Posts Tagged ‘Election 2012’

Putting to Rest Some Dire Misconceptions About This Disastrous Election

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

So it is said in politics...

I received an email from a reader who was thoroughly angry with me.  I asked for permission to use the text in a blog post, but I’ve not received further communications, so I will paraphrase the writer’s complaints, since I think there may be more than a few who feel this way.  The complaint boiled down to this:  Contrary to what I asserted in my post on the Reasons Romney Lost, Romney didn’t lose because he didn’t talk about important social issues enough, because said this e-mailer, Romney did indeed talk about these issues important to Christians.  If he did, many of my evangelical Christian friends didn’t hear it.  These issues were largely avoided in the debates, as well as in the stumps speeches late in the race.  The perception among many Christians, at least here in the middle of the Bible Belt, was that Romney was uninterested or evasive on issues important to Christians.  You can argue that he did in fact  talk about all of these topics at some point during the cycle, but the perception among evangelicals in my vicinity was that he avoided talk of religion whenever possible.  Again, it matters not whether he actually discussed it, but instead whether he appeared willing to broach these subjects, and in what frequency.  The problems in the Republican party are much deeper than I once thought.  It’s not only the establishment that doesn’t understand the grass roots, but also that different segments of the base fundamentally misunderstand one another.

To conservatives concerned primarily with freedom issues, they really don’t “get” the evangelical voters.  To many evangelicals who comprise a broad portion of the conservative base, faith isn’t supposed to be something you talk about once a week.  It’s something they believe ought to inform the way a person lives, the decisions one makes, and the way one conducts himself toward others.  Evangelicals will be the first to tell you that they aren’t infallible, but the people who comprise this segment tend to try in earnest to live out their faith in daily life.  They put their faith ahead of family, ahead of friends and community, and certainly ahead of politics.  They’re not generally interested in “going along to get along” because that’s not what their faith dictates.  Therefore, when they see candidates who seem less than fully concerned about faith, at least in their perceptions, they tend to be less than concerned about supporting those candidates.  Period.  You can accuse them of being too rigid in their beliefs if you like, but you see, they take that as a compliment.  They intend to be rigidly faithful to their beliefs.  They are accustomed to the left and to moderates who mock them, most frequently comparing them to some sort of westernized Taliban, and it merely steels their resolve. Contrary to the propaganda against them, however, they’re not looking for a preacher in the presidency.  They simply want a person of deep and abiding faith and understanding who isn’t afraid to take a few jeers and lumps from the left on this basis.  They perceived widely that Romney didn’t fulfill that requirement.

Some will immediately say in response that “well, at least Romney is better than Obama, and worth getting him out of there.”  True enough, but please remember: Evangelical Christians will tend to view politics as a thing of this Earth, but they’re less concerned ultimately with Earth than with their salvation.  Some of them genuinely wonder at the consequences of selling out their souls on issues important to their faith for the sake of transitory political expedience.  Once viewed in this light, it is easy to understand how evangelicals would view elections as less important, and with no candidate appearing to fulfill their requirements for support, many were certain to simply walk away.  You may not like that, and you may not agree with that view, but if you want to understand what has happened, this is a part of the formula you ignore at your own peril.

I will also tell you quite plainly that if you believe Romney’s religion had nothing to do with it, you’re making the mistake of projection.  You’re projecting your sense of religious tolerance onto people who widely view Mormonism as a cult.  Of course, I realize this fully because as my wife points out, in her homeland(Germany,) there are widely thought to be two “legitimate”  religions, being Catholicism and the Lutherans, and the Catholics aren’t entirely convinced about the latter.  As children, they learn about their faith, and in much the same way as evangelicals here in the US view Mormons as part of a cult, German Catholics and Lutherans tend to view any church newer than theirs in much the same light. My point to you is this:  There was always going to be a percentage of evangelical Christians who would never support Mitt Romney, and that was one of the risks implicit in nominating him.  Even though Romney won Texas, it wasn’t by nearly so much as one might expect.  I think if candidates like Ted Cruz hadn’t been on the ballot, Romney might have been in some danger here.

Of course, the misunderstanding isn’t all one-way.  They don’t understand why others in the GOP don’t try to live out their faith as a priority in daily life.  They may admire the wisdom and common sense of free market ideals, economic liberty, and all sorts of issues that are mainstays of the conservative sphere, but they don’t really fully understand why anybody would support a candidate who isn’t strong in his or her faith, and willing to testify to that faith in public.  As I said, the misunderstandings run in all directions, between all factions, but in politics, perceptions become realities, whether or not we think that’s right. I’m not suggesting that conservatives ought to yield to false perceptions, but that instead they should challenge them instead of leaving them without refutation.

You see, it doesn’t matter whether Mitt Romney mentioned the issues of abortion and traditional marriage a few times along the campaign trail.  It matters that he didn’t exhibit his beliefs through his actions when he was pro-choice until a few years ago, or amenable to gay marriage while Governor of Massachusetts.  Those things stick.  You will not know this, but early in the primary season, I had to ban some posters for what I viewed as over-the-top assaults on Romney’s faith.  Some were quite lengthy, but I wasn’t about to permit that sort of bashing.  It was real, however, and in retrospect, I’m afraid that in so doing, I may have done a disservice because it stifled those who feel as they do on these matters.  You didn’t get to see some of these comments, and maybe if you had, you might have understood why getting the full body of the evangelical Christian segment of conservatism to the polls for Mitt Romney was going to be a chore in any case.  That’s the truth of it.  What you do with the information is up to you, but if you’re ever to see the sort of full support from evangelicals any national conservative victory will require, you’re going to need to find candidates who satisfy their minimum requirements.  In too many ways, Mitt Romney didn’t.

Mr. L’s Post-Election Rant

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

If you missed this, I’d like to point it out to you because Mr. L of Mr. L’s Tavern makes some excellent points.  He’s a man after my own heart in many ways, and I was gratified to hear him say the same of me.  He completely disassembles the post-election media spin. I hope you’ll enjoy it:

Be sure to visit Mr. L’s site and youtube channel. His commentary is simply excellent, and his style is straightforward, but he wastes no time in slicing through the baloney.

The Obama Media Bubble

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Will They Burst?

I’ve been asked by a number of people how it’s possible that the media could end up shocked come Tuesday night. As some have pointed out, it’s as though the Obama and Romney camps have two completely different models for the election’s outcome.  It’s easy to get caught up in the campaign season at hand, and to ignore all of the precedents.  I don’t know any more than anybody else, but I’ve noticed that over the last few decades, when the mainstream media predictions miss in a big way, it’s invariably because they’ve again underestimated the resolve of the American people, and the level of disgust Americans feel toward government.  The one election that exemplifies this idea was 1994.  Remember the shock?  Remember the excuse-making?  The coverage of that cycle suggested that the Republicans would pick up a few seats, but nobody in media was predicting what actually happened. Sitting in their studios in New York and Washington DC, they were dumbfounded.  I don’t know if 2012 will be that kind of year, but if the media meme turns out to have been another bubble, I won’t be surprised.  As usual, I believe the media has projected its own sentiments onto the Americans, a people who may have other ideas.

There’s something fundamentally broken about the notions held by the biased lame-stream media.  They look out and see America differently than you and I.  They view the American people as suckers to be fooled, and they’re always stunned when the American people stage a revolt against the conventional wisdom.  It happens in other countries too, but there’s something special about America and Americans that causes the media to miss election outcomes in a big way.  What may make the difference is that Americans, particularly conservatives, have a uniquely rebellious side.  They don’t generally show up with protest signs, but on election day, they voice their displeasure with a kind of fervor that doesn’t require loud and boisterous outbursts.  The media likes to talk about “the adult in the room,” but most frequently, in American elections, it is the voting mentality of the conservatives that provide that characteristic.  These are people who live their lives by simply getting things done, and in the main, they do so in relative silence.  If they show up in legions at the polls on Tuesday, the media is going to look foolish on Wednesday morning.

The media underestimates the sentiment of Americans at large because they don’t know Americans at large.  They live in their tight-knit circles and insular cliques, but they seldom venture out into the vastness of “fly-over country.” More than this, however, they simply don’t connect with ordinary Americans outside their own philosophical leanings, and it is in this particular dismissal that they often find themselves “out of sync” with the American people.  They don’t know our pain, and they don’t know the suffering inflicted upon we and our neighbors by endless government meddling.  They simply assume that all of America is like the country they know.  Such a limited picture is sure to result in errors, and frequently, it’s not a small error measured in a point or two within a few districts, but a widespread misjudgment stretching from sea to shining sea.

I don’t know if 2012 will be a year like that, but what I do know is that such years generally have a few characteristics.  Democrats are in power.  Democrats’ policies are in force in our nation’s capital.  The country at large is much more dissatisfied with the state of the nation than the talking heads in the mainstream media.  Enthusiasm of voters is one-sided, and against them.  America is in mortal danger, in economic, financial, and/or national security matters.

When all these things are true, the media misses it big, and the reason is very simple: They never perceive the dangers as clearly as Americans who are suffering as a result.  They never experience the losses.  They sit in their studios, warm and cozy and without fear, so they assume that’s how it is in every household in the country.  Being insulated as they are from the worst of conditions, they never see the warning signs of an impending revolt. After four years of Barack Obama, Americans are quite clear on the risks of continuing on this path, but the media is as detached from that reality as is possible.  In fact, they’ve spent a great deal of their air time trying to convince Americans that conditions aren’t so bad, but people who are losing their homes and their businesses and their jobs are not likely to be swayed by propaganda.

At the end of it all, that may be the media blind-spot that causes the largest errors: They come to believe their own hype.  As the sun rises across the vast expanses of America, her people are rising to go out and cast their votes.  As the media continues to try to shoehorn the impending election results into the unreality they’ve portrayed, it may just turn out that the shoe cannot be made to fit.  If that turns out to be, as I suspect will be the case, the media will have egg on its face again, just like in 1994, or in 1980, when they scrambled for explanations as to how it had been possible. It’s been two decades since the American people have sent an sitting president home, and it’s been nearly that long since the media had its last reality-jarring shock.  If the American people rise to oust the 44th president, they will be horrified and stunned, but I will not.  Obama has been too divisive for too long, but even if the media seems unable or unwilling to recognize it, the American people are not. That is why the media may well be missing this election by a wider margin, and voters may blow them away.

 

Time to Stomp Some @ss

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Time to Stomp Some...

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve had an outpouring of responses via email to the post on my decision, albeit very late, to go ahead and vote for Mitt Romney.  What I’ve learned is that I have a great deal of company.  Many people weren’t happy with Romney as the alternative to Obama.  Nearly all of them had finally decided that they would “hold their noses” and do the deed for the sake of the country, and for a chance to recover.  Having done so because I am resolved that this is the only way to save the country, to begin to turn the ship of state, I’ve also decided we have nothing to lose by going all out.  It’s one thing to vote in grim satisfaction that one has taken the only ethical course, but it’s another to fully support that decision.  We could simply vote and stand down after that with no further input, but I’d ask my conservative brethren to look around: The media and the Obama campaign are still trying to steal this election, and to mute your voices. They’re trying to make your difficult decision irrelevant.

The media is reporting that this is tightening, and there’s only one reason: It’s not going well for Obama.  If you believe the polls, or at least what useful information you can glean from them having sifted through the internals, what you must know is that this is a turn-out election: Get yourself and your friends and neighbors of similar inclinations to the polling places, and it’s going to be ugly for Obama.  If we want this torture to end, it’s going to be up to us.  It’s time to put aside all the recriminations and get this thing done.

Based on the traffic I am seeing on Twitter and Facebook, it seems to me as though the American people are ready to put four years of excuses, failures, lies, and treachery behind us.  The polls tell a different story, and I think that’s likely to be bias based on shoddy poll analysis.  They’re oversampling Democrats by a wide margin.  Because this is the case, I simply think that people inclined to vote for Romney should simply ignore all of this.  There’s no getting around the fact that we already know that the Obama campaign intends to call the election early on Tuesday in order to attempt depressing the turnout by Republicans.  The idea is to make Romney voters believe that it’s pointless to vote, and on that basis, give up in dejection and stay home.

