comments section below.

Without further ado…(Click on their name to find out their background)…

The RPPaul 30%; Romney 25%; Santorum 21%; Gingrich 7%; Perry 6%; Bachmann 4%, Huntsman 1%.  I don’t think Rick “Man On Dog” Santorum’s organization is strong enough to take advantage of his surge.  I also think Paul’s support is underestimated in the polls because his grassroots support is so fervant, and the tin foil hat crowd among his followers are fearful of pollsters.  Remember Pat Robertson?

Michael Steele: Click here for his exclusive-to-The-RP report from Iowa.

Jeff Smith: Santorum 27; Romney 23; Paul 23; Perry 11; Gingrich 9; Bachmann 6. I think some Bachmann/Gingrich/Perry folks walk in to their caucus, see how outnumbered they are by Sant-mentum, and get on the bandwagon.

Jason GrillRomney, Paul, and Santorum will finish first, second, and third. The order though is more “up in the air” than George Clooney was in his recent Oscar nominated movie. Organization and friends twisting other friends arms at the caucuses will decide the order of the top three. If Romney finishes third that WILL be news and change the race somewhat moving forward. He will be seen as an even weaker front runner if this happens. Also, it will be interesting to see where Perry and Gingrich finish tonight. Keep a lookout for their percentages at the end of the night. A fourth place finish for Perry over Gingrich will signal a potential showdown with Romney in South Carolina. Lastly, I am anxious to see how Huntsman finishes in next week’s New Hampshire primary after skipping Iowa.

Mark Nickolas: Paul (25%); Romney (23%); Santorum (22%); Gingrich (11%); Perry (10%); Bachmann (6%).  Iowa requires a level of commitment from supporters unlike anywhere else. Those with the best state organization and strongest levels of commitment do especially well (Paul and Paul). Also, since Independents and Dems can participate if they want to cross over — as Indies did for Obama in ’08 — that’s likely to help Paul the most. Nefarious (aka loyal) Dems are going to support anyone but Romney to ensure a protracted GOP race, with Paul and Santorum benefitting most. 

Rod Jetton:  I think Ron Paul will just nip Romney and Rick Santorum will get third. Newt probably finishes in 4th. The Ron Paul forces are dedicated and with his numbers going up they and their friends have started believing he can win. They will turn out and surprise all the experts. 

Greg Harris: Santorum – 26%; Romney – 25%; Paul – 21%; Gingrich – 12%; Bachman – 8%; Perry – 7%; Huntsman – 1%.  Santorum’s diligent grassroots work throughout the State this past year will pay off, resulting in more ardent caucus warriors advocating his case, and moving some on-the-fence Bachman and Perry supporters.  Ron Paul’s fanatical base will still assure him over an over 20% showing.  The minority moderate voters will hold their noses and back Romney.

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Our Contributors Predict the Iowa Caucuses…

Greg Harris to Run for Hamilton County (OH) Commission

Contributing RP Greg Harris, a former Cincinnati City Councilman, has thrown his hat back into the ring, running for a spot on the Hamilton County Commission.

Reports The Daily Bellwether:

The era of the deal has ended.  

Democrat Greg Harris, a former Cincinnati council member who lost his seat two years ago, is running for a spot on the Hamilton County Commission.  

That means GOP Commissioner Greg Hartmann will have to campaign and actually face the voters this year — something he escaped in 2008 when the leaders of both political parties made a backroom deal to give him a free pass for his first term.  When Democrats complained about the 2008 deal, Republican Chairman Alex Triantafilou called them “radicals.”  

But democracy has bloomed in this year of the Arab Spring. Triantafilou, Hartmann and the GOP will have to work to hold the seat.  Harris, 40, holds a Ph.D. from Miami University.  He is a West Sider and used his stint on Cincinnati’s Council to push for reforms that included consolidation of city and county services to save money. Harris was interested in seeing if the city police department and county sheriff’s department could be combined to save tax dollars.   

During a chat with The Daily Bellwether today , Harris said he was pumped for the contest and would file nominating petitions tomorrow: “This is a race I really wanted. The county is in a lot of trouble and there isn’t any evidence Greg Hartmann is getting us closer to resolving the issues.”  Harris said he was particularly irked over Hartmann’s proposal to use millions of dollars from an indigent healthcare levy to pay off debts from the stadiums.

“That really put a fire in my belly,”  Harris said of Hartmann’s proposal.  “I don’t know how anybody can think that way, that it’s okay to raid healthcare for the poor to pay for Mike Brown’s stadium.”  Harris also said there are issues about Hartmann’s attendance and work habits.  “He’s originally from Texas, there’s a lot of issues about absenteeism with him,  I work very hard,  I really value constituent services.  I don’t like the term politician.  like public servant.”  You can read quite a bit about Harris’ biography on this webpage left over from his Council campaign.  There is morebackground info available here.

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Greg Harris: A Herbivorous New Year

Eating a good steak is almost like a religious experience for me.  It’s an occasion … such as a birthday dinner at a throw-back steakhouse whose environment encourages even the most effete of men to talk like Goodfellas.

Cincinnati’s most well known restaurateur, Jeff Ruby, plays up this pageantry at his steakhouses.

The grand opening of one of his restaurants came in the form of an invite tied around the neck of a dead fish, playfully evoking the mafia intimidation tactic of sending would-be victims the message that they would soon be “sleeping with the fishes .”

Often outside Ruby’s restaurants you’ll see men awkwardly smoking a big cigar, trying to look the part, but perhaps tying a little too hard.  (I also enjoy an occasional good cigar, but smoke mine in private.)

My Grand Pa Leon became a well regarded restaurateur in Chicago after years as a kosher butcher.  He knew a good cut of meat, and never strayed from quality.  His restaurant, Frenkel’s, had the best corned beef and even earned a reference in a David Mamet play.  He actually looked the part of a gangster … a cigar aficionado who drove big Buicks and resembled a thicker, stronger version of Robert DeNiro. Yet his ethics and honesty were very much unlike that of a Mafioso. In his early years as a shop owner when the mafia came by for their take, he chased them out with a meat cleaver.   Year later, he abruptly left a thriving restaurant and nightclub in downtown Chicago when he learned his partner had mafia ties.  (No offense, Mr. Ruby and other would-be goodfellas, but I share my grandfather’s disdain for the mob and wannabe’s that glorify thieves and thugs.)

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Greg Harris: A Herbivorous New Year

Greg’s Video Flashback (2004)