Archive for the ‘Campaigns’ Category

Allen West Concedes

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

After two weeks of battling against a machine stacked against him, Congressman Allen West(R-FL) conceded the race for District 18 in Florida on Tuesday. They had to find a way to get the count to within the 0.5% required by Florida statute to trigger an automatic full recount, and after analysis, they no longer believed that would be possible.  As West noted, there were substantial irregularities. There was a good deal of evidence that there were shenanigans with the vote itself, as well as with the count, but the early vote recount that completed Sunday morning, but was not uploaded to the state before the noon deadline would not have made enough of a difference to trigger the full recount.

You can read the statement of concession here.

He appeared briefly on Fox to share his decision, H/T BarracudaBrigade:

West fought a hard race, and the volunteers who worked tirelessly to see to it that there was a fair process in place should be lauded. The fact is that after the redistricting, it was going to be an uphill battle, and as many have noted, that really sewed the seeds of this defeat.  In the redistricting shuffle, Col. West drew the short straw.  That should be as disconcerting as anything about this race.

Move to the Back, Sit Down, Shut Up, and Vote Like We Tell You

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Do They Only Want Our Votes?

The message of the GOP establishment is clear even if they soften it slightly behind flowery language.  If you’re a conservative, the only way to get a seat at their table is to surrender your principles in exchange.  Join up, and they will throw you a bone or two, and if the Republican establishment sees you as a candidate who could be elevated, they’re apt to offer to help “bring you along” as an up-and-comer.  They don’t view themselves as “RINOs,” because it’s their belief that they are the core of the Republican party.  Now they’re telling conservatives that this race is over, and they’re now in a full-court-press mode, asserting that now is the time to unite behind Mitt Romney.  They fear a brokered convention, and all of this talk about “uniting behind Romney” is aimed and shutting this down before a floor fight at the convention becomes a reality.

I’ve asked the question before, but let me ask it again:  Are conservatives prepared to sit down, shut up, and do as they are told?

The problem rank-and-file conservatives face is simple:  They don’t have the monetary resources to back a candidate like the establishment can.  Instead, they express their support by showing up, voting, working as volunteers, and doing what they can by means of their efforts.  They don’t make thousands of dollars in donations, and they’re not able put up a flurry of cash in support of a campaign, so what frequently happens is that they field a candidate or two who are underfunded and unable to make their way into the fight.  Worse, since the establishment of the GOP will always have at least one well-funded, supported candidate, what they are able to do is dominate the process despite the fact that their candidate is not particularly popular with the majority of the party.   This is our situation now, and all too often, it’s the situation in which conservatives find themselves by the time the convention comes along.

The party establishment may deny their own existence, but it’s undeniable that they have the ability to push a candidate that suits their aims, and all too frequently, that candidate is like Mitt Romney, who is not a conservative, and not widely accepted as such.  Instead, the establishment must cajole and convince conservatives into supporting their guy, because the truth is that the one thing their money can’t buy is the votes of conservatives.  Votes are the commodity they need, and it is the only bit of leverage the conservatives in the Republican party possess, but the frightening truth is that they are often placed in the position that they must choose between voting for whomever the party establishment chooses, or withholding their votes altogether.  Many view the latter as unconscionable, and so they dutifully troop down to the polls to surrender to the establishment on election day.  This tactic is effective to a certain degree, but it hardly solves the problem because too many conservatives simply will not be goaded that way.

The GOP establishment’s answer is ever the same:  “If you don’t vote for our guy, you’re the problem.  You call us RINOs?  Where were you on election day?  It’s your fault we lost the election because you didn’t show up.“   I reject this argument in its totality, because what it asserts is no different than the argument sorry competitors in any market will make to excuse their own failures.   Imagine you’re the head of General Motors, and you’re trying to get customers for your latest product, the Chevy Volt.  If consumers don’t buy it because the car has made a bad first impression, is heavily subsidized by government, is ultra-expensive even with the subsidies, and worst of all, has practical problems that make it worthless for 90% of American drivers from the outset, you might well blame the customer, but that won’t bring you success, and it won’t help your bottom line.  Your only option is to destroy your competition so that consumers have no choice but to buy your product since there is no alternative.

This is the problem the Republican party suffers when it insists on nominating candidates who are in many ways incompatible with the views of most conservatives.  Mitt Romney is a liberal Republican, and there’s really no disguising this, and while those in the establishment hate cultural conservatives, they also know they need their votes to win.  You would think that at some point, the establishment would catch on, but I submit to you that they have on occasion.  George W. Bush maintained an image of having moral views more compatible with cultural conservatives, and that’s why they helped elect him.  In stark contrast, however, we have Mitt Romney, who in substance is no worse than George W. Bush, but for the fact that he is not palatable to cultural conservatives.  If he were, Rick Santorum would have long ago been put away, but the problem for Romney is that he’s not even capable of convincingly faking it.

The other problem conservatives face is that the establishment would just as soon lose as nominate a conservative of any description to the top of the ticket.  They’re not happy with conservatives generally, and the reason is that they favor a progressive polity that is more in line with FDR’s than Ronald Reagan’s.  For those in the Republican establishment, Barack Obama may be bad, but Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain would be infinitely worse.  The very idea that these should have any chance is more a matter of the establishment humoring the conservative base in order to permit them to believe they’ve actually had some say. The idea laid upon the table by the establishment is that at some point, conservatives must become more ‘practical’ when those choices disappear.

In the last few days, the establishment has begun to push the narrative that “it’s all over, and it’s time to begin to focus on Barack Obama,” but I don’t see why we cannot do both.  I do not accept the notion that we must cast off our alternatives to Mitt Romney simply on the say-so of the Republican establishment, and I’m not even slightly influenced by their insistence that it’s now time.  Americans don’t really begin to pay strong attention until the conventions anyway, so I don’t understand the rush to close off debate, except that they fear a floor fight in which the establishment candidate might not prevail.   For me, that’s all the more reason to continue to have the fight within the party, because at the end of this trail, however it ends, it’s we who will have to live with it, but also with ourselves.  The establishment will say that it had been our fault if their candidate gets the nomination, but fails to win in November, either because we had forced a brokered convention, or having had the establishment candidate shoved down our throats, instead simply walked away.  If they give us the Chevy Volt of candidates as our only choice, I don’t see how they can dare to complain if we aren’t willing to be electrified. Whose fault is that?  Ours?  Or theirs?

Will The Real “Prostitute” Stand Up?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The Right Proposition?

Listening to the Democrats, you would think Rush Limbaugh had committed a war crime.   His use of the terms “prostitute” and “slut” that he offered as possible descriptors of leftist agitator Sandra Fluke, and for which he subsequently apologized has been the rallying cry of every lefty feminist in sight, but Democrats generally as they seek to make as many miles on this as they can.  The problem is that contrary to the shrill refrain, it’s not having quite the effect the Democrats had hoped, and what seems to be happening is that there has been a backlash against sponsors who withdrew advertising from Limbaugh’s show.  This flies in the face of all we’ve been told about this episode by the mainstream media, but it also offers a little insight as to who the American people see as the real prostitute, as the double-standard in the media has become apparent with such leftists as Bill Maher getting a pass from certain politicians and political groups.