IGNORE THE POLLS!  You are going to hear dispiriting polls reported on radio and see them reported on television all day long on Tuesday.  That was certainly the idea on Monday, as the mainstream press tries to get you to stay home.  IGNORE IT!    Report fraud wherever you see it. Report it to election officials on sight.  It’s time to drive out the demons. It’s time to take our country back.  You should be making sure that every wavering person you know gets to the polls to do the right thing.  Get yourself to the polls.  I’ve been listening to people tell me that each election I’ve witnessed would be the most important of my lifetime, but this time, it really is.  Don’t fail your children.  Don’t fail your spouse.  Don’t fail your parents, your friends, or your family. Don’t walk away from your neighbors, your congregations, and your communities, but most of all, don’t fail to stand and be counted for your own sake.  Tomorrow night, after the polls close in your state, go home and report what you’ve seen at the polls. Don’t fret. Don’t worry. What will happen won’t be known until long after there’s nothing to be done about it either way. You should relax knowing that you’ve done all you could, and wait out the results with the rest of us.

I felt a bit badly about changing my mind late in the game, and setting aside my various complaints to vote for Romney.  Having had a few days to think about it, I’m glad I did, and I’m proud that I will take part in tomorrow’s big count, because the truth is that it’s our one damned chance to have a say in much of anything.  I am going to send Ted Cruz to the Senate, and those of you in states with hotly contested Senate elections had better think about that too.  We also have House races, and we dare not lose that firewall, as flimsy as it has been at times.  My point to you is that tomorrow, you had better vote like you love your country because there will be plenty of tricks up the sleeves of the Democrats.  We can overpower them.  We can overpower their media.  Tonight, if you haven’t voted, I want you to resolve this minute that come Hell or high water, intimidation or chicanery, you will drag yourself to the polls and vote.  It’s finally time.  There can be no more delays.  The country cannot take four more years of this.  Tomorrow, we must put an end-date on the nightmare.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to stomp some ass, American-style: Proud. Certain. Undeterred.

 

 

I’ve Made Up My Mind

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Where it all counts...

I don’t like Mitt Romney very much, as I don’t think he’s at all conservative in the full sense of the word.  I find myself fully agreeing with him only around one-third of the time.  Naturally, as I’ve explained all along, this is why we conservatives were prohibited from selecting an actual conservative candidate, or one with at least reasonably solid conservative views.  The pages of this blog are replete with my criticisms of Romney, both on specific issues and in particular contexts, as well as in a general philosophical sense.  If you have any confusion, feel free to do a category search on the menu at right and select the category “Mitt Romney.” With that in mind, I would like to talk to you a bit about another character whose category is at least as extensive, and who is infinitely worse:  Barack Hussein Obama.  There is no doubt that while I have some trepidation about Romney’s willingness to fight for constitutional principles, Obama will demolish, shred, and burn it.  I do not claim this as some exercise in epic hyperbole, and my long-time readers will know it is absolutely true:  If Obama wins on Tuesday, by any means, our nation is finished.  If you believe too easily that you’re willing to undergo all that such a calamity entails, read no further and exit this blog, because you’re either a terminal patient or somebody with no respect for the reality of such an event.

First, I want you to know that when I went into the polling place, I skipped the Presidential question.  I ticked right through the remainder of the ballot, knowing that I wanted Ted Cruz to prevail, and knowing the other offices on the ballot, who it is that I would support in those offices of local concern.  After completing the whole ballot, I went back to the Presidential position, being the only one remaining to consider.  I stood there for what seemed like an eternity.  I looked at the names on the ballot, and I thought about what would happen if I stood firmly in my intention to let Mitt Romney rise or fall without my help.  I knew that being in Texas, even without my vote, Mitt Romney was likely to win.  I knew that my vote would be of little consequence, thus affording me the escape clause if I decided to leave the Presidential section unmarked.  The problem is that I have readers in every place in this wondrous country, and while as a practical matter, it mattered little whether I would make a selection, my readers would want to know.

I leaned a bit against the writing surface of the voting booth.  I rubbed my brow as I realized the full measure of what is at stake in this election.  Sure, we’ve discussed it at length, but this was the first time I had really personalized it.  Romney?  Obama? Other? None?  On this basis, I immediately ignored Obama and the other “third party” entries.  Whatever my final choice, I knew that I would never vote for Obama, and that the non-Romney alternatives were merely a protest that equated to voting for none of them.  No, the question was really Romney, or none.   As I stood there pondering my choice, I began to turn our country’s recent past over in my mind, and I began to think about this from a highly personal point of view.

If I were not to make any selection, what would it mean?  No, it was more important to place the appropriate pressure on my decision, and since I came of age in Ohio, much of my family still residing there, it was proper to think of this as though I were in that context.  After all, for many of my readers, that is the choice, whether they’re in Ohio or other states where this contest will be decided, they haven’t the luxury of knowing that either their state is so thoroughly blue or red as to make their one abstention irrelevant.  I began to think about the matter as if the whole question rested on my shoulders, and when I did, something odd happened.  I realized that somebody would win.  Withholding my vote from Mitt Romney would not make some other imagined candidate appear on the ballot.  More, knowing the intentions of Barack Obama as I do, I began to think what would happen if he wins.

My farm would be a goner.  It will be difficult for our farm to survive as an entity for another year in this economy.  When we bought horses and began to breed and raise them, we had no idea that the bottom would drop out of that industry within two years’ time, and that other economic forces, namely the prices of petroleum, and feeds and hay would escalate to heights previously unknown.  We are bleeding money, and with no change, no chance exists that does not end with horses going to slaughter buyers at a government-coerced auction.  My daughter, now nearly twenty-three, along with her husband, have decided to forgo children indefinitely, being unwilling to bring children into the world with which we are now confronted.  They would rather be childless than to raise a kid into serfdom, and they refuse to be sucked into the welfare mentality that permits so many to procreate without pausing to consider those facts.  If Barack Obama is re-elected, the country will die, my farm among its many victims, and the possibility of grandchildren with it.

Every day brings more bad news on the economic front, though the media would have us believe otherwise in their pursuit of a second Obama term.  There will never be any chance of justice on the matter of Benghazi, and there will be no chance that we will know liberty again.  Ronald Reagan was right about many things, and one of them was this:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

At least I will be free from telling my child’s children, since there won’t be any, but as I stood there pondering my choice, it seemed at last like slim consolation.  I thought about a lifetime of hard, dedicated work, but not only mine.  My wife’s, my brothers, and all our forebears who had made the glorious expanse of my life possible.  I thought about the slow, skulking death of a nation, culminating in a rapid dissolution into anarchy and tyranny.  I wondered how long I would hold out.  I wondered how much stamina those like me would have, and whether it would be enough.  I wondered at the thought of my wife and I, no longer in the condition of our youth, trying to stave off all that such a scenario would imply.  I thought about the wisdom of my position to date, and my resolution not to vote for Mitt Romney.

After all, as veterans will know, one thing the military teaches you is that if all else fails, you must figure out how to survive, and how to live to fight another day.  Pointless but seemingly heroic acts of single-handedly charging a vastly superior enemy are really acts of suicide, so that unless there is something tangible to be gained for one’s cause, one should never consider it.  In turn, that begged the question behind my furrowed brow:  What is my cause?  Will it be served by the immolation of our country?  That was the proposition before me, and for a long time, I began to argue with myself:

“What’s the matter, Mark?  Chickening out?”

“No, of course not.  I’m doing the harder thing: I’m standing on principle.”

“Principle?  The principles that become meaningless the moment Barack Obama is unleashed and unrestrained in a second term?  Those principles?  Who will honor them?  The souls of the grandchildren your daughter will never bear forth into the wretched world the left is creating?”

“Somebody. Somehow.  Some day.”

Somehow? It’s a sad day that you resort to that plea.”

 ”America will rise again.”

Will it?”

As I pondered Ronald Reagan’s words again, it struck me that though I have read them, repeated them, and heard them spoken a thousand times, I had always grasped the first part, but never fully the severity of the second.  Standing there looking down at my ballot, the presidential section unmarked, I wondered about the truth of the matter: How do I restore a country by yielding it completely to those who wish it destroyed?  It is preposterous to suggest otherwise, because in that moment, I saw with clarity that a little chance is better than none.  A small opportunity, and a tiny window are greater than their absence.  I’ve already pledged to you that with your help, I will fight the GOP establishment, come what may, but that is only relevant if we’re not already fighting for our basic survival, and if Barack Obama prevails, that will be our situation.

You are free to call me a “chicken,” or to say that “Mark folded” when the going got tough, but after all, what the in Hell are we fighting for anyway?  A tactical retreat is preferable to a massacre.  With those words in mind, I looked again one long last time at the ballot, and slid it close to me on the writing surface, and marked “Romney.”  I turned away from the booth, depositing the ballot in the slot in the ballot box with a satisfied grimace.  That may not be the ending you had expected.  It wasn’t the ending I expected when I walked into the polling place, until I realized this really could be the end. I apologize to those readers who believe I have abandoned them, and I will not damn any for doing as I have done, but in the end, history may damn all those who don’t.  In the name of all in this world that you may still love, and in the name of all that remains of our potential, go vote, and do what your conscience demands.  I cannot damn my own life, never mind my daughter’s, to the world a second Obama term would usher in.  Damn me if you must.  If Obama is re-elected, Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s misappropriation of scripture is certain to come true.

 

 

Becoming a Top-Down Party of Nothing

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Mitt's Party

Deciding to walk away from the Republican Party has relieved me of becoming an accomplice in convincing people that down is up, left is right, and that crap-loads are creme-puffs.  Mitt Romney’s insider attorney, Ben Ginsberg, a long-time servant of the Bush Clan has been rigging the process.  While grass-roots conservatives have been figuring out how they’re going to swallow the bitter pill of Mitt Romney, if we can at all, he’s been busy consolidating the party’s convention process to make sure that: A.) If elected, he will be able to ensure there is never a primary challenge no matter how far to the left he moves(as we know he will,) and B.) Even if he doesn’t get elected, that the Bush Clan will have clear sailing if they put up JEB in 2016.  What this set of rules changes represents is the Bush Clan Take-over Plan for the Republican Party, and for those of you who haven’t been keeping up, that’s not a good thing for conservatism.  This is the same cadre of moderate to liberal Republicans who have pursued unfailingly the same ends as the left, and if it isn’t stopped now, you might as just well begin plans to start your own party because you will have no voice among Republicans any longer.  It’s not often that I urge readers to action, but this is one of those times when you ought to be yelling at every delegate to the RNC whose ear you are able to bend.

Even now, the Texas delegation is joining the uprising in advance of critical rules committee votes, trying to turn the tide against these dastardly rule changes that are aimed squarely at depriving the grass-roots of the party a voice in future elections by substituting the will of party bosses in the smoke-filled rooms of political patronage and payback.  This is precisely the sort of thing about which every conservative should be appalled, but there’s no point in pretending there is a great deal of time remaining to turn this around.  It’s basically now, or never, and if you don’t seek to be heard tonight and early tomorrow, you never will be, and you will see that your party is reduced to a servant of the ruling machine.  This cannot be the direction any of us would like to see the Republican party go, and yet it will be dragged there as people like Bob Dole(R-KS) actually tell us that the party must make room for different philosophies.

“We have got to be open,” he said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. “We cannot be a single-issue party or single-philosophy party”. He added: “There’s a big split in our party. There’s this undercurrent of rigid conservatism where you don’t dare not toe the line”.

Yes, there’s a big split, and it owes to people who talk from both sides of their mouths, Senator Dole. Take it from him, he knows how to lose like nobody’s business. Let us be blunt: If Republicans do not share even a single root philosophy, it isn’t a political party, but instead a block party.  What sort of befuddled rationalization permits Senator Dole to conclude that one can have a political party composed of people who not only vary on specific issues, but disagree in part or in whole on the principled basis on which one’s position on particular issues are formed?  What Dole is offering us is a vision of a Republican party in which anything goes.  No standards.  No qualifications.  No principles.  Nothing but loyalty to the party.   This multi-philosophy party he describes immediately seems a good deal like the Democrats.  No longer a philosophical or ideological consistency, but instead a coalition of vastly disparate groups that has as its driving motive a single idea: “Win at all costs.”  This is the establishment of a second party of nothing in progress.  Does Bob Dole think a party of nothing can win something?

Of course, the truth is that the GOP establishment has two major issues about which they are concerned, and would like to take off the table.  These issues are abortion, and amnesty.  Of course, they don’t really want to deal with the big entitlements, and they really don’t want to tackle the growth of the welfare state.  Come to think of it, they really don’t want to do much of anything about any pressing matter in any respect, except to keep it all going.  They aren’t capitalists, they aren’t conservatives, and they aren’t particularly concerned with law and order.  The more you think about it, the clearer it becomes that they haven’t a single issue in which they’re willing to fight, because at the end of the day, they don’t care about any issue so long as you vote for them, and as Ben Ginsberg has made clear, they will decide who shall be the approved candidates and you will damned-well like it.

Ladies and gentlemen, you can do what you will about this, for whatever good it may do.  You can do nothing, or you can rise up and make a stink.  I will simply tell you that I am burning up phone lines and the email servers of everybody I can think to contact.  This is a shocking denigration of all the efforts of all the Tea Party folk, all the people who have turned out to support Republicans in 2010, and all those who have participated in trying to recapture the country from the runaway villains in the Democrat Party.  You’re being shafted again.  It’s as simple as that, and any argument to the contrary is simply the bleating of sheep who simply haven’t the heart for the fight.

I had been a Republican because I wanted to stand firmly for the issues we conservatives hold dear, and to stand with my fellow Americans in defense of our constitution, but under current management, the party is being turned into a party of nothing, and as the well-worn line admonishes us, “if you won’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” The other practical matter is that a party of nothing must ultimately become the party of no one.  The Republican Party is taking a firm step in that direction, and I am running, not walking, in the opposite direction.  If you find no satisfaction upon registering your complaints with your respective states’ delegations, I hope you will join me.  This entire procedure is despicable, but not satisfied at having rigged the process in Romney’s favor over the last year of the current election cycle, the same old crowd is rigging it in perpetuity, but their motive is clear: They don’t wish to have any reason whatever to listen to you.

 See Update Here

Poor Paul Ryan…

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Mitt Keeps Tight Grip

Mitt Romney has announced his running mate, selecting seven-term Congressman Paul Ryan(R-WI) to fill the post. While I like Paul Ryan, I don’t think this choice will change the trajectory of this campaign, and like Sarah Palin in 2008, he may be the campaign’s biggest individual victim. Ryan has been inside Washington DC for nearly two decades now, a creature of the establishment who has worked for various well-known figures including Jack Kemp, William Bennett, Sam Brownback and others before kicking off his Congressional career.  Ryan is a technocrat in some respects, and while he is modestly conservative, his conservatism seems focused in the fiscal arena.  He’s been depicted by Democrats in television ads as the guy who pushed Grandma (in a wheelchair, no less) over a cliff.  What does he bring to the ticket?  Is Paul Ryan enough to save Romney from himself and a heretofore inept campaign?  Paul Ryan may be a nice guy, but is that enough in the face of a relentless attack the likes of which the Obama campaign is launching as I write?  I have my doubts, because running mates can’t overcome the inherent shortcomings of the top of the ticket, as the selection of Palin in 2008 proved, since even her talent wasn’t enough to overcome terrible advisers.  Can Ryan avoid the same fate?

Some might argue that what Ryan brings to the ticket is youth but also reliability.  After all, the seven-term Congressman has been toiling on budgetary matters for most of his career, and in the last number of years, he’s been focused on entitlements as the single largest factor in our continued deficits, and the consequent explosion in our national debt.  He was a fierce critic of Obama-care, laying out all of the ways in which it would explode our deficit, costing far more than promised by President Obama.  His willingness to tackle the entitlements issue when others ran for the tall grass earns him a gold star, and everybody should see this video of Ryan facing off with the President, explaining that hiding costs doesn’t reduce spending:

Romney is looking for a safe pick.  He wants a running mate who won’t embarrass him, but of course, Gov. Romney does enough of that on his own.  While in Norfolk,VA to officially launch his campaign, introducing Paul Ryan, Romney introduced Ryan as the “Next President of the United States…”  (We should be so lucky.)

Romney wanted a safe pick, and he got one.  Ryan is safe in every way an establishment Republican thinks is safe, but he isn’t a particularly charismatic or inspiring fellow.  He certainly seems like a nice enough fellow, but historical Republican losing tickets are littered with nice guys as running mates.  Dan Quayle is a nice guy.  Jack Kemp was a really nice guy.  What Romney’s ticket had needed was a bit more than a nice guy, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Paul Ryan except that he will not provide the boost Romney’s campaign needs.

Naturally, the Democrats were right out of the box with attacks on Ryan’s foreign policy experience, and true to form, Romney’s team countered with perhaps the most pathetic response ever:

“The ticket is no different than Obama and Biden.”

In the end, this may be why I agree with Mr. L on the 2012 election:

If the Romney campaign is going to defend Ryan’s lack of military and foreign policy experience on this basis, they’re going to lose. Who is running the Romney campaign?  To me, it looks like a re-run of 2008, with the weakest possible nominee, and a rising conservative lion in the role of sacrificial lamb.

I like Paul Ryan, and in fact, I like him too well to see him sacrificed on the altar of another losing campaign.  Just as Sarah Palin was sliced and diced by a dishonest press working on behalf of a desperate Obama campaign in 2008, I think we’re going to see the same thing in 2012 with Paul Ryan, although I doubt they could match their venom of 2008.  Why is it that for the second presidential campaign in succession, I have the distinct feeling that the Republican ticket should be flipped?

Of course, there’s one inescapable conclusion to be drawn from all of this, and it references those who Gov. Palin might consider part of the “permanent political class” of Washington DC, who move from campaign to campaign, party to party, back and forth and around again: It seems the same bunch is running the show in 2012 for the Republicans.  I noticed Elliot Abrams, who wrote a disgusting anti-Gingrich screed earlier this year was briefing Paul Ryan on foreign policy.  I noticed Andrea Saul, who worked for McCain in 2008, is doing Romney no favors in 2012.  It seems like the Romney campaign has hired many of the same faces who have remained behind the scenes, infecting Washington DC for a generation, and they all have something in common:  They know how to fight against conservatives, but they seem less than sincere in their fight against leftists.  One can only imagine why.

 Note to regular readers: Thank you for your prayers and get-well wishes as I’ve been recovering from an eye injury.  It’s still pretty sore, but on the mend. Thank you!

Is Mitt Romney Running For President, or Dog-Catcher?

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Does He Understand?

I listen to the pundits. I ignore many of them, but the reason I do so is because so many are merely servants of an agenda, having abandoned the truth. I realize no commentator can be right every time, but it’s easier to be correct in one’s judgments if one cares even slightly about facts, rather than pushing an agenda. I’m a conservative, so of course, I tend to see things through the lens of conservatism, and what that means is that I sometimes err like anybody else in media who offers an opinion, because occasionally, I let my wishes come between me and the facts. I’ve been wrong about some things, and bluntly, I will be wrong about some more, but there are a few things about which I hope to be wrong, while being virtually certain that I am right. This is one of those cases: Even if conservatives manage to drag Mitt Romney across the finish line first, his presidency would be remarkable only in its mediocrity, but more importantly, I do not believe Romney can win since he is conducting the campaign of a man running for dog-catcher, rather than for the office of the President of the United States.

If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you know how the local elections there frequently go. They can sometimes become aggressive affairs, but more often, the candidates are only vaguely partisan, and mostly non-ideological because it’s generally more important to accommodate a larger proportion of the populace and thus ensure election than to take on difficult issues or matters that may have no direct bearing on the office. This is the campaign Mitt Romney is attempting to run, and he’s staying well away from issues and topics that could alienate this group or that, but that have no direct bearing on the immediate job of being President. The problem with this approach is not that it can’t work, but that it’s made for a different level of politics. The presidency is an office that ultimately deals with virtually every issue in one way or another, and since the President lives in a virtual fishbowl of news coverage, there’s almost nothing a president can say that isn’t examined, folded, spindled and mutilated as people look for deeper meanings, but because of this, a President must be aware of virtually every issue, particularly those that are “hot” in current coverage, because the press is apt to ask about them at some point.

The other significant difference is that when you’re running for dog-catcher in AnyTown, USA, you’re not expected to take a position on global warming, or to wax philosophic on the notion of manned space flight. They want to know if you’ll catch dogs, and why you’ll be better at it than the other guy, but there’s no real need to get into deep philosophical discussions about it. You’re expected to shut up and catch dogs. As President, a whole nation, and indeed, a whole world looks to you to stake out a position, and they expect you to do it in a timely fashion, when your position might hold some sway. When Barack Obama said nothing about the uprising in Iran until Iranian dissidents had begun to be slaughtered, part of the reason for Iran’s slightly delayed oppression was undoubtedly due to their waiting to see what the new American President might say. When it was clear he’d say nothing, and do nothing to bring down international heat on the regime, they felt secure to begin reprisals.

In much the same way, Mitt Romney has held his tongue on far too many issues, passing up opportunities to make greater philosophical points during the course of the campaign. He never failed to hammer away at his Republican opponents, but now that he’s facing Obama, it seems as though he’s gone weak in the knees. True, he has had his moments, but the problem is that’s all they’ve been: Fleeting, stillborn interjections of passion that only hinted at a deeper conviction on any subject. The American people expect more, and they fully expect that their President will stake out positions that are more substantially ideological than most pundits admit. It’s not “red meat” as so many condescending commentators contend, but instead that people want to hear the ideological consistency that takes one the full distance from A to Z. This is what Mitt Romney has lacked, and it’s going to hurt him come November, whatever the Republican pundits may say to the contrary. In short, the American people are waiting for Romney to make a solid, irrefutable case, and it must be about more than economics and statistics.

Most of the American people are not fools, and they know there is more broken with the country than what a litany of economic statistics will reveal. They know there is a moral crisis, but many of them are unsure about how to characterize that crisis, or to explain with any precision how it is to be addressed. They don’t know where or how to begin, and the problem has become so great that they have no confidence in politicians to fix it, and given the average of this crop of politicians with which we’ve been cursed, it’s easy to understand their misgivings. Mitt Romney, or indeed any candidate who would seek to oust Barack Obama must be willing to say what it is about Obama’s policies that is hurting the country, but also explain the philosophy that gave rise to those policies, comprising their central motive.

This is the problem with Mitt Romney’s line about Obama being “in over his head.” That is a vague expression that barely scratches the surface of the problem with Barack Obama. If only it were a matter of incompetence, it would be easier to retire him to Chicago next January, but he’s not Jimmy Carter. He’s infinitely worse, and he’s worse precisely because while Carter was a mix of nine parts of incompetence and one part malice, Barack Obama’s philosophy and the policies it spawns are 100% pure malevolence. When you are faced with a killer wielding a gun in random bursts of violence, you do not rally people to oppose him by claiming he had been merely incompetent to bear arms. You must tell the people the truth, and that truth is that “this guy is going to kill you, or as many of you as he is able, if you don’t take him down.” When faced with a killer, moral equivocation is not only a terrible strategy, but a lethal capitulation.

Barack Obama’s policies are killing America, and there is every evidence that it is being done with malice aforethought. That Mitt Romney continues to conduct his campaign solely on the basis that he’ll be better at catching dogs is an admission that he’s really not willing to fight for the country, and the reason for this can only be that he’s incapable or unwilling. Which of these do we expect will be acceptable to the great body of the American electorate? If Mitt Romney does not learn to make the case and make it unflinchingly, he is going to lose this election, and we will be faced with the ghastly proposition of four years of unparalleled malice directed at the American people. This is not the time for tepid leadership, and but for those rare moments, that’s all Governor Romney has offered. If he’s to defeat Barack Obama, he cannot do so by default. He must challenge the moral basis of Barack Obama’s philosophy, but since Romney will not even name it, I do not see how victory will be possible. After all, if he will not name it, how can the American people be expected to take him seriously, or to understand by hints what case Mitt Romney is trying to make?