National Organization for Women(NOW) President Terry O’Neill was asked whether she thought the Obama SuperPAC that received a million dollars from the so-called ‘comic’ Bill Maher ought to return the money on the basis of what he has said about a number of prominent conservative women, including Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.  Her answer is only surprising to those who are naive about the motives of the NOW gang.  Watch the video:

Ms. O’Neill expresses a smarmy contempt for the question, noting that she wants Barack Obama elected, thus rejecting the idea that the money ought to be returned to Maher.  I would never make the mistake of telling you that O’Neill is a “prostitute” or a “slut,” but it is interesting to see how her support of women is conditional and quite obviously for sale.

This brings me to the real object of my question.  You see, while President Obama doesn’t technically control the SuperPAC that accepted Bill Maher’s million dollars, he does exercise at least theoretical moral authority.  He could urge the money be returned if he was as serious as his invoking of his own daughters in a discussion of the Fluke-Limbaugh situation implies, but that’s if you believe his feigned moral outrage.  Here you have the pinnacle of hypocrisy.  Obama waxes philosophically on the shame of what Rush Limbaugh said prospectively of Sandra Fluke, and yet he permits a SuperPAC operating in his name to accept money from a misogynist like Bill Maher?

The fact is that the things Bill Maher has said about conservative women are far worse than Rush Limbaugh’s proposed words, and honestly, if we can see media castigate Rick Santorum because Foster Freiss made his remark about “an aspirin between the knees,”  surely this President, who poses as the savior of women, and who has the President of NOW selling out the organization’s stated principles on his behalf could stand firm against misogyny.

What this demonstrates is that Barack Obama is a political prostitute, and that his principles and haughty talk about misogyny all goes out the window for a measly million dollars.  He’s just announced his price, if you ask me, and he might as well stand on a DC street corner asking for the support of lobbyists in much the same way.  Unfortunately for us, he has no need of a street corner because he has turned the Oval Office into the political brothel-of-state, where he routinely sells out all of his lofty notions about the “interests of the people” and “change” along with whatever else he’s selling on any given day.  The lobbyists had no problem finding him when it came time for the negotiations on the health-care bill, or the financial reform act.  They merely made deposits at the bank of the DNC and his favorite campaign SuperPacs, and for chump-change, he willingly put out.

Rush Limbaugh needn’t have proposed that Sandra Fluke might be a “prostitute” or a “slut.”  He really only needed to point out that the nation’s head madame is a he, and that he plies his trade at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Those who were confused shouldn’t be now, because Barack Obama has made it clear: He’s for sale, and the bidding starts at one million dollars, setting the price at which he will overlook anything, no matter how vile.

 

 

Is the GOP Establishment Leading Us Over a Cliff?

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Here We Go Again?

With Super Tuesday just two days away, I have a question or two about the direction in which the GOP establishment is leading the party.  We have been told that Mitt Romney is “inevitable,” but even if we accept this notion, I wonder what it will mean for the country in the upcoming elections.  Mitt Romney’s unfavorability ratings have soared, and half of Americans now see him in a negative light.  We are told his organization is first-rate, but apart from the gobs of money he and surrogate SuperPACs are spending, I really don’t see where that’s having any impact.  When you break down his support by income group, Romney only carried one segment in his recent narrow victory in Michigan, and that is the group earning over $100,000 annually.  If most voters were in that group, one might not have reason to worry, but the problem is that most voters are not.  Take away that segment, and Romney lost Michigan to Santorum.  This leads to my question, and I’ve narrowed it down to just this: When the establishment of the Republican party tells us Romney is “inevitable,” my mind leaps to November 7th, and asks: “Inevitable defeat?”

Mike Huckabee hosted an interesting forum for three of the four candidates remaining on Fox News, Ron Paul declining to participate, and it was interesting, detailed, and permitted the small panels to ask the candidates questions directly, and have a real exchange with them.  At the end, they each gave a closing statement.  What I found interesting about this was that among them all, it seemed to me that newt Gingrich gave the most detailed, specific answers to the questions.  It was clear that he had a better grasp of the issues than the other two, and while neither Romney or Santorum fumbled badly, viewing each in isolation this way, it was clear from the perspective of a viewer, Gingrich clearly ruled.

There was some discussion that Romney came across as personable, but at one point, during the closing statements segment, it seemed perfectly plastic.  Mitt’s time had expired, and Santorum was walking up to take his place, and Romney, now on his way out, did the laugh and grab thing that seemed contrived, as he placed his hand on Santorum’s shoulder and so on.  It seemed out of place. It seemed contrived. It reminded me of when meeting with a group, including somebody who I know can’t stand me goes through these motions in an attempt to disguise the ill will, but must keep up appearances.

This is the sense that one gets about Romney, and while it may not bother some in the GOP establishment, since that is how they function anyway, it is a signature of the plasticity of Mitt Romney and the whole upper echelon of Republican party insiders.  There are a few who can carry this off but it’s an intangible thing one senses in an intuitive way.  If this is the best Mitt Romney can offer, I fear my question will answer itself.  As I replay the moment in my mind, what it evinces is a desire by Romney to force an impression of warmth that a dog kennel strapped to an automobile’s rooftop roundly disputes.

It is true at this point that Romney seems as though he’s in command of the delegate count, but that’s another issue in which I must object. Hard delegates?  Soft delegates?  Last minute changes to delegate distribution?  It seems to me that the whole question of delegates is so thoroughly muddied by all of the rule changes, and the manipulations makes the delegate count suspect in a variety of ways.  Put bluntly, I don’t see how the RNC can have a rule in place that says no contests may be winner-take-all before April 1st, but then permit them to be winner-take-all.  Something doesn’t add up, but I suspect I’m using the wrong formula, which is roughly: Whatever the GOP Establishment decides:  Sum equals “Inevitable.”

Of course, with Super Tuesday looming before us, it is entirely possible that even with his win on Saturday in the state of Washington, Mitt Romney will not carry all of the states contested.  Santorum may win in some, and Gingrich will almost certainly carry at least Georgia.  What emerges from this picture is that while Romney may indeed get to 1144 delegates, it’s not clear that this inevitable nomination will translate into a victory over Barack Obama.  With his negatives on the climb, he faces an uphill battle in which he may find himself portrayed as he is widely seen, even in the Republican party: Wealthy, out of touch, and hopelessly incapable of defeating Barack Obama.  In a world in which perception too frequently drives reality, this may spell doom for the GOP come November.  I ask once again: Can we afford an “inevitable nominee” who is widely perceived as capable of no more than  inevitable defeat?

 

How the Republicans Can Win

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Leading Our Leaders

There’s nothing else to say about this except that we’re in trouble.  We shouldn’t be, as Barack Obama’s war of diminution against our economy, defenses, and culture should have doomed him, particularly in the hands of able leadership.  Due to Republican ineptitude, he is turning what should have been an election more like 1980 into one much more like 1996.  That shouldn’t be possible, but it looks almost certain to be the outcome, and worst of all, as I reported on Friday evening, he may manage successfully to make enough hay over the debt ceiling to do serious damage to the GOP House majority.  We might well ask how it is that we arrived in this predicament, but looking at the onrushing elections, it’s time to think about how we can turn this around despite our ineffective Congressional leadership.  There is a way, but until we make them grasp it, we will not win this argument. If they will not lead, we must, because our nation’s future now rests in our hands.