Romney lives in fear of bad press and ridicule in establishment media, but if he’s to stand any chance of winning, he can no longer afford to mince words by way of “playing it safe.” Otherwise, he stands the chance of appearing afraid to make his case openly, and Americans will begin to wonder why. The old saying is “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” and if Mitt Romney doesn’t begin to venture outside his safe zone soon, this race will be over. You’d think a capitalist would know that.

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OMG! Mitt Romney Gave a Good Speech? OMG!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

It's Alive!

Mitt Romney gave a speech on Tuesday for which he is being widely praised as “having gone on offense,” and “sounding passionate,” and while I am happy to see that he has taken a slightly more aggressive stance, almost leaving one with the impression that he might have some desire to win after all, ladies and gentlemen, it’s one brief stump speech.  Governor Romney has been on the campaign trail pursuing the Presidency longer than most kindergartners have been alive.  One would hope that in such an expanse of time, he’s had a few moments to brush up on his form, and to actually refine his message a bit. More than anything, one would hope that somehow, over that period, he’s managed to conceive of some core values that consist of more than making deals, or seeking consensus.  Even if he has, before you toss your undergarments on the stage in a frenzy of adulation, I hope you’ll be a bit more reserved in asking:  Is this an anomaly or a the beginning of a trend?  If it is a new trend, you must ask yourself one question more: Is it sincere?  Does he mean it?

If he says it now, will he carry it out later?  I apologize to the “hope brigades” who will casually give themselves over out of desperation to be rid of Obama, but it’s going to take a good deal more than one decent speech to move me.  It might be argued with some justification that cynicism is prohibiting me from viewing this one speech as some watershed event in the evolution of candidate Romney, but call it what you will, my skepticism is not entirely or even slightly unfounded in light of the evidence.  On the one hand, we have the long record of Governor Romney’s public statements over decades, but on the other, we have less than thirty minutes in a stump speech following broad-based criticisms of the candidate’s tepid approach to campaigning.  Can you tell yourself without flinching, never mind me, that this is now the real Mitt Romney?  Put another way, I’m a great believer in Ockham’s Razor.

Given any number of plausible explanations, the simpler is more apt to be correct.  In this case, the three explanations for Romney’s speech on Tuesday must be that either he has really been a conservative all along, who is only now finding his voice despite years of opportunity, that he has undergone a real and abiding transformation in his philosophy, or that political expediency and the desire to unite the party behind him under severe recent criticism has forced him to go out on the ledge a bit.  While all of these are plausible explanations, I hope you’ll agree with me that the last is the simplest, because boiled down to its essence, it consists only of something politicians have done expertly for the entirety of human history:  He faked it.

I can already hear the rumblings from off in back, from those who will argue that I am being unduly harsh, but I must ask of those who would clobber me for my assessment:  In the last four years, I have never heard anybody ask whether in her numerous speeches, Sarah Palin had been passionate or sincere.  I have never seen the GOP so breathlessly exuberant over such a short speech.  The comparisons to Ronald Reagan are absurd, but that hasn’t stopped anybody in the establishment from beginning to whisper them.  All this over a few minutes in a speech, and yet you would think he had delivered the Sermon on the Mount.  Let us set aside the questions about his sincerity, and see what he said that had been so extraordinary. After all, Michelle Malkin was all a’twitter. Mark Levin called it “superb.” Let’s see what the hubbub is all about, shall we?

From Irwin, PA:

 That’s a very good speech indeed. It’s one, and it’s only one, but it was a good speech.  Unfortunately, I’ve heard better, recently, and indeed, much of it seemed to have been repeated from Governor Palin’s speech at the AFP Patriots in the Park speech over the weekend.  No, I’m not accusing Governor Romney of plagiarism, or anything silly like that.  I’m simply pointing out that one could nearly view it as though he had a good example, test-marketed if you will, of what revs up a crowd on Saturday when Governor Palin spoke.  What Republican candidate wouldn’t seek to emulate that appeal?  As to the substance, he has reduced his list to just five major points, rather than a lengthy fifty-nine point economic plan that would take several hours to deliver in a speech.  If he drops the bit about education, that would help more, since in fact, education really isn’t a Federal matter, although he seems to be dangling some notion of a voucher system without any details.  Also, what’s with the “replace it” business with respect to Obamacare?  I want to replace it with the law that existed the day before it was enacted.  He mentions defense, which is great, but he also spent a bit of time talking about energy development, and that’s been a major area of interest for Governor Palin as well as every productive American for some time.

A good speech?  Yes, it was good, but I think superlatives are a stretch. I also worry about his sincerity, but also his passion.  At times, his enthusiasm seemed forced, but his best moments may have come as he discussed the crony capitalism that defines this current presidency. His critique of Obama’s remarks about not “doing it on [our] own” should resonate well, and indeed, when he said with an indignant tone: “We paid for those services,” he hit the nail on the head. In my view, he should have extended his remarks a bit on one related matter, in which he was explaining how all of those services (teachers, fireman, road crews) hadn’t built the businesses, he went on to make mention of the fact that furthering one’s education, Obama would say that you had used the roads to go to school.  He acknowledged the truth of this, but he should also have noticed something else left unsaid in the President’s ridiculous remarks:  If one person can use the roads to go to school, upgrading their education, what is the excuse for all those who haven’t?

If some of us are paying for all of these services that Obama says are so critical to our collective success, why is it that more are not successful?  I think Romney should work that in, because it makes a fine point of differentiation.  After all, if schools, and fireman, and road projects benefit us all, why is it that only the successful should be thankful for them?  If that’s all that makes the difference between success and failure, we should have three-hundred-million billionaires by now.  Clearly, this proves the point: It’s not the road and bridges, the firemen, or the school teachers that make some successful while others are not. It is the spark of individual achievement, and it is best expressed in the notions of liberty that to his credit, Mitt Romney addressed.

While I’m not blown away as are some others by this speech, in part for its shortfalls, but also in part because I’m not altogether convinced he’ll follow through, I nevertheless note that many more will be willing to listen again, to see if he sharpens his message or heads back into Milquetoast territory.  I’m afraid that if he does the latter, you can prepare for a second term of Barack Obama, because to defeat him, Romney will need to attack his record, his philosophy, and his contradictory ideas, all without exposing his own.  That’s a tall order, but this speech was one positive baby-step in that direction.  Let’s hope he believes it. I’m withholding judgment pending more evidence.

 

It’s His Party…

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Doesn't He Need the Help?

I must say that I’m not terribly surprised to read that the Romney Campaign seems not to have invited former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for a speaking opportunity at the convention, as Newsweek reports via C4P.  After all, if you were Mitt Romney, or his genius advisers, would you let Sarah Palin speak at the RNC convention in Tampa?  Of course you would not, because you’d be at least savvy enough to know that you shouldn’t have the presumptive nominee upstaged at his own convention.  I don’t think Gov. Palin would be out to upstage him either, so much as by the sheer energy she brings to events, along with the invigorating effect she has on crowds where she speaks, it’s perfectly understandable that the Mittsters would seek to exclude her from participation.  If you ever needed any evidence of what is wrong with the Republican Party, this is it, because when a party benches its best player in the World Series, at some point, people in the stands are going to ask in hushed, recriminating tones if November brings a defeat:  “How serious had we been about winning?”

That’s a great question, and it’s one we should begin to ask now, before the convention, and before the entire spectacle of the servile media trying to drag Barack Obama across the finish line in November.  The matter at hand is the future of the country, and it has always seemed to me that with so much at stake, you don’t want to send a crowd of bench-warmers in as pinch-hitters when it’s for all the marbles.   Instead, it would seem the time to pull out your best, biggest guns and let it all fly, giving it everything you are able.  Hot-Air is suggesting that there is no snub, but I wonder if that matters.  Many are likely to perceive it as such, and that’s not going to help Gov. Romney obtain the support he needs to win in November.  Mr. Morrisey’s stance seems to be that it’s a tempest in a teapot, but there may well be more to it than he suspects.

Part of the problem is that Sarah Palin became the scapegoat for the 2008 McCain campaign’s failures.  In fact, any honest analysis of the 2008 campaign clearly demonstrates that McCain would have garnered still fewer votes without Palin on the ticket.  I don’t mean to re-hash this point, because it’s been well-covered here, however there is an element within the Republican party that views Sarah Palin and the sort of independent conservatives to whom she appeals as a bunch of bumpkins, embarrassments to the party proper, and it is their view that predominates among establishment DC Republicans. The permanent political class is fully satisfied to snub Palin, and those who will be offended by such a turn are simply an added bonus.  That sort of Republican sneers at so-called ‘bumpkins’ like me. Their view of “fly-over country” is barely distinguishable from the left’s.

In the view of the establishment, we  conservatives are obstacles.  One can almost hear it in their tone as they seem to wish to agree publicly with the statists that the so-called “hard right” is “reactionary” and “extremist,” but the simpler truth is that they like the power arrangements in Washington DC, and they can’t imagine sharing any part of it with somebody who had been so overwhelmingly popular in far-away Alaska.  They sneer, and they point out that there are more than twenty cities in the United States more populous than Alaska, implying that the governor of such a remote state couldn’t possibly have any real understanding of national politics.  Theirs is a sort of “misunderestimation” born of a malice toward those who are not DC insiders, and others they consider to be “movers and shakers.”  What they’ve never understood about Palin is her ability to move people, and shake things up.

Whether the Romney campaign ultimately invites Governor Palin, it’s clear that between his campaign’s antics, and its almost complete ineffectiveness, he’s not doing himself any favors with the base of the Republican party if he chooses to exclude Palin.  They’re anxious to see a  candidate fighting with Obama, and what they’re getting from Romney and his campaign is Milquetoast.  Romney has exhibited a tendency to leave the “dirty work” to others, particularly in the early primary states, and now he desperately needs to gather up the support of some who his earlier tactics may have seriously offended.  It’s really not a smart play to re-offend a segment of the electorate among which some were beginning to accept grudgingly that Romney would be their only option in 2012.  For others, the matter will be mere confirmation of what they already guessed:  They’re not welcome to Romney’s party.  Many are now making other plans accordingly.

 

 

Can Romney Win on Fears Over Higher Taxes?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Do Enough Voters Care?

I’ve heard it said in a number of places, by countless commentators, so much so that I think it’s become part of the script.  It goes along with those who tell us that the Roberts treason has a silver lining, because it makes plain that Obama is imposing new taxes all over the place.  This, along with the economy, is said to be the reason Mitt Romney can win.  I have given this a bit of thought, because it’s been conventional wisdom for so long that most now accept it as something of a truism.  Mitt Romney, they say, now has the biggest tax increases in history against which to run, a veritable “taxmageddon,” they’re calling it, scheduled to being hammering tax-payers in 2013.  The so-called Bush tax-cuts will expire, and of course, all of the new Obama-care “taxes” will begin to phase in.  The problem most Republicans seem not to have noticed, and the reason Romney is in far worse shape than many understand:  Many don’t care that taxes are going up.  As Joe Biden might say, “BFD!” It may not matter if taxes were doubled.  It may not matter how much the Federal Government under the leadership of Obama raises taxes. Taxes may no longer matter as an election issue, and there are two compelling reasons to take this seriously.

The first glaring reason that many voters won’t take this seriously is that even among the few who pay attention, they’re accustomed to hearing outrageous claims by campaigns against their opponents.  Most of the claims boil down to some form of “If you vote for my opponent, a plague will descend upon you, and your children will be carried off by the bogeyman, and the country will melt into the fires of hell and there will be starving people in the street, and you’ll be homeless, naked, and penniless.”  Voters have heard this from both sides so often that whether one side or the other may actually speak plainly about it for a change, most of the relatively low number of voters who pay attention only within the six weeks preceding the election(at best) will feel as though they’ve “heard it all before,” and chances are, they’re right.  The problem is that politicians inflate things all the time.  It’s the norm.  The last time a presidential nominee explained the facts and had no need to embellish, and could merely point to the complete disaster at hand was Ronald Reagan, because all the evidence supported everything he said.  People were living it.