The first thing the House of Representatives must do is to begin passing a long string of bills, all legislation that would pass muster with the American people at large, and each confined to a narrow scope of issues.  Many or even most of them can be repeal bills, striking down previously enacted bad law.  In fact, apart from such things as money already spent, they should repeal virtually everything enacted since roughly 2007.  They should begin to beat the drum about an intransigent, puppet Senate, and they should keep this up from now until the election. They should build a pile of legislation that reaches skyward, and pile it on the steps of the Capitol, showing the world what Harry Reid will not even consider.  Every day in session should be concluded with hours of special orders speeches, decrying the President’s unwillingness to lead, and Harry Reid’s unwillingness to act on legislation.  We shouldn’t be able to turn on the television without some Republican Congressman or Senator appearing on screen to criticize in indignant terms how it is that Harry Reid, and Barack Obama are harming whichever group is effected by the legislation at hand.

In short, we need the House Republicans to go to war with the left.  We need people like Allen West, Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, and others of that frame out there making a holy fuss.  We need Rand Paul and Marco Rubio from the Senate out there calling attention to the miserable conduct of the Senate, and Harry Reid’s disgusting parroting of the Obama line. In other words, the whole of the Republican party should go to war, minus the useless RINOs, who live in cringing fear of the next poll, that due to their cowardice, becomes a sort of self-fulfilled prophecy of failure.

The other important thing they can do is to stay well clear of the Republican nomination fight.  Leave the primary battles for the nomination to the people. Among their number, we do not need controversies or divisions, as they should be seen as a solid line opposing the forces of Obama.  A little indignant anger is good, and they shouldn’t hesitate.  They should band together in small groups on particular bills, raising hell over the failure of the bills to move through Harry Reid’s Senate.  They should never fail to mention that this is part of the Obama-Reid strategy to deny the American people their will through legislation.  In short, this must become a Tea Party.

From now until the general election, it should be an unbroken string of repudiations of Barack Obama and Harry Reid. If Barack Obama is holding a rally in their district, they must co-opt it if they can.  They need to organize groups as large as possible to show up and jeer President Obama often and loudly.  They must do this, and you must help them.  And if they won’t do this, you must do it independently, taking  the lead in your own districts.   The consequences of this election are too dire to permit the current administration to continue.  We must take the Senate, and we must take the presidency, so our options are few if we want any chance of staving off the national disaster for which Barack Obama and the Democrats have set the stage.

In the summer of 2009, Tea Parties formed, and at various town-hall meetings, the purveyors of the President’s agenda were swamped by an avalanche of public defeats.  The YouTube recordings of their ridiculous advocates went viral and they learned that they would have to push their agenda out of reach of the public eye, and control the circumstances of their public appearances.  They brought in thugs, and when that didn’t do so well, they stopped holding town-hall meetings. Then they sent their thugs to the town-hall meetings of Republicans, but that mostly fizzled.  Bear in mind that they are keenly aware of the effect on their agenda of such events.

This is not going to be an election that can be won on any level but by the most active side.  They have an advantage, because they have mobs of people who have nothing better to do with their time, but to you goes the advantage of defending your principles and your values, and indeed your country, but also the understanding of why you fight.  Their mobs really don’t know what it is for which they are fighting, but you do.  You can see the future of your children and grandchildren in the country they’re building, and you know where it leads.

It’s time we throw off this fretting over the Republican nominee, whomever it turns out to be, and while you and I may have different preferences, we both know this fight must become more focused.  We all know what is likely to happen if we fail. It’s not a future we can accept.  Like most of you, I have substantial doubts about most of these GOP Presidential candidates, and like so many of you, I wish we could broom the lot and start from scratch, but we’re not going to be able to do so.  We are the people who know how to turn a few lemons into lemonade, and in the coming election, that is what we will be compelled to do if we want any hope of victory.

Pining For Palin: What Most Conservatives Noticed

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Still the One

My bride wasn’t home when Sarah Palin spoke at CPAC, so she wasn’t able to view the event live.  When she arrived home, we relaxed in front of the television, and I played the event on the DVR. After watching the event, I asked my wife for her impression.  It matched most of the comments here on my little blog site, and it was comprised of a single question:  “Why in the hell isn’t she our candidate?”  Here we had the person many consider to be the most eminently qualified to lead us out of our national quagmire, and she isn’t a candidate in this race.  Here was the most thoroughly engaging and compelling speech of this entire campaign season, and it was delivered by a non-candidate who some in the GOP establishment tell us is “unelectable.”  By what standard?  For my part, I have lost all patience for this faulty argument.  After attending her speech in Indianola, Iowa last September, and having viewed this speech from afar, if Governor Palin isn’t electable, I have no idea which Republicans can fulfill that definition.

I have read a few criticisms of the speech Palin delivered on Saturday and they all seem focused on superficial nitpicking.  The most frequent of these has been that it was filled with “red meat,” but what of it?  I believe in a balanced diet, and red meat is an important component of any conservative menu.  To criticize this is to suggest what too many Republicans of a more moderate leaning have accepted for far too long: We must never openly and harshly criticize our adversaries lest we be seen as being every bit as unrefined and undisciplined as they.  I reject this too.  The willingness to explicitly and unrepentantly castigate our opponents does not speak to a lack of “refinement” as if the idea of a political campaign is purely to demonstrate one’s social graces, but it is instead to incite a little energetic and vigorous candor into an issue to which the electorate will respond.  If this is the worst of the criticisms, then let those who propose them be damned, because I see no merit in such an argument. In point of fact, I would contend that electability rides on the shoulders of the candidate’s willingness to speak in such language to those whose votes they would solicit.

Still, the reality is that Governor Palin is not now a candidate, and more is the shame of the loss implied for conservatives. When announcing her decision in October last year, she cited her need to observe her values of God, family, and country, in that precise order.  With this as her final answer, despite our desires to the contrary, there is nothing to do but accept it.  This leaves us where we’ve been, and with nothing to do but forge ahead with the remaining candidates.  On the other hand, what this will remind many conservatives is what we had missed.  At some point, as a movement that is a subset of a party, we will need to address this problem we seem to have, where for whatever reason, our best and our most able candidates, dynamic and appealing, get left on the sidelines in the most important contests of our time.

Buck up conservatives, because while it’s apparent that we’re going to be forced to settle, we still have time to decide among those remaining, in order to work out who in this bunch is the best prospect to lead our nation philosophically, and also to win.  It’s my firm conclusion that the former begets the latter.  I don’t believe candidates with alleged “electability” creates a winning philosophy, or George W. Bush wouldn’t have left office with approval in the high twenties.   I believe a candidate with firm and principled beliefs is best suited to election, and is therefore by definition most electable.  The problem in our current race is that the best-suited will not necessarily rise like cream to the top.  Money doesn’t make great candidates either, because as we all know, whomever the Republican nominee, no matter who among those remaining is selected, despite any financial advantage at present, there will be no such advantage when we arrive in the general campaign season, with Obama’s purported war-chest to exceed one billion dollars.

I think we should begin to consider which among these has made the most of the least.  After all, if we follow Governor Palin’s example, we should take note of the fact that she clearly knows how to win while having nothing like the funds of an opponent, as she demonstrated in her political career in Alaska.  Perhaps this is something we ought to consider when looking more closely at the rest because it is fairly certain that none of them will have the sort of cash on hand that will be at the disposal of the Obama campaign.  As this race goes on, we might want to reference Sarah Palin’s successes, because while she may not be running, I think there is much to be learned from her both in terms of selecting our eventual nominee, but also in combating Obama this Fall.

I think almost every conservative who viewed Saturday’s CPAC keynote will have noticed that she stands head and shoulders above our actual candidates, but as I said, that wistful, wishful thinking.  The fact that Governor Palin is not in this race doesn’t preclude victory in November, but it surely will make it a good deal more difficult, as so many viewers concluded on Saturday.  There are those who think if this drags on into summer, and we wind up with a brokered convention, it will spell doom, but I think it also presents a possible opportunity, not merely for an outcome aimed at stopping the establishment, but one more moment of pause to reconsider who all of our alternatives might include.

Romney’s Failing Strategy of Attack

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Where Will He Point Now?

For quite some time, Mitt Romney’s strategy has been to attack his opponents through surrogates, media shills, and advertising, but with few exceptions, while he has made a case against his opponents, sometimes less than honestly, he has failed to make a case for his own candidacy.  Conservative voters are not herded by fear in most instances, and while you can occasionally turn them off from supporting a candidate if you can create enough of a negative buzz, what will not usually happen in such cases is to drive them into your own arms.  This tactic works well when it’s a two-candidate primary, particularly with a mind-numbed lefty electorate, but in a four-way race with conservative voters, what can happen is what we have seen in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri: Mitt Romney has so thoroughly bashed Gingrich that he succeeded only in driving voters in those states to somebody else.  Gingrich lost.  Romney lost.  Santorum won.

I think part of this grows out of Romney’s reliance on tactics that might have been valid in a more liberal state like the one he governed, where he could not gain victory without at least enticing some of a liberal mindset.  In Massachusetts, there are certainly Republicans, but the conservative wing of the party is small and mostly ineffective.  On a national scale, this is not true, and Romney will not be able to beat one conservative down without another rising in his place.  Romney’s strategy may still get him the nomination by slow, steady attrition, but that will not win the general election in November when he will need the entirety of the nation’s conservative base out pulling his wagon if he is to have any hope of overcoming Obama.  You cannot repeatedly offend conservatives and expect them to energize on your behalf, and this is what McCain had done over many years, and his best move was to nominate Sarah Palin, which was almost enough to overcome the ineptitude of his own campaign.

Mitt Romney is not likely to get such a bump from any of those he might choose to be his running mate.  He may be stuck on a flat-line of a grudging support from some conservatives, while a fair number simply turn away in disgust.  I think the latter has already begun, and the fact that in Colorado’s loss to Santorum, where in 2008, he won by a huge margin, what you’re seeing is the beginnings of the tell-tale signs of this collapse in his support.  His lack of a clear message and a positive campaign don’t remind people of Reagan, and it doesn’t set him much apart from liberals.  To many conservative voters, it appears as though Romney is simply playing the slash-and-burn politics of the left, and most conservatives don’t really want any part of that.

Mitt Romney started this campaign season with every advantage: High name recognition, good financing, well-oiled organization, and the happy support of the establishment wing of the GOP.  Now his name recognition no longer matters so much, and it’s clear that he can be beaten even when he spends overwhelming sums of money, and the establishment is not so happy this morning as they view what could be the reason to yank the rug from beneath Romney, and either try to buy influence with one of the others, or simply bring in a ringer.  Just looking at the tone on FoxNews last night and this morning, it’s like people at a funeral trying to convince themselves that it’s really a birthday party.

Romney’s arguments about electability and consistency seem now to fade, as the electorate realizes that all of this “inevitability” talk had been the fanciful expressions of one who had been a legend in his own mind.  Romney’s not invincible, and hasn’t been, but the GOP establishment wanted you to believe this so they could put their guy out front.  Now that Romney’s been taken down a few pegs, it remains to be seen whether he will continue his strategy of slash-and-burn against his opponents, or instead re-engineer his campaign to accentuate his positives.  If I were a betting man, I’d wager on the former, if only because there’s so damnably little of the latter.

Clear Message in Santorum’s Tuesday Romp: Romney Should Drop Out

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Santorum Wins Big!

I think the results in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri speak for themselves: Romney is damaged goods, and he’s not conservative enough to defeat Obama, and yes, most of all, big money doesn’t necessarily equate to electoral success if that’s all you have, and clearly, in the case of Mitt, that’s true.  It’s time that Romney withdraw from this race before his tendency to mostly negative campaigning further damages the party’s unity. I expect that tomorrow, Mitt and his SuperPACs will train their fire on Rick Santorum, who we should congratulate in any case on a great success in these states.

Where is Ann Coulter? Is this not the moment for her to leap from the Romney Bus to the Santorum Bandwagon? Or will Coulter double down on Mitt, and come out telling us how terrible Rick Santorum really is?  I am open to considering your predictions, as I expect Coulter to be apoplectic but I’m sure that won’t last too long.  In any event, I think it’s time for Mitt Romney to pack up and go home, and leave this contest to actual conservatives.

The Business of Government Differs From Private Sector

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

I am certain that we have all heard at least one-dozen times or more how Mitt Romney’s private sector experience will pay off in cleaning up government.  It’s the thing he stresses relentlessly, and his campaign generally can’t wait to get to that subject.  Naturally, any candidate will seek to push his virtues, and downplay his weaknesses, and so it is with Romney or any of the other candidates in this race for the GOP nomination.  As discerning voters, however, it is incumbent upon us to examine their complete records, and not simply cherry-pick which parts we like or dislike.  We must consider the bad with the good, and part of this process includes deciding what parts of their records are relevant.  The Romney campaign loves to talk about his business experience, but during this primary, they’re mostly avoiding his record as Governor of Massachusetts, and this is an important sleight-of-hand we ought not overlook, because it is the relevant part of his record that will be most important in this election.

We all like to imagine that if we could somehow bring the work ethic of the private sector to government, we could some how improve its efficiency.  This stems in large measure from our natural observations of how wasteful our government is with abundant resources we provide it, that still never seem to be enough.  Who among us wouldn’t like to see government become more efficient in this regard?  Four-hundred dollar hammers and six-hundred dollar toilet seats are just two of the historical examples we can identify in an endless sea of waste.  Unfortunately, however, businesses waste money too, and in many of the same ways.  Walmart wastes tens of millions in accepted returns they ought not to have permitted, because it’s easier than making a scene.  Taking back six-months used shoes on the basis that “they don’t fit quite right” is probably a sure way to eventually hurt your business. Of course, businesses do things far more wasteful than this, but my point to you is merely that business is only presumed to be less wasteful in most respects, but in the facts, it isn’t always this way.

Another problem is that government really doesn’t function like business, and you wouldn’t want it to do so.  In business, there is a profit and pay-seeking motive that militates in the direction of preserving capital, and that motive generally works to make the company stronger.  In contrast, government turns no profit, and you wouldn’t want it to seek one.  If so, it would stop making medicare payments and simply cut off social security.  After all, there’s no profit in those programs.  “Death Panels,” anyone?