This ought to weigh in Mitt Romney’s favor, and it would, if we were living in 1980 America.  The problem is, we are living in 2012 America, and it’s a very different country.  Consider that we have millions who have spent 99 weeks on unemployment.  Consider that we have roughly fifty million people receiving foodstamps.  Consider that we have a total adult workforce that constitutes fewer than one-fourth of the total population.  We may have passed that critical point at which more people are now beneficiaries of big government than are paying for it, and if this is the case, the economy could become a good deal worse, and it wouldn’t matter because Mitt Romney’s tax arguments, if he were to make one, would fall on the deaf ears of those who have a net tax rate less than or equal to zero.  If we’ve passed that tipping point, Romney can make the tax argument until he’s blue in the face, but it won’t matter to the outcome.  More, with Obama-care now uninterrupted in its implementation by the court, there is now one more inducement to the non-workers, and that is why Democrats were willing to walk the plank in 2010 when the law was passed: They knew once it was in place, we would never be rid of it without revolution.

Of course, it’s not as though all tax-payers will side with Romney, because you can count on the unions to show up and support Obama.  You can bet that the education establishment will support Obama.  The trial lawyers will be there.  In short, all of the usual Democrat constituencies, even those who actually earn a living, are likely to support Obama over Romney because they are either doctrinaire leftists, or because they’ve accepted the language of class envy.  Either way, Romney doesn’t stand a chance in hell of getting their votes.  When you consider this together with the legion of dependency-bound persons who live in large measure or entirely from the system, without effort, you’re looking at what appears to be a majority of voters, or something very close to it.  Romney is going to need to become creative, and find other ways to convince voters, because I no longer have confidence that taxes are a winning issue with the majority of the electorate any longer.

After all, if you say to the millions upon millions of government dependents that you will now reduce the size of government, what they hear is “I’m going to cut your subsidy.”  That’s a disaster they can believe in, and it’s the only one they are inclined to see as relevant.  After all, they’re not paying the bills, and they don’t have any moral compunction whatever about robbing those who do.   Romney can’t rely upon this as his line of attack because for so many voters, it’s now ineffective.  Not only are they carefree about taxes because they’re not paying them, but also because they know that the taxes are supporting them through various federal programs.  Romney’s fifty-nine point economic plan is irrelevant to many, because apart from siphoning off the economy, they’re not participants in it, and have no intentions of changing that sad fact.  Knowing this, I’m not certain why anybody makes the argument any longer, but in Romney’s case, it may be even less effective, as Democrats now make the case that he sheltered millions offshore.

Taxes have sadly moved into the same realm as the deficit and the debt as election issues.  Everybody pays these the appropriate lip service, but the truth is that our system of taxation has become so lop-sided that too many Americans don’t care.  There are simply too few with “skin in the game,” as Barack Obama would say, because they simply don’t pay for any of the government expenditures, and probably never will.  Our massive welfare-state needs a massive overhaul, but we may have passed the point at which we could expect to have popular support to do it.  Mitt Romney may campaign with taxes as his prime issue with which to drive support at the polls, but it seems as though it may no longer be enough as the traditional Republican strategy loses effectiveness.  This is made worse by the fact that for many of those who have heard this talk, and actually want something done about it, they may have low expectations that Romney or any establishment Republican would do the first thing about it.  They have every reason to be doubtful.

The Exasperating Insufficiency of Mitt Romney

Monday, July 9th, 2012

What is he willing to do?

Many people will hold their fire until November 7th to say with gusto what is already known, and has been for some time:  Mitt Romney isn’t up to this campaign.  He might be a nice guy.  He is a good father and husband by all reports.  He may well be an effective businessman.  What Mitt Romney isn’t is a leader.  Mitt Romney is stuck in a hollowed-out, anti-ideological mold, from which his training and temperament will not permit him to escape.  There is no way to say it but one:  The Republican Party needs a different candidate, and it needs that candidate fast.  Romney isn’t going to win this election, because he isn’t capable or willing to do what it will take, and the reserved, staid Republican establishment wouldn’t support him if he did.  Instead, they’re willing to go down rather than let a conservative take the wheel, because when it comes down to it, they retreat rather than soil their hands in the muck of it all. After months of my prognostications about Romney’s inability to win, it’s all beginning to come true.  Romney should have a double-digit lead in the polls, but he hasn’t, and the reason is simple:  He’s not ideologically sufficient to the chore, and he’s failed to evince any passion for the task at hand.

If you’ve ever watched the movie “The Untouchables,” starring Kevin Kostner and Sean Connery, you already know what I mean.  Al Capone was a ruthless killer, and Connery’s character(Mike Malone) demanded of Kostner’s Elliot Ness: “What are you prepared to do?”

Elliot Ness responds:  “Everything within the law.”

Asks Malone, insistently: “And then what are you prepared to do?”

If Mitt Romney is willing to take that blood-oath, I’ve seen no evidence he is living up to it.  Instead of hiring the sort of political aids who could help him “get Capone,” he’s hiring people who have a record of “getting” fellow Republicans. This is an astonishing situation, because what we see is a Republican party establishment not willing to deal harshly with statists, in part because of their own statist reflexes, and in part because they haven’t the stomach to fight anybody but conservatives, apparently.  Now, lest you think it’s just me saying this, I have news: There is a growing list of people who have finally noticed what I’ve been saying all along.  Rush talked about little else on Monday, and Hannity too.   As I called to your attention over the weekend, at least one Tea Party leader is asking if it is “too late to switch[candidates?]“

It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that no less an establishment Republican than Charles Krauthammer is urging Romney to abandon intellectual honesty and simply call Obama-care a tax and be done with it.  Even the Wall Street Journal is figuring it out, but it could well be too late to fix it.  Consider the meaning of all of the criticisms Romney is now receiving:  He’s being told to fight, but he’s being told to abandon intellectual honesty to do so.  That alone will wind up as an Obama campaign ad.  It’s not that Mitt Romney is incapable of winning, but that he seems hopelessly inept when it comes to carrying on the fight. Where was this Mitt Romney in the Florida primary?  Newt Gingrich might now be the nominee if Romney had been so tepid and accommodating of his Republican opponents as he is of Barack Obama.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is the height of absurdity for the GOP to have been reduced to abandoning intellectual honesty to defeat Barack Obama.  It is the height of absurdity that the country now faces the very real possibility of a second term of Barack Obama, because the GOP establishment has given us a guy who is impaired in his ability to fight by virtue of his own record, and restrained from doing battle with Obama by virtue of the GOP establishment mind-set.  Consider that Speaker John Boehner actually extolled the non-virtues of Romney, telling folk that [he]“can’t make you love Mitt Romney.”  When’s the last time a sitting Republican Speaker of the House said that about a presumptive Republican nominee?   This is their guy, and they wanted him, threatening to take their ball and their dollars and go elsewhere if we had “too conservative” a nominee. The conservative base became disgusted, but they could not overcome the “if you want to win, vote for Romney” talk, as every last conservative who had been paying attention these last dozen years knew with near certitude that Romney would not defeat Obama.

The National Republican Convention in Tampa is rapidly approaching, just seven weeks away, and if that party does not get its act together quickly, it is going to end its convention with a nominee who will possess neither the ability nor the will to win.  It’s time Tea Party conservatives begin to ask what it is that they are willing to do.  It may be time to have that brokered convention so many had feared months ago, because it may be the very last chance to save the country.

The Clock Is Ticking: How Long Until Romney Retreats?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Crowning Himself

With his speech Tuesday night, it became evident that Mitt Romney intends to take the advice of his establishment GOP friends, and will soon begin a full-on retreat from conservatism.  It’s not that Romney was ever a conservative, but that he was putting on just enough of a show to make some primary voters believe it.  All of that will soon change, and we will see the real Mitt Romney soon, to the degree there is a real Mitt Romney.  He delivered a speech in Manchester, NH, Tuesday night as a victory speech for the primaries on the day, and in so doing, I decided I not only dislike his brand of dishonest politics, but that I’ve begun to really dislike him.  I abhor platitudinous rhetoric spoken with no philosophical backbone, and in my estimation, his speech was full of it.   FoxNewsInsider.com provides the transcript of the speech, and I’ll provide the commentary:

Thank you Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York! And tonight I can say thank you, America. After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days and more than a few long nights, I can say with confidence – and gratitude – that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility. And, together, we will win on November 6th!

Yes, it’s all over, right?  That’s it. All done! Texas hasn’t voted yet. See if you can win the presidency without Texas.  Texas may wind up supporting you, but you presume too much, Governor Romney.

We launched this campaign not far from here on a beautiful June day. It has been an extraordinary journey.

Nobody really remembers your campaign launch, because at the time, Sarah Palin was in the vicinity, and the crowds all went to see her instead.

Americans have always been eternal optimists. But over the last three and a half years, we have seen hopes and dreams diminished by false promises and weak leadership. Everywhere I go, Americans are tired of being tired, and many of those who are fortunate enough to have a job are working harder for less.

Apparently, you don’t know the same Americans I know.  On the one hand, you tell us we’re eternal optimists, but on the other hand, you tell us we’re tired of being tired?  Which is it? Even if you succeed in getting the nomination, Americans who are tired of those false promises and weak leadership will turn their focus on you, since you also have a record of similar leadership.  Most Americans I know are tired of leaders blowing smoke up their backsides, and to date, you’ve offered nothing but platitudes to demonstrate you’re anything more than just another of the same.

For every single mom who feels heartbroken when she has to explain to her kids that she needs to take a second job … for grandparents who can’t afford the gas to visit their grandchildren … for the mom and dad who never thought they’d be on food stamps … for the small business owner desperately cutting back just to keep the doors open one more month – to all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I’ve met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance, to all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer. A better America begins tonight.

What is this?  The litany of pandering?  Stop trying to describe in sympathetic terms every conceivable interest group and simply start talking to Americans.  You don’t need to throw a rhetorical bone to women, seniors, and small business owners. And you certainly shouldn’t be borrowing from George W. Bush’s “help is on the way” theme.  If yours is like his, little more than a rhetorical flourish, you’re definitely off to a bad start.

Tonight is the start of a new campaign to unite every American who knows in their heart that we can do better! The last few years have been the best that Barack Obama can do, but it’s not the best America can do!

Looking at your record, I’m not sure Americans will be heartened by their prospects.

Tonight is the beginning of the end of the disappointments of the Obama years and the start of a new and better chapter that we will write together.

To be replaced by the disappointments of a liberal with an “R” after his name?  You’re sounding dangerously like the establishment Republican version of “Hope and Change.”

This has already been a long campaign, but many Americans are just now beginning to focus on the choice before the country. In the days ahead, I look forward to spending time with many of you personally. I want to hear what’s on your mind, hear about your concerns, and learn about your families. I want to know what you think we can do to make this country better…and what you expect from your next President.

Long campaign?  Well yes, you’ve been campaigning continuously since 2007, or sooner, so I suppose that is a long campaign, but I have news for you:  It isn’t over yet.  As your shills in the media continue to put you forward as the inevitable nominee, I’m not finished with you yet, and neither are a number of others.  I just want to know one thing:  If you think you don’t need to compete in Texas for our primary support, what makes you think you’ll have deserved any support you may want from us in November?

And I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. I’ll probably start out talking about my wonderful wife Ann – I usually do – and I’ll probably bore you with stories about our kids and grandkids. I’ll tell you about how much I love this country, where someone like my dad, who grew up poor and never graduated from college, could pursue his dreams and work his way up to running a great car company. Only in America could a man like my dad become governor of the state in which he once sold paint from the trunk of his car.

I know the bio.  Tell us about you.

I’d say that you might have heard that I was successful in business. And that rumor is true. But you might not have heard that I became successful by helping start a business that grew from 10 people to hundreds of people. You might not have heard that our business helped start other businesses, like Staples and Sports Authority and a new steel mill and a learning center called Bright Horizons. And I’d tell you that not every business made it and there were good days and bad days, but every day was a lesson. And after 25 years, I know how to lead us out of this stagnant Obama economy and into a job-creating recovery!

Twenty-five years condensed into a paragraph, but not one word about your four years as governor of Massachusetts?  I suppose that’s a space-saving measure.

Four years ago Barack Obama dazzled us in front of Greek columns with sweeping promises of hope and change. But after we came down to earth, after the celebration and parades, what do we have to show for three and a half years of President Obama?