Consider your own local government, and how often its policing seems more thoroughly motivated by writing traffic tickets in the name of revenue than in apprehending criminals who are rampaging through your streets, committing theft and burglary and other property crimes.  They would expend a good deal of money investigating such crimes but they wouldn’t generate any revenue.  On the other hand, writing speeding tickets is relatively easier work, and it brings in revenues to cash-strapped municipalities and their courts.   Do you really want your police motivated by the profitability of their particular crime-fighting?

Realizing that government doesn’t and shouldn’t seek profits, it is therefore much more important to consider Governor Romney’s experiences in that capacity.  When he ran a state, what was his record, and how did he perform in that office?  Did he cut spending, or expand it?  By any measure of which I am aware, it must be the latter, as his health-care program alone is costing the state of Massachusetts a fortune it does not have.  In business, it would be normal to expand operations to provide new products or services, but is that what government should do?  At least 65% of Americans don’t want their federal government taking over health insurance, but we’re well on our way to having done so with Obamacare.  Yet this is precisely what Romney did in his own state.

Another important difference between government and business is that business is forbidden a captive clientele. If it doesn’t serve you to  your satisfaction, you need only find one of its competitors.  This competitive nature in free markets tends toward keeping businesses more honest.  Obviously, government has no such restrictions or competition.  The closest we get to that is the differences between the local, state and federal levels, but in recent decades, the federal government has all but erased the differences.  What had once been the best check against overpowering government authority is mostly gone, and in its place, a network of co-dependent and cooperating layer-cake of government that simply acts without reference to any constitutional restraints.  There is no longer any healthy competition, but instead mere delegation among the levels.  In this sense, government has taken on a corporate structure.

So where does Mitt Romney’s private sector experience fit into this picture?  At Bain, or any other company, the CEO effectively acts day to day as a dictator of sorts.  Of course, that’s natural enough, much as in your own castle, you are King. The problem comes in when you take this theory over to government, and find that you are not and must not be a dictator in that office.  You have a Congress to contend with, and courts that will countermand your dictates from time to time, and the response we’ve seen from Obama is probably not unlike that which Romney would offer: “How can I circumvent these constitutional checks on my directives?”

When he was governor of Massachusetts, he implemented programs without input from that state’s legislative branch, for instance in the area of environmental concerns and regulation.  This hints strongly that in the most important ways, he is likely to make the same sort of power-plays as Obama.  Do you want who is merely another anti-constitutional politician with an “R” next to his name rather than a “D?”

When we view Romney’s records, it isn’t his alleged “job creation” we should examine, because that has very few applications in government, except as Obama has practiced them, whereby he merely created new departments and staffed them, calling this “job creation” while you and I are now left to pay for these too.  Remembering that the growth of a business is constrained only by its revenues in many cases, what sort of business would it be that had revenues as large as it could dictate at gunpoint?

I don’t think we need a businessman for President, but instead a statesman who understands the real nature of government, and what its limits ought to be.  I don’t think anything in Mitt Romney’s resume demonstrates that sort of suitability, and obscuring this fact won’t make our government any better, and threatens only to make it worse.

 

 

 

Ron Paul’s Mitt Romney Ad Is a Hoot!

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Perfect Android Politician?

I have been watching to see if somebody would send me a link to an anti-Mitt ad run by Ron Paul, and my real focus was on televised ads.  I’m still looking for evidence(since I don’t live in any of the first five states) to suggest he ran one on television as part of a paid advertising buy.  I know he did run lots of anti-Gingrich and at least a few anti-Santorum ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, but I wasn’t there to see all of those ads.  Now comes this ad from early January, and I don’t know if it actually aired anywhere, or has been merely a web ad.(There are many more of the latter floating around.)  This ad aims squarely at Romney, and it is exceedingly effective.  If this ad aired anywhere, and you know about it, please let me know.  If not, it should be brought up to date(Perry is a minor player in the ad) and aired somewhere, because it’s devastating. Truly:

New Gingrich Ad Goes Viral

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Soros-Approved?

This one is pretty rough, and while there is one point about which some will quibble, because the clip depicts Romney during his gubernatorial run, and he has since allegedly changed his position on the issue of abortion, the truth is that the remainder of the ad is extraordinarily effective, even if you discount Romney’s change on the one issue. The rest is damning enough on its own:

Romney, Money, and Politics: Why It Shouldn’t Matter (But Will)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Does Money Matter?

AdWeek is reporting that in South Carolina, Mitt Romney outspent Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum combined.  This clearly wasn’t enough, but Romney isn’t making the same “error” in Florida, as current reports suggest Romney has outspent Gingrich in Florida by a margin of five-to-one.  That’s a significant spending advantage, and what we may learn is that while a two-to-one advantage may not make a big enough difference, if Romney pulls off the victory in Florida, five-to-one may be the magic number for a Massachusetts liberal. I am not opposed to money in politics, because I think in many ways, the Supreme Court ruled properly in saying that money equates to free speech, but I also think it’s up to we voters to be somewhat discerning when when we see such a disparity.

After all, money has always been the mother’s milk of politics, and any understanding of reality must include a recognition of this fact. Does it mean we should attempt to contrive laws that freeze out money?  Elections in cycle after cycle demonstrate the fact that those who wish to donate to some candidate or cause are always able to engineer some way around such laws, and the reason is simple: It’s their money. Legislators have attempted to place hard limits on campaign contributions for years, but the problem is that who it winds up hampering is rank-and-file voters, while those with the money to burn are able to avail themselves of the various loopholes in the various laws.  Worse, these laws are frequently written in such a way to run to the advantage of one group or political party, so that somebody is always disadvantaged, but most frequently it’s you and I.

Given this, voters are right to wonder about what is the real solution, but I think the answer is very clear:  We need more citizens who actually follow this information more closely, and we need very broad disclosure laws that merely require contributors and donors to identify themselves.  I realize we have some laws to this end now, but the real problem is that few people actually bother to avail themselves of the information that exists within easy reach at such sites as OpenSecrets.org. No law can protect us from the lack of curiosity or diligence most voters demonstrate.

For many voters, they want to be spoon-fed the issues a few weeks before the elections by the establishment media.  They aren’t to be bothered from their other diversions throughout the intervening period between elections unless an issue arises that affects them in that immediate time-frame.   While one can excuse some of that, as I too become weary with politics from time to time, the fact is that most people devote less than one hour per week to hard news, or significant information gathering about politics, or the condition of the country.

Some have likened the pop-culture to “cakes and circuses,” referencing a period in Roman decline when the ruling elite offered their people  food and entertainment to keep them from paying attention to the fact that their culture was dying.  I tend to agree with this assessment, but I also know a large number of the people most thoroughly engulfed by the pop-culture don’t even really bother to vote.  If you want to minimize the role of money in elections, the truth is that nothing nullifies its importance and influence more than an informed and determined electorate that already knows the issues and knows its own mind.

Exposed: A Drudge-Romney Connection?

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

What's His Game?

At the height of the past week’s Drudge Report punishing of Newt Gingrich, many eyebrows were raised.  Drudge seemed to be running an inordinate number of anti-Gingrich hit-pieces, and myself and others began to wonder what might be lurking behind this story.  It wasn’t that it was mere bias, something we’ve all learned to expect from all media outlets, but instead an overwhelming sense that Drudge simply wanted to pummel Gingrich into the ground to make way for Mitt Romney. I received emails from readers asking “what the hell is wrong with Drudge,” but I was at a loss to explain it.  Drudge has always been a somewhat elusive personality, but this afternoon, somebody passed along a story that might help to explain it.  I read the article in fascination, and I apologize to my readers for having missed this when it first published.  It seems obvious, reading this article in retrospect, with a few more months behind us what had been going on, and now it seems clearer than ever given Drudge’s one man war on Newt Gingrich during the last week.

The article from last November over at DamnDirtyRino.com offers a view of things when Drudge was pummeling Rick Perry, then still in the campaign for the nomination.  While not nearly as exhaustive as his most recent slant against Gingrich, what happened was very similar in terms of his approach.  A number of harsh anti-Perry headlines appeared prominently, and they served their purpose well. Apparently, back in 2005, RNC operatives arranged a meeting between Drudge and Matt Rhodes, a highly placed operative in the Romney operation. Ever since then, Drudge’s links haven’t included headlines that were negative toward Romney, and what’s more, it seems that whomever challenges Romney gets ripped, ultimately.

The article concludes with the following:

“What’s disappointing about all of this, though, is the fact that from Matt Drudge’s earliest days posting Hollywood gossip on Usenet discussion boards, he’s set himself up as the answer to the biased media that refuses to air, and often actively suppresses, information that shows conservatives in a positive light.  Since then, it appears that Matt Drudge has become the new boss . . . same as the old boss.”

It’s not a new article, published last November, but it made clear allegations about a process of clearly biased smears that had not yet been turned against Newt Gingrich, but at the time, was being fielded against Herman Cain, too, if you’ll remember.  Some thought me a bit over-the-top in questioning Drudge, or suggesting that he may well have been blended into the Republican establishment, but given that he was having sit-downs with a high-powered Romney operative in 2005, in a meet put together by RNC operatives, maybe I was closer than I knew.  I don’t claim that Drudge shouldn’t be able to advocate on behalf of whomever he likes, but he should at the very least state it out front so the rest of us have no doubt. Of course, looking at his page recently, it shouldn’t have left much doubt anyway.

Ooopsie: Romney’s ’08 Campaign Video Surfaces!

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Okay, Maybe Not the "ONLY"

This is comical, because Romney’s campaign has been scrubbing their ’08 anti-McCain ads from all over the Internet, now that they have the long-serving Arizona Republican’s endorsement for 2012, but apparently, they forgot to scrub their Myspace page, and before they shut this down, you may want to take a look at how they clobbered McCain in 2008, as they now do an even greater distortion in media against Newt Gingrich.  This video probably won’t be up much longer, but here’s Romney bashing the guy who he is now carting around on his campaign.  If, as the ad contends, McCain had been Democrats’ favorite Republican, what then can we say about Romney now that the two are so tight in 2012?

Hoof? Meet mouth!

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.1011197&w=425&h=350&fv=m%3D26899461%26type%3Dvideo%26a%3D0]

Rubio Neutral or ‘Stealth’ Romney?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Neutral?

Senator Marco Rubio, (R-FL,) may have given a clue to his true attachments.  Rubio ripped Newt Gingrich over an ad being aired on Spanish-language in Florida that accuses Romney of being anti-immigrant.  Said Rubio: “This kind of language is more than just unfortunate. It’s inaccurate, inflammatory, and doesn’t belong in this campaign,” according to the Miami Herald.  Rubio has behaved as though he’s been on Team Romney all along, since Romney endorsed him in 2010, and he also doesn’t mention that it had been one of his top staffers who was behind the scenes pushing Florida to move its primaries forward, thus driving Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to move their contests forward.  The Rubio camp denied it, but it was assumed moving the early states up would give Romney an opportunity to wrap up the nomination race early.

It’s not surprising to see Rubio pick sides in a fight like this, since in truth, he chose sides long ago, but to see him continue to fly under the radar with his leanings toward Romney, it’s pathetic to see this otherwise promising young Senator, himself the son of immigrants, make of himself a shill for the most liberal Republican remaining in the race.  I think he should openly endorse Romney to unmask himself fully, but since he depends upon Tea Party support, you shouldn’t assume Rubio would be forthcoming.  According to the Miami Herald:

“Rubio plans to stay neutral in the race. He’s a potential running mate whom both candidates would love to have on the ballot. And he’s gaining iconic status among many national Republicans who see him as a face of the future in a nation that’s growing more Latino.”

I don’t see how Rubio can claim to remain neutral.   I don’t remember hearing from him when Romney was spending millions on ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina(never mind Florida,) that had been fraught with inaccuracies and downright untruths.  Where was “Senator Neutral” then?  He’s out there attacking Gingrich, and defending Romney, as in this Tampa Bay Times story:

“Mitt Romney is no Charlie Crist. Romney is a conservative. and he was one of the first national Republican leaders to endorse me. He came to Florida, campaigned hard for me, and made a real difference in my race.”

This statement by Rubio makes me question his integrity.  To pretend that Romney is a conservative is simply dishonest, and one would ordinarily assume the Florida Senator would know better, but at least he did mention here the obvious reason for his bias, despite the ludicrous claims to “neutrality.”  Rubio has also denied he is angling for the bottom of a Romney ticket, but it’s clear that at least with respect to the 2010 endorsement by Romney, for his Senate campaign, Rubio is on the hook for 2012.  I wonder how much “help” Rubio might have gotten, but I do note that according to OpenSecrets.org,  among both Romney’s and Rubio’s top 25 contributors, there’s some interesting overlap, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase. Now of course, this doesn’t prove any conclusive connections, but it clearly shows there is a some funding similarities, although it’s true to say that these same contributors show high up on the list of many politicians’ contributors, and in both parties.

Don’t misunderstand my criticism of Rubio. I’m not suggesting he has some obligation not to take sides, but he’s taking sides to a degree that challenges his alleged “neutrality.”  While he may not endorse for the Florida primary, he ought to simply say which direction he’s leaning in some form.  Otherwise, it looks like he’s being a stealth advocate for Romney, but doing a rather poor job of being stealthy.  His reason for supporting Romney is likely no more than Romney’s endorsement of his candidacy in 2010, but then say it.  I think it’s important that particularly in his home state’s primary, he should play straight with voters who are interested to know his opinion, or at least how he will vote when the time comes.

Fred Thompson Endorses Newt Gingrich – Video

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Fred Thompson

Appearing on Hannity on Monday night, former Senator Fred Thompson endorsed Newt Gingrich for President.  This certainly won’t make any friends for Thompson in Hollywood, but he explained why he supports Gingrich, and he focused specifically on the condition of the country, saying “we’re at a tipping point,” but he also took on the notion of Gingrich as an “insider,” and he also took on Mitt Romney’s tendency to use surrogates to press a negative attack on Gingrich.  Thompson won his first term as Senator from Tennessee in 1994, the same year that Gingrich engineered the first Republican takeover of Congress in decades.  Here’s what Thompson had to say:

Palin on Christie: “His Panties in a Wad” – Video

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Appearing on Eric Bolling’s “Follow the Money” show on FBN, and saying that which needs to be said, Sarah Palin took New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to task for his statements about Newt Gingrich on Meet The Press on Sunday.