He didn’t dazzle me, and he didn’t dazzle other conservatives, so now I’m certain you’re not talking to us.  Already shifting your focus, aren’t you, Willard?  What do we have after three-and-one-half years of Obama?  Let’s see: We have more debt, a highly socialized healthcare program the burdens of which will not be fully known for years.  We have a head of state who introduces radical environmental regulations without respect to our legislative body.  In other words, it’s not much different from what the people of Massachusetts had after four years of Governor Mitt Romney!

Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one? Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more in your job? Do you have a better chance to get a better job? Do you pay less at the pump?

Did the regulations you imposed on the State of Massachusetts make fuel less expensive at the pumps?  Did the healthcare plan you inflicted on that State make healthcare better? I’m asking these questions because these are some of the things the Democrats and their legion of shills in the Lamestream Media will ask of you this fall, and I suspect your answers will be no better than Obama’s.  You may be treated with kid gloves on the ever-fawning FoxNews, but that’s not going to cut it this Fall.

If the answer were “yes” to those questions, then President Obama would be running for re-election based on his achievements…and rightly so. But because he has failed, he will run a campaign of diversions, distractions, and distortions. That kind of campaign may have worked at another place and in a different time. But not here and not now. It’s still about the economy …and we’re not stupid.

Barack Obama hasn’t failed.  He’s achieved at least the initial stages of what he set out to accomplish: He is willfully destroying the country, and transforming it through destructive reorganization.  The fact that you don’t recognize this is precisely why you shouldn’t be trusted with the Republican party’s nomination.

People are hurting in America. And we know that something is wrong, terribly wrong with the direction of the country.

Nice platitude. Even in the best of times, somebody, somewhere is hurting, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Stop pretending otherwise.  As one good friend reminds me, “Life is tough.  Get a helmet.”  The direction of the country will not be changed by more platitudes constructed to deny reality.  Are you familiar with John Galt?  He’s trying to give you a clue.

We know that this election is about the kind of America we will live in and the kind of America we will leave to future generations. When it comes to the character of America, President Obama and I have very different visions.

Do you really? What concretes exist in this speech to evince that difference?

Government is at the center of his vision. It dispenses the benefits, borrows what it cannot take, and consumes a greater and greater share of the economy. With Obamacare fully installed, government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society.

Free? Like Massachusetts?

This President is putting us on a path where our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars. He’s asking us to accept that Washington knows best – and can provide all.

Ruled from a distant capital? Like Boston?

We’ve already seen where this path leads. It erodes freedom. It deadens the entrepreneurial spirit. And it hurts the very people it’s supposed to help. Those who promise to spread the wealth around only ever succeed in spreading poverty. Other nations have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages.

Yes, we have. The people of Massachusetts have intimate knowledge.

I have a very different vision for America, and of our future. It is an America driven by freedom, where free people, pursuing happiness in their own unique ways, create free enterprises that employ more and more Americans. Because there are so many enterprises that are succeeding, the competition for hard-working, educated and skilled employees is intense, and so wages and salaries rise.

Freedom like Romneycare?

I see an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living. I see children even more successful than their parents – some successful even beyond their wildest dreams – and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it.

I see that America too, but Mitt Romney isn’t its president any more than Barack Obama has been.

This America is fundamentally fair. We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses; we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing; we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve; and we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.

Great! Now, who pays for that school choice? One of the principles of freedom is that he who pays is he who chooses.  Who is paying for the education of urban children?  The parents of those children, or somebody else?  And not only urban children.    Who is paying for this failed education system?  How do people who do not pay expect to have a choice at all?  As to politicians giving goodies to friends, I a much in favor.  How will you stop this, specifically?  Can I see the legislative language?  More McCain-Feingold humdrum? Or real and lasting reform? As to government workers, could you provide us the statistics on average salaries for state employees in Massachusetts both at the beginning and end of your term as Governor, so that we might see an example of what you would do at the Federal level?  What did you implement, as Governor of Massachusetts, that would dramatically reduce the tax burden on the future tax-payers of that State?  You may not answer me, but you’d better be prepared to answer it, because while no conservatives in media are asking, you can bet the left will throw it in your face if you’re the nominee.

In the America I see, character and choices matter. And education, hard work, and living within our means are valued and rewarded. And poverty will be defeated, not with a government check, but with respect and achievement that is taught by parents, learned in school, and practiced in the workplace.

Kind of like “welfare wheels?” Not only did you dispense government checks, but you also dispensed automobiles.  It’s no wonder that you should want Americans to forget your years in government.

This is the America that was won for us by the nation’s Founders, and earned for us by the Greatest Generation. It is the America that has produced the most innovative, most productive, and the most powerful economy in the world.

Governor Romney, you have a collectivized view of America’s successes, but the truth is that it was millions of individuals who created the most powerful economy on the globe.  Your fixation with collectivized notions of national greatness are disturbing to economic conservatives and libertarians, and for good reason.  The misleading aspect of your view is this: That America, as a nation, was the beneficiary of millions of individual achievements offers no answer to the problem without first understanding that it is only through the promotion of individuals, their goals and their ambitions, through individual actions that the collective you repeatedly reference may see any benefit.  You cannot speak to America as a single body, or even as classes, but instead, you must see America as a diverse universe of people, surely with similarities, but also unique and each one different from the next.  Capitalism doesn’t succeed when people focus on collectivized notions of success.  Capitalism succeeds when individuals succeed, and we notice, after the fact, that the net benefit to the nation as a whole has been positive.  Drop the collectivism.  It makes you sound like a Northeast Liberal.  Oh, wait…

As I look around at the millions of Americans without work, the graduates who can’t get a job, the soldiers who return home to an unemployment line, it breaks my heart. This does not have to be. It is the result of failed leadership and of a faulty vision. We will restore the promise of America only if we restore the principles of freedom and opportunity that made America the greatest nation on earth.

You continue to mention these principles that must be restored.  Can you list them?

Today, the hill before us is a little steep but we have always been a nation of big steppers. Many Americans have given up on this President but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.

The hill before us is vertical.  It’s a cliff.  Our current President is marching us off, over, and into the abyss.  Most Americans are blindly following.  If they follow you, where will you lead them?

In the days ahead, join me in the next step toward that destination of November 6th, when across America we can give a sigh of relief and know that the Promise of America has been kept. The dreamers can dream a little bigger, the help wanted signs can be dusted off, and we can start again.

How?  Don’t offer me 59-point plans that have been cooked up by the torments of technocratic gobbledygook. Instead, list out those principles you reference, but never name, and tell us how you will apply them.

And this time we’ll get it right. We’ll stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad.

We had it right before.  We know how to get it right.  What we need is for you to get government the hell out of the way. Is that what you did in Massachusetts?  I don’t think so.

There was a time – not so long ago – when each of us could walk a little taller and stand a little straighter because we had a gift that no one else in the world shared. We were Americans. That meant something different to each of us but it meant something special to all of us. We knew it without question. And so did the world.

Most of us are still Americans.  To be an American isn’t about where one is born, much as your father would have known.  To be an American is to exhibit an historically peculiar mindset that abhors collectivized thinking.  To date, you’ve shown little evidence that you understand that.

Those days are coming back. That’s our destiny.

Our destiny?

We believe in America. We believe in ourselves. Our greatest days are still ahead. We are, after all, Americans!

I believe in America. I believe in the prospects of individual Americans, as individuals.  Quit blowing collectivized smoke. One thing real Americans hate is B.S.  In the main, you’ve delivered a load.

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Indeed.  Texas will hold its primary May 29th, but since you don’t need us, you needn’t campaign here.

Ladies and gentlemen, I wish to apologize.  Let me suggest to you that if Mitt Romney is the best the Republican party can offer, we might as well join hands with Obama in leaping off that cliff.  At least it will be quick.  I may be at odds with some conservatives who would support anybody to avoid Obama, but so be it.  If when the Texas primary arrives, Romney is the only remaining choice on the Republican side, I will write in somebody else.  Of course, at least for now, Romney is not the only choice, and I will vote for somebody who has actually led a conservative insurgence in Washington DC.  I suspect that the reports on Drudge are false about an impending exit by Gingrich, if only because virtually every other story Drudge has run on Gingrich has been hyped or plainly false.  Mitt may want this primary season to end, and his friends in the GOP establishment have done a remarkable job of orchestrating it so far, but that doesn’t mean we conservatives will necessarily go quietly.

Sorry Mitt. It’s not over.

 

Romney’s Stunning Hypocrisy

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

 

How Different Is He Really?

This is the second time in a week that Mitt Romney has said something on the campaign trail that I thought sounded suspiciously familiar.  Both remarks were in the context of Barack Obama’s “hot-mic” incident with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.  In both cases, Romney asserted that Barack Obama is hiding his true agenda from the American people, but the problem is that while he complains about Obama’s stealth agenda of radical leftism, and that Obama is just trying to fool Americans into voting for him by sounding more centrist, he’s merely holding off his real agenda until he can secure the election.  The problem is that with respect to conservatives in the GOP, Mitt Romney is doing precisely the same thing.  If he can secure the nomination, Romney will be moving a good deal to the left himself.

In describing Barack Obama on Wednesday, from the Reuters report, Romney said:

“He is intent on hiding. You and I will have to do the seeking,”

Many conservatives will read this and will wonder immediately why it is that he has been hiding from his true record as a liberal Republican from a deep blue state.   It’s not that Obama isn’t hiding, but that Romney is also in stealth mode during this primary season too.  Romney’s dishonesty about his own agenda will make it difficult for him to make these arguments about Barack Obama with anything like a sense of moral authority, because he’s guilty of the same thing.

We already know that Mitt Romney will abandon his positions that sound vaguely conservative, thanks in part to Pam Bondi and others, because he intends to re-reform health-care in his own image.  He will set up a very similar system to that which exists under Obamacare, and indeed exists in Massachusetts, probably minus the mandate.  If he manages to get the GOP nomination, he will begin to quickly separate himself from the so-called “hard right,” although in truth, there is no “hard right” politician in this race.  In fact, I dare say there are not many “hard-right” politicians in the country at the Federal level.

What this exemplifies is the art of “positioning.”  Romney has been using the image as a “Massachusetts Moderate” to attract votes in very blue states in which he has won, and while he occasionally remarks on being a conservative, as readers will have noted, it’s not been a very passionate sort of claim.  Even those tepid claims will be discarded when the general campaign arrives, should he happen to be the nominee.  Of course, we’ve known he wasn’t sincere since he described himself as “severely conservative,” because the negative connotations of the word “severe” in association with conservatism is a view held by the left and by liberal Republicans. Mainstream conservatives don’t consider themselves “severe” in any respect, and this phrase by Romney offers us a bit of insight into his real views.

For this reason, it’s a bit astonishing to see him make these claims about Obama.  It’s undoubtedly true that this President is attempting to hide the radical nature of his agenda, but that’s not exactly new.  What’s new in all of this is the disingenuous nature of Romney’s attack, because for all intents and purposes, he is doing precisely the same thing to conservatives at present that Barack Obama is doing to the broader electorate. Romney isn’t conservative, any more than Barack Obama is a moderate, and in point of fact, there are fewer points of separation between the records of the two men than either might wish to admit.

Romney is definitely misleading conservatives, whether mild or “severe” in their conservatism, because he needs votes from that segment to secure the nomination.  It is much the same as Barack Obama’s attempt to capture independents and moderates:  It’s a lie, and it will bear no resemblance to how he runs a general election campaign, or how he will govern.  Mitt Romney isn’t a “severe conservative,” but instead a severe fake.  April will be a month in which Romney gains many delegates in blue states, but he should not be permitted to get to 1144.  If Mitt Romney can call out Barack Obama’s intended deception in hiding his true agenda, I believe conservatives should waste no time in pointing out that Romney is engaged in a similarly disingenuous appeal.  Mitt’s no conservative, and if he secures the Republican nomination, the “Etch-a-Sketch” will be shaken, and conservatives who had been fooled by all of this will see how severe the deception had been.

And it will be too late to do a damned things about it.

________________________________________________________________________________________

 

The Insufferable GOP Establishment Is Now Whining

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

The Establishment Fears You

An article appeared in the Tampa Bay Times that should strengthen your resolve and hearten your efforts to defeat the Romney machine.  It’s titled Analysis of Rubio-Bush-Ryan Plan to Stop Rick Santorum,  and if ever you wanted to know what it looks like when the GOP establishment crowd is made to sweat, this is it.  The author, Marc Caputo, fairly gushes over the three well-known GOP politicians Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Paul Ryan.  When an article starts out this way, you have to know that it’s a real sob story:

Marco Rubio sounds worried. So do Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan.

Their candidate, Mitt Romney, is losing to President Barack Obama. The GOP primary is becoming “counterproductive.”

The assumptions made here are sickening.  First, there is the entitlement mentality, that suggests these guys have some right to expect their candidate to be the nominee.  What they know is what you should already know:  Romney’s presumed nomination is in trouble, as they’ve looked at the numbers and realize that 1144 delegates could be out of reach if Rick Santorum can make it through the month of April and into May.  The article acknowledges what I’ve been reporting about a potential brokered convention too:

“They are saying the only way they can win this race is by having a floor fight in Tampa in August,” Sen. Rubio said Wednesday of the “recipe for disaster” on Fox News. “I think that’s a recipe to deliver four more years to Barack Obama. And our country — forget about the Republican Party — our country cannot afford that.”

Senator Rubio is simply wrong. A floor fight isn’t a recipe for disaster unless you’re a Romney supporter.  They way the establishment has controlled, manipulated, and rigged this process is a disaster for the country.  A real recipe for disaster in November would be for Mitt Romney to lose the election because he is incapable of positioning himself to defeat Barack Obama in any argument in a general election.

Predictably, this is where the article turns its attacks on Santorum, prefacing the assault this way:

“It’s as if Obama’s campaign is writing Santorum’s attack lines about how Romney is virtually indistinguishable from the president.”

Really? It’s as if a DNC ad-man wrote the article.  Media bias is what it is, but I have tired of people purporting to be part of News organizations, posing as journalists of some sort who make statements like this:

“If Romney loses Florida, he probably loses the election. If Santorum stays in and wins the huge Texas primary May 29, it’ll continue to make Romney look uninspiring and like the weakest of frontrunners.”

Note to Mr. Caputo:  Mitt Romney is uninspiring.  He is the weakest of front-runners. He won’t win Texas.  Of course, the absolutely most laughable part of this whining, pathetic plea is this:

“Santorum and Gingrich bear some responsibility for Romney’s problems. So does gaffe-prone Romney. Also, this poll and others indicate that the GOP’s stances on contraception and abortion have hurt the party’s brand among women and independent voters. The improving economy has worked against Romney and in Obama’s favor as well.”

It’s Santorum and Gingrich who are to blame for Romney’s inadequacies?  Mitt Romney has spent tens of millions of dollars on ads absolutely hammering his opponents, and we should blame his opponents for his unpopularity and his continuing inability to sew up the nomination?  Caputo’s article concludes with a plea that should embarrass anybody who is actually in the news business:

“Will Santorum give Romney the chance to make that case in time?”

Mr. Caputo should understand, as should the whining GOP establishment: Conservatives have no obligation to cede the race to Mitt Romney, or make it easier for him, or in any way enable his candidacy.  He hasn’t shown any inclination to get out of their way either, and I want to know only one thing from Mr. Caputo and those like him:

“Will Romney give Santorum and Gingrich the chance to make the case against Barack Obama in time?”

No? Then shut up and fight.

You’ll notice how the idiotic questions they pose for conservatives are never offered to the establishment.  They hope sincerely that we will not notice the fact that every question of this sort that they throw at conservatives could be turned around and thrown right back.  For instance, they are always demanding:  “But you will support Romney if nominated, right?”  I have yet to hear anybody in the big media ask Romney: “But you will support Santorum, Gingrich, or Paul, if nominated, right?”  Of course we won’t hear that question, because it would imply Romney could lose.  Newsflash:  He could lose.  Caputo’s article is proof of that fact.

 

 

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?

Yes, I Still Support Newt Gingrich

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Still with Newt...

Periodically, I get a number of emails from people from various camps asking me why I don’t abandon Newt Gingrich and go along with one of the others, and surprisingly, it’s not usually the Rick Santorum supporters who do this, as I suspect they get much of that from others themselves.  What makes it interesting to me is that it always takes the form of a question usually along the lines of “Are you still sticking with Newt?” This is followed by a string of talking points that broadcast the Romney narrative of the day.  I love the people who take the time to e-mail me, but the copy-and-paste pollution in my inbox really needs to cease, so I’m going to explain to you in detail why it is that I support Newt Gingrich, and why I’ve remained unconvinced by any of the arguments lodged with me against him.  As I’ve noted many times, my preferred candidate announced she would stay out of the nomination chase in October, and that left me with a difficult chore in looking through the many candidates who were still in this race at that time.  I began to take on the process of measuring twice, or thrice, in the hope of cutting just once, so I patiently waited to see what would happen as I weighed their records in detail.

If you’ve been a reader here for any length of time, you will know that I don’t think much of the Republican establishment, because too often, their reflexes are to big government, and this makes me cringe as a conservative.  I started going back and looking at speeches that various candidates had made throughout their careers, and I noticed that one of them had said some things at times that seemed to clash with the conventional wisdom at the time, but later turned out to be almost precisely correct.  One of these was Newt Gingrich’s claim as early as 1993(that I found) that the Democrats were going to be in real trouble, and that he saw the very real possibility that Congress could turn over to Republican control.  The media scoffed.  The establishment chortled endlessly.  In 1994, following the lead of his “Contract with America,” the Republicans indeed took control of both houses of Congress for the first time in my lifetime, and the lifetimes of many who were more than a decade my senior.  The Republican party in Congress had moved from what seemed the permanent back bench to the front row, and I was ecstatic to see it.  The vision to attack the problem and see it through was the product of the work of many people, but none more than Newt Gingrich.

The “Contract with America” by itself was a unique prospect in American politics.  This bill of particulars offered real and dramatic reforms in the way Congress would function.  Gingrich couldn’t promise passage on all of the items, because some would require the signature of the President, and others would require super majorities, but he promised to bring them all up for a vote, and at least give us a chance to see these items debated, and voted on the record.  Not everything passed, but that was fine with most voters who recognized the effort entailed in getting all of this even into consideration.  There’s a reason it’s called the “Republican Revolution of 1994,” and that revolution’s general had been none other than Newt Gingrich.  While Mitt Romney was running away from the legacy of Ronald Reagan in his losing Senate fight with Ted Kennedy, Newt was busy leading his party to the largest victory and swing in party control in history, reaching all the way down into State and local elections, with whole legions of lower-level politicians abandoning the Democrat party to join the Republicans.

I also remember that in 1993, when Bill Clinton had made his first lady the lead on pushing his health-reform plans, it was Newt Gingrich who rallied what was still a dismally weak minority party to stop the advance of socialism in the form of what was then known widely as “Hillary-care.”  He coined several phrases, and radio talk-show hosts ran with them, and the people became angry and burned up the phone lines to Washington DC in protest, and the whole sorry affair terminated with a stunning rebuke of an ambitious health-care overhaul that may have been in many ways even more obnoxious than Obama-care.  Without the tireless efforts in opposition laid down by Gingrich, there might have been a pretty good chance that we’d have been shafted nearly two decades earlier by the socialistic ambitions of the Democrat party.

I also remember that when the government shut-down occurred in 1995, Bill Clinton began running against Congress for his upcoming re-election campaign, but that until Bob Dole wavered, then a candidate for the GOP nomination, there might have been a good chance that the “Gingrich who Stole Christmas” might well have prevailed.  Instead, the Senate Republicans began to waver, and it fell apart, and Clinton rode that opening.  What few people note, but I have not forgotten, is who had been left bleeding (politically) on the field of battle that day, and it was Newt Gingrich.  He took the hits, and he took the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but still he managed to push a welfare reform bill through that at least began the process of rolling back big government.

People like too point out that Mitt Romney had balanced budgets as governor of Massachusetts, but like any reasonable person will notice, under the laws of that state, there’s no choice but to do so.  That’s not the case with the Federal Government, as they have such deficit spending authority as they can enact.  Still, Gingrich pushed the United States to a condition approximating a balance budget for the first time since I was a toddler, not because he had a legal requirement to do so, but because he thought that the ethics involved in restraining the debt we pass to our children demands it.  As you have seen with subsequent Congresses, that’s hardly been any real restraint upon their big-spending ways.  For the terms Gingrich led the House, it had been a matter critical to the notion of responsible governance, and while they failed to pass a balanced budget amendment, they made the determination that they needed no law commanding them to do what is right by the American people.

There are those who have been critical of some of the positions taken by Speaker Gingrich in the interim, and admittedly, at times I have been among their number.  As he’s admitted, the episode with Nancy Pelosi talking up Global Warming was one of those instances in which he had it wrong, but he’s since recanted and amended his position, and he’s accepted that it was a mistake for which he will rightly take a bit of a black eye.  While this is politics, and such bruises seem to live forever, I remember that while he may have made an advocacy commercial, when he was in power he never imposed policies in pursuit of such thinking, unlike Governor Romney, who actually implemented his own regulatory scheme as Governor that were for all intents and purposes the forerunner of a rudimentary cap-and-trade system.

One of the other things that’s been a matter of focus of the negative attacks against Gingrich has been the complaint that at one time, he advocated what sounded like a health insurance mandate.  Since I’ve been paying attention to politics for a long while, I know that when Speaker Gingrich says now that it had been a mistaken position then, born of a desire to reduce free riders in the system but something from which he and others moved away, I know he’s telling the truth because I remember those discussions.  (And I was one of those people loudly yelling to ditch the idea.)  That notion had been the growing conventional wisdom through the mid 1990s, and Gingrich explored it before ultimately rejecting it.  That differs from Mitt Romney, for instance, who actually imposed a health insurance mandate on the people of Massachusetts, and who now makes the sorry claim that it’s different because it’s the state acting despotically rather than the Federal government.

Of course, these days one of the big reasons to support Newt Gingrich is that he’s the one candidate who is putting the focus on the cost of fuels, and energy generally, and how the lack of new development is killing our economy.  This should be evident to any first year college student who has taken the most rudimentary course in macroeconomics, but for some reason, neither Obama nor the other Republican challengers seem quite able to grasp how important this is to families, and to the economy at large.  Romney seemed unconcerned about it recently, and Obama’s movement on the issue in symbolism on the matter, though not in substance, indicates that Obama may actually get it as well as Romney, which is to say: Not much.   Newt’s $2.50 pledge is likely to be realized if he gets into the White House, because he’s pledged to remove regulatory burdens and obstacles to enable our energy industry to tap our own vast resources.  Many people, Obama included, don’t seem to realize how even small movement at the margins of supply can have a dramatic effect on prices, but Gingrich understands that even tiny surpluses or shortages can change the underlying dynamic in a market.

Gingrich is also much more realistic about the scope of the task before us.  Others seem to concentrate on “finding efficiencies” and “tapping into synergies among departments,” and all of the other buzzword-bingo terminology that translates into only one thing:  Taking the current bloated government, stripping it of no authorities or responsibilities, and simply stream-lining it to make it more cost-effective.   While I am sure Speaker Gingrich would be the first to tell you that’s an important part of the reforms we need, still it fails to address the underlying trouble of having a government that is in all things and at all times, to the extent that it’s choking off the life of our economy.   There is no possibility that the economy can grow and flourish so long as the Federal government is spending 25% of our nation’s gross domestic product, so that reducing government’s reach and scope becomes even more critical to the nation’s economic health than all the tinkering, adjusting, and “perfecting” of the machine could ever hope to create.  Romney starts from the position that the government is doing what it should, whereas Gingrich starts from a different point of reference, first asking whether the government should do a thing at all.  It is this distinction among the mindsets of the candidates that led me to my conclusion.

I recognize that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has a few warts.  In politics, there are none who escape without a few of some note, but when I look at the totality of their respective records, I can’t help but notice that the one candidate who has ever led any substantial movement of change is the same person who took an unfairly bad rap in the 1990s for leading such change.  I still remain committed to this principle, while others hop from one campaign to another, and yes, it true that Gingrich has a hard road to the nomination, but he’s not only the first to admit it, but also to point out that this is a reason we conservatives mustn’t fear an open(or “brokered”) convention: Nothing worth doing is ever easy.