Watch the video here:

Romney Bashes Gingrich as “Disgrace”

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Bashing Newt

As expected, the battle for Florida has turned particularly nasty as Mitt Romney and his numerous surrogates escalate their war on Newt Gingrich. Politico is reporting that Mitt Romney is mudslinging all over the campaign trail, heaping harsh words on Newt Gingrich.  The word that Romney and his surrogates seem to like most is “disgrace” or “embarrassment.”  I don’t know what is more disgraceful or embarrassing than a desperate candidate running around making such attacks.  Romney’s shift into ultra-negative territory is a clear attempt to try to move undecided voters away from Gingrich, but I think it’s clear that the net effect will tend to hurt Romney in the broader audience.  On Sunday, the country watched Romney’s shills run out into the media to deliver scathing attacks on Gingrich, but I doubt it’s very effective. Traveling in Florida, in Ormond Beach, Romney said of Gingrich:

“Speaker Gingrich has also been a leader,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “He was a leader for four years as speaker of the House. And at the end of four years, it was proven that he was a failed leader and he had to resign in disgrace. I don’t know whether you knew that, he actually resigned after four years, in disgrace.”

That’s a scathing attack, but the trouble is it’s not reflective of what really happened.  As a matter of fact, Gingrich was ousted by his own party, who feared that he had been the source of some losses in the 1998 election cycle. Romney went on:

“He was investigated over an ethics panel and had to make a payment associated with that and then his fellow Republicans, 88 percent of his Republicans voted to reprimand Speaker Gingrich. He has not had a record of successful leadership.”

Let it be said that Romney is skating on thin ice on a factual basis here.  He was “investigated.” Yes, he was.  Was he found guilty?  No, he was not.  The “payment associated” was to defray legal expenses but notice that Romney was at least smart enough not to use the word “fines” as is the template elsewhere in the media, and from his own surrogates.  Romney knows that narrative is false, but he still wants to make mileage from it.

As you may remember, on Sunday, Romney surrogates Ann Coulter and Chris Christie took their respective on-camera shots at Gingrich, with Coulter actually suggesting the people of South Carolina were emotionally-drive and stupid.  Meanwhile, the Governor of New Jersey appeared on another network to say Gingrich had embarrassed the party.  In a state with a strong Tea Party contingent, I don’t think Coulter’s approach will make many friends for Romney, and insofar as Christie is concerned, well, you can be the judge of the term “embarrassment” and to whom it is rightly applied.

This run-up to the Florida primary is going to be a barn-burner. You can expect Romney and his surrogates, as well as the SuperPACs who support him to continue their scorched-earth campaign against Gingrich, but it’s beginning to look desperate. Rather than explaining why voters should support Mitt, they’re doing their best to say why voters shouldn’t support Gingrich, but that’s far from a positive campaign of the sort Romney once promised.  It also doesn’t motivate voters to support him. Romney is in real trouble, and he knows it.  The media is only too willing to help him, but whether they can effectively sling mud after last week’s obvious last-minute smear is another matter. Voters may have had quite enough of that, this season.

Epic Video – Not Romney

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Turning 'Electability" on Its Head

Somebody has taken parts of the Ann Barnhardt video I posted last week, combined it with a number of other bits including movie clips and the like, and has  taken the case against Mitt Romney to a whole new level.  I’ve never seen a compilation quite like this.  It’s a political attack, but it’s also a work of art.  There are funny inserts, displays of rampant hypocrisy, and a basic contempt for Mitt Romney’s self-contradictory positions on a range of  issues.  This video is entertaining and while it is lengthy, fifty-two minutes, it’s probably the most thorough Romney critique of its kind that I have seen.  It describes Romney in brutally scathing terms. There are some outbursts of expletives, but it should be a worthwhile view:

Conservative Revolt Under Way?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Conservatives Ready to Stomp RINOs?

After Monday nights Fox News GOP Debate in South Carolina, it seems that a fair number among the conservative base of the GOP is on the cusp of open revolt against the party establishment that keeps shoving Mitt Romney down our throats.  His insistence on delaying disclosure of his tax returns until April signifies the fact that he has some weakness there he doesn’t want exposed until after he expects to have the nomination locked up, but he didn’t even firmly commit to that time-frame.  This is something we must demand of all the GOP candidates.  None should escape our examination.  The last thing we need is a candidate with warts that will be exposed later, once nominated, that will cost us the election and shaft us with another four years of Barack Obama.

It’s bad enough that the party establishment has pushed up the schedule in the early states in order to close off debate sooner, but I don’t think they planned on this reaction by the base.  People are now starting to ask: “Hey, what’s in those tax returns” or “why are we being told this guy is inevitable?”  As this goes on, it’s becoming clear that there is a portion of the media, even non-traditional media, that is pushing certain polls at us relentlessly showing Romney way ahead, while the truth on the ground in South Carolina and elsewhere may be something else entirely.

Suddenly the “inevitable” emperor has no clothes, and people are beginning to seriously questions Romney’s electability.  The entire question of his tax returns is an indictment, and while some pro-Romney hacks are trying to dismiss that as some sort of attack on capitalism, it has become clear that this is now their canned defense for any criticism. You can’t talk about Romney’s stammering answer on disclosing his tax returns in the name of transparency and openness without somebody trying this lame defense of Romney.  This has nothing to do with capitalism, and everything to do with Romney’s willingness to submit to inspection by the people from whom he wants financial and voting support.

Is the conservative revolt now getting under way?  Is it too little, too late?  Will Romney succeed in stealing this nomination process with the assistance of a willing media establishment?  Time will tell, but I have begun to notice that many people are no longer taking this sitting down. Rise, conservatives! Rise Tea Party! Say “No” to candidates who will not disclose their tax documents!  The New York Times, in crediting Sarah Palin for pointing out this problem, went on to state the following:

“Mr. Romney also can look to his own father, George. He released a dozen years of tax returns when he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in 1968, leading Richard Nixon to follow suit.”

I will not vote for any candidate who refuses to disclose his tax returns.  Nobody should.  This election is too important to the future of the country to wind up stranded in September or October with a damaged candidate who cannot win.  We need to see this information now, before we choose.  It’s our country, and it’s our choice!

Romney Endorsers – A Lot of Money Goes a Long Way

Friday, January 13th, 2012

What Can't Money Buy?

Salon Magazine is certainly a leftwing source, but I think it is wise to know what others are saying if only because you will know how to respond when you find yourself in an inevitable conflict with them.  Occasionally, they can even provide you with a little insight into what is wrong on your side, and in this respect,  Edward Mason of Salon has written an excellent article on the question of Romney’s endorsers, and how the pay-back game is working out for the Mittster.  According to Mason, Romney takes the behind-the-scenes endorsement game “to a whole new level.” It’s a story of the way in which money greases the wheels in politics, and while there’s nothing novel about the fact that it happens, what Mason reports that is different about Romney’s operation is the degree to which it is scripted and is paying dividends in the realm of primary endorsements, because he bought the widespread support in advance.  Mason starts here:

“Money may not be buying Mitt Romney much Republican love, but it’s going a long way toward helping him buy the next best thing: endorsements in the GOP primaries.”

That’s not the half of it.  According to Mason, we can now understand quite well why it is that Gov. Nikki Haley became an early endorser of Romney, despite the fact that she had been a Tea Party favorite:

“South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley came out for Romney last month – a year after his Free and Strong America PACs funneled $36,000 to the Tea Party darling’s 2010 election bid. And 19 state and Washington, D.C., lawmakers in three Super Tuesday states – Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia — are backing Romney after his PAC poured a total of $125,500 into their coffers for elections held in 2009 and 2010.”

What Mason details is the manner in which Mitt has leveraged his contributions into state and local endorsements.  While we can all wonder about the efficacy of endorsements in small numbers, it’s clear that what Romney hopes to accomplish is to get so many endorsements that it will support the notion of an “inevitable nominee,” and thereby overwhelm his adversaries in the primaries.

One of the more stunning revelations in Mason’s informative article is this:

“According to the Federal Election Commission and OpenSecrets.org, the PAC donated $890,299 to some 167 congressional and Senate candidates in 2010, while distributing another $404,226 in 2010 to state and local candidates, according to state campaign finance records collected by FollowTheMoney.org.”

That’s a sizable chunk of cash, and that it was spent in supporting these state and local candidates tells the tale, because quite obviously, they’re now all coming out of the woodwork to endorse Romney.  There’s nothing illegal about any of this, but it’s not the legality of the matter with which should be concerned.  It’s a stunning display of how a well-heeled candidate can buy his way to a nomination, and those who don’t see it coming are in for a terrible surprise.  It’s small wonder he’s got such an advantage in early states, and it’s now clear why the schedule moved up:  Romney intends to close this down, and fast, lest conservative voters realize they’ve been led down the garden path by a campaign that has been playing hardball since its defeat in 2008.  Romney may have lost last time out, but this time, he’s throwing everything he has at the endeavor, and has been since almost immediately after his 2008 defeat at the hands of John McCain, and so far, it’s paying off.

Read Mason’s article. If you didn’t understand how this works, this will clear it up.

Self-Contradiction Cannot Defeat Obama

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Today, Welfare Opponent; Tomorrow?

When you run into people whose utterances contradict their previous actions, you’re wise to ask which will matter to you in the long run.  If somebody break every promise to you they’ve ever made, at some point, you’ll start ignoring their promises.  If one lives by crony capitalism in the real world, but offers to you a long diatribe about the evils of crony capitalism, you’ll quickly point out any hypocrisy, and the contradiction will necessarily ruin one’s credibility.  It is therefore impossible to overestimate the destructive contradiction that now consumes the heart of Mitt Romney’s campaign.  He is now out campaigning in South Carolina, and is actually talking about the dangerous trend of the United States toward becoming a social welfare state.  This from the man who imposed Romney-care on the entire state of Massachusetts, complete with mandates?  The monstrous contradiction between what he now professes as a danger and what he has implemented while Governor of Massachusetts is going to destroy his candidacy, and Barack Obama will be only too happy to help.

You might dislike Ron Paul, and like me, you may think he misses the point on foreign policy and national defense, but one thing you can say about him is that he’s more or less consistent across the board with respect to his actions and his philosophy, whether we agree with it entirely or not.  That’s one of the things people find attractive about him, and whether you agree with his philosophy will largely determine how you regard him, but the test of consistency is to examine one’s actions, and see how they hold up to one’s professions.  Ayn Rand once wrote approximately that “to the consistent will go the victory(paraphrased.)”  The reason this is so is because people have a natural dislike and distrust for hypocrisy and inconsistency.  Even when one disagrees with the particular views of another, if one sees that the other is at least consistent throughout, it is easier to offer grudging respect on that basis.

Mitt Romney has no such virtue, as his current pronouncements on the welfare state show, since he was quite willing to expand it and propagate it when the opportunity presented.  This is why the media and Obama can’t wait to see this man win the nomination:  Inconsistency is a campaign killer, and Romney’s self-contradictory statements on this and other issues have already doomed him.  The problem is that because his opponents have little cash to spend on revealing his inconsistencies to a wider audience, at this point only politically attentive people are aware of this impending doom.  Worse, by the time the greater body of the electorate is paying attention to all of this, if nominated, Romney will finally have an opponent who will make this case plain with unfailing acuity in a general campaign.

This is something about which every Republican voter ought to be terribly concerned, because what it means is that if Romney goes forward as the nominee, his opponents will absolutely dig up every bit of this to make a mockery of him.  You can complain, and you will cry foul, but this is precisely what Obama’s campaign will do, and it will be on every late-night show, and you will see it, and there will be no escaping it from the moment the Republican convention ends until Obama is laughing it up on his way to a second inaugural in November.  I hate to be the bearer of such pessimistic thinking, but that’s what is likely to happen if you nominate Mitt Romney, and apparently everybody in the country except Republican primary voters to date seems to know it.

Of course, part of this is that Romney is moving right for South Carolina, and to try to wrap up this nomination, but the problem is that what you don’t realize is that what sounds like conservatism now will be tossed overboard the moment a general campaign commences.  Ask yourself not “what does Mitt say,” but instead “what has Mitt done?”  He will move back to his slightly left-of-center position for the general, and if he somehow manages to defeat Obama(but he won’t,) he will govern from the center, and we won’t fix one damned problem confronting this country.  Of course, that assumes he’ll win, but since he won’t, let’s stick to the subject: Contradictions of the kind now consuming Romney are bludgeons to be used against him by his opponents.

My strongest suggestion to other Republicans seeking the nomination is to figure out how to highlight Romney’s contradictions, and mock him publicly for them.  These things are coming anyway, so it’s best to show them to voters now when they can still change their minds.  Nothing will demolish a candidacy faster than to have its self-contradictions exposed, and Romney has them by the truckload.

Mitt Romney’s Remarkably Dull Sense of Humor – Video

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

As a Crutch

From the campaign trail in New Hampshire, we now have another great sample of Romney being funny – in his own mind.  Romney tries to be cute about his narrow Iowa victory, but rather than laughing, his audience either didn’t get the joke, or it was simply too lame.  Of course, we’re not looking for a President to do stand-up comedy, but Romney comes across as shockingly wooden.  Many pundits have noted Romney’s plastic personality, and passionless presentation, but this video offers a flop to accompany all his flips:

Naturally, he failed.  There’s something odd about a person who tries to aid poor humor with a self-generated laugh-track.  People wonder why Romney is widely-regarded as phony and plastic?  This is who the GOP wants to put up against Barack Obama this November?

Now that is a laugh. I’m sure they’re laughing uproariously at the White House, even now.

Ooops! McCain Refers to Romney as Obama – Video

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

In what was a briefly embarrassing lapse on the part of Senator John McCain(R-AZ,) at a campaign stop with Mitt Romney and also Governor Nikki Haley(R-SC,) on Thursday, while referring to a future President Romney, McCain instead said “President Obama.”  The irony is fantastic in light of Romneycare and other things, so I thought you would enjoy the video.    H/T RightScoop:

Some conspiracy theorists will say that this was a sort of a deep-seated psychological confession on the part of the Arizona senator, but I think it’s just a hilarious mistake.  Of course, I think there is a certain element of irony in it, even though it’s clearly not what McCain intended.  Haley and Romney both gave him a second to correct himself, but when he went on, they both descended upon him, as he finally corrected himself.  You may see less and less of McCain on the Romney campaign trail if there are too many more of these incidents.  I also expect this will become a part of an Obama Campaign ad at some point.