I remember watching Gingrich’s “Renewing American Civilization” lecture series in the 1990s, on Paul Weyrich’s satellite network, then dubbed “National Empowerment Television.”  In one of the lectures in the series, he talked about the history of our country, particularly our founders, and how those people came to terms with doing what is “hard.”  His matter-of-fact expression of this difficulty so many face when confronted with large and abiding problems sticks with me because it was inspiring.  At some point, you must simply confront the matter at hand and ask yourself: “Okay, it’s hard… Now what?”  The question lays out the choice, and the very first choice is one we all face in ways large and small each day:  Do I stay immobilized for fear of the difficulties, or do I begin the process of pursuing this goal?   Do I wait for somebody else to act?  Do I hope things will somehow come out my way?   I am inclined now to ask  the same question, albeit in a different context: If getting to a brokered convention is the only way we can begin to restore our country, and we acknowledge the fact that such a road is difficult, my question to conservatives is: “Okay, it’s hard.  Now what?”

The question lingers in empty space, waiting for you to answer.

 

 

 

Wake Up: If You Believe in Coincidences… I Have This Bridge…

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Real Cheap...Sign Here

I believe there are coincidences, but I don’t believe they happen very often in politics. When Mitt got into some trouble vis a vis “Etch-a-Sketch,”  a statement by Santorum was twisted to make it seem as though he’d vote for Obama before Romney.  As a poll comes out showing Romney falling, Marco Rubio appears on Hannity’s show with an endorsement of Mitt Romney.  Shocking?  Not really.  These days, when I see somebody trotted out to endorse Mitt Romney, I wonder what the bigger story that day really is.  When I see a new negative trotted out about one of his opponents, I wonder what story about Romney’s record is being submarined.  This primary season  has been a fascinating study in how the establishment behaves, but I’m afraid we aren’t finished yet.  Marco Rubio may not want a brokered convention, and we can be sure Mitt Romney doesn’t, but there exists a large number of conservatives for whom this is the only viable path.

I find it astonishing that conservatives haven’t grasped what’s going on.  What’s surprising isn’t really what the establishment does so much as their ability to get away with it.  Of course, the lament herein assumes the establishment will finally win the day, but if you’re like me, you’re not conceding that point yet, though we may be forgiven a few moments of indiscreet commiseration.  The fact remains that Mitt Romney must still obtain 1144 delegates, and while it’s easier for him than either of the others, it’s not certain he will get them.  That’s where conservatives come in.  It’s time to get down to work for conservative activists, because if you want anybody other than the establishment’s “inevitable” candidate, you’d better get active and simply ignore all the propped-up  facades the establishment is erecting to intimidate you.

For my part, I don’t want a nominee who if elected causes me to spend my time in opposition.  Imagine our horror if Romney managed to defeat Obama(and that looks increasingly unlikely) and imagine that if we’re particularly fortunate, and the Supreme Court throws out Obamacare.  What good will it do us if a President Romney goes along with Congress to enact something nearly as bad, or perhaps even worse?  After all, Romney has worked with a Democrat legislature in passing major health reform before.  If conservatives don’t go along, how many of you actually doubt that he’ll have the support of Democrats just as happened in the Debt Ceiling fiasco of late last summer, when Democrats and some Republicans went along to give us a deal that has crippled our defenses, and gave us our first credit rating downgrade in history? What evidence exists to suggest that Mitt Romney will stand against statism when as Governor of Massachusetts, he had been its great proponent?

I think  it’s time for conservatives to wake up, stand up and make of it a dust-up.  If liberty is worth our energies, why do we spare them now?

 

 

Eyebrow-Raising Poll: ABCNews/Wa-Po – Romney Unfavorability Rises

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

No Sale?

In the latest ABC News/Washington Post Poll, Mitt Romney has continued his slide so that fully 50% of Americans now view the former Massachusetts governor unfavorably.  He’s dropped to 61% approval among Republicans, while the President remains at 91% among Democrats.  This continuing weakness among Republicans(never mind the general populace) continues to suggest that he’s on the fast-track to a loss in November.  There’s a growing push among conservatives to force a brokered convention, and that may be the only hope the Republican party has to stave off electoral disaster, but more importantly the wrecking of our nation.

While I don’t always place a good deal of credence in polls, what I do tend to take from a group of polls from various sources is a sort of trend, and I think this one is dangerous.  We have an “inevitable nominee” who can’t consolidate support among conservatives, and who will only manage to crawl under the wire if he manages to gain the 1144 delegates required to secure the nomination ahead of the convention.  My thinking is that conservatives should stop this madness by forcing a brokered convention in order that we might have other options.

 

 

Reader Submission: Romney Vetting Video

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

What Will He Say Next?

This is a nifty little video that presents Mitt Romney various varying positions on a number of issues.  This should give you a real, solid understanding of why “Etch-a-Sketch” remains a serious issue, and why we cannot afford a candidate who flips and flops, and will effectively sell us out once he has the nomination.  Mitt Romney has suffered some setbacks because of his constant changing of positions, and worse, his constant walking-back of the walk-backs.  Conservatives don’t trust him, and while they may support him in the fall out of a sense of desperation over Obama, what’s clear is that the “Etch-a-Sketch” theme has hurt him.  Here, a video that compares his various statements on issues, contradicting himself endlessly, demonstrates why conservatives are worried about Mitt.  There’s plenty of evidence they should be worried, as Romney’s Communications Director likened the upcoming general campaign to the child’s toy.

Here’s the video:

Effective, and with interesting musical accompaniment.

Gingrich is Right: Romney Is the Weakest Front-Runner

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Holding Out for Overtime

Newt Gingrich is right: Mitt Romney is the weakest front-runner we’ve had since Gerald Ford in 1976.  I think it’s one of those situations where we really need to reconsider the entire narrative about the “inevitability” of Mitt Romney’s nomination.  I believe that were we to have a brokered convention, Mitt Romney would not emerge as the nominee, and I think Romney is well aware of that fact, which is why  the establishment is working so hard to kill this process now.  We can’t afford to put up another moderate, middle-of-the-road candidate who is just waiting to be roadkill in the midst of speeding traffic.  What we need is a candidate with a record of fighting for real reforms, and who knows how to get government out of the way.  Mitt Romney is not that candidate.

Here’s Newt Gingrich from CNN with Wolf Blitzed:

This is undeniably true.  The best way for us to avoid a Romney nomination at this point is through a brokered convention, and all conservatives ought to support one of the non-Romney candidates for this reason.  When the Texas primary is held in late May, I will be polling for Gingrich. I know many who will stand with either Gingrich or Santorum because it’s the one way remaining to stave off Romney.

For Those Who Believed “Etch-a-Sketch” Wouldn’t Matter…

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Sure, It won't matter...

The Democrats have other ideas, and the sad part is that predictably, they’re going to use it dishonestly, but nevertheless, they will use the Fehrnstrom “Etch-a-Sketch” remark to attack Mitt Romney.  This is why we should never permit this guy to be the GOP’s nominee:  He’s another one who claims to be conservative, but isn’t, and that’s not going to stop the left from trying to beat him up for his so-called conservatism, even though he isn’t one, and won’t remotely govern or campaign like one.   Yes, of course the Democrats are lying, but that won’t stop them.  It never does.  More, Romney gives some credence to their claims because he is an “Etch-a-Sketch” candidate, although not in the manner the Democrats will pretend.  The Democrats are pretending he’s a conservative who will move left for the general election, but what you and I know is that he’s a moderate who has moved right for the primaries.

Here’s their video:

This is the problem:  Mitt Romney will have to do what to combat this ad? He’ll say: “I’m not a conservative,” or he’ll respond with some half-hearted, tepid defense of conservatism, but because he doesn’t really understand conservatism, he’ll fail.  He will be forced into a position of abandoning conservatism in some manner, and it will show the voters that he is “etch-a-sketch,” whatever they think of his relative position on the ideological spectrum.  The voters who will be the intended audience for this are moderates and independents anyway, so you can imagine the effect.

We’re in for a beating if we don’t dump this guy soon.

 

Vetting Mitt Romney – Video

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

It's about time...

This one just came over the transom and I thought readers might want to take a look.  It’s a pretty sharp critique of Mitt Romney’s record, and I think the more conservatives know about his record, the less attractive he is as a candidate.  The video touches on a number of stories I’ve covered here over time, so much of this will be at least vaguely familiar. There has been a great deal of vetting of Mitt Romney’s record on the Internet, in blogs and on conservative websites, but the problem is that most of it never gets into the mass media.  They’re simply not interested in showing Republicans much of his record as it pertains to governance, including particularly the Romney-care debacle under which the people of Massachusetts now live.

Viewing time is approximately three-and-one-half minutes:

While “Etch-a-Sketch” Is Sinking In, Romney Is Sinking

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

How Much Damage?

As conservatives and Tea Party types begin to realize the full meaning of “Etch-a-Sketch,” the first gaps in Romney’s armor have begun to show.  Wrapped in a suit of campaign cash and superPAC support, Mitt Romney has been able to fend off almost every charge against him by virtue of a strategy of non-response combined with a campaign of big money advertising hammering his opponents.  At last report, he was outspending Rick Santorum in Wisconsin by a ratio of 50:1, but the problem for Mitt Romney is that all the money in the world won’t save him from the “Etch-a-Sketch” remarks of his Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom on CNN.  That video has gone viral, and in its wake is a roiling sea of doubt: Is Mitt Romney faking his way through the primary season as a conservative?  Romney’s camp is quietly scrambling to undo the damage, but this horse in this story has escaped the barn.

Naturally, the first option for the Romney campaign was to redirect the controversy onto somebody else.  Rick Santorum’s remarks served as the outrage to which the Romney camp could point in desperate distraction mode, and for a time, it seemed that the theme would gain traction as a few people decided to carry his water, but the problem is that pointing at Santorum’s remark does nothing to blunt the impact of Fehrnstrom’s remarks.  After the mini-Jihad against Rick Santorum began to fade, the question voters still faced about Romney hadn’t been shaken out of existence in the Romney campaign’s etch-a-sketch play.  This has been the object of the Romney campaign all along, and while some may have missed the point at first, they’re now coming back to it, because if the truth is told about this fiasco, the problem for Romney is that the minds of conservative voters aren’t like Etch-a-Sketch drawings after all, and as annoyed as some may have been with Rick Santorum’s remarks, it’s nevertheless true that the impetus for those remarks has not been erased.

Romney’s negatives have been on a steady climb for some time, and this is beginning to present a real problem.  This is the reason the GOP establishment is on a full-court press to stop the conversation, and pull the plug on further debate.  This week, they played their big cards in this deal, throwing the Jeb Bush endorsement out along with a statement that it’s time to consolidate and coalesce, and while he didn’t fully endorse Mitt Romney, even Jim DeMint(R-SC) began to sound the tones of bringing this campaign season to a speedier conclusion.  The party simply does not want the primary debate to continue, because with each passing day, despite gaining a few more delegates, Mitt Romney has begun to take on the appearance of a candidate without the conservative horsepower to bring along the base.  If he can’t do that, he can’t win in November, and the GOP establishment is acutely aware that while he may get the nomination, his prospects for victory are slipping away.  Their nightmare scenario is a brokered convention, because they may not have enough delegates on the first vote to bring this to a speedy conclusion, and if they don’t get them then, it is entirely possible they never will.

What Romney had needed this week was a knock-out punch on Santorum, but instead, what they managed was a self-inflicted wound that they rushed out to cover up with a counter-attack on Santorum.  In the waning of the furor over Santorum’s indelicate remarks, the problem remains that all the talk about Santorum has done nothing to reduce the effect of the “Etch-a-Sketch” problem, and now even Charles Krauthammer has weighed in on the damage:

The fact that Krauthammer sees the damage plainly should tell you about the impact the “Etch-a-Sketch” remark is having, but you may also notice that Krauthammer places the blame on Romney’s staff.  While it’s true that Fehrnstrom’s description of the campaign as like an “Etch-a-sketch” was in poor form, it’s really not Fehrnstrom’s fault.  What Krauthammer seems to lament most is not the facts that underlie the remark, but that the remark slipped out there in plain view.

In this sense, Krauthammer misses the real point of this episode, and it’s one the conservative base of the party isn’t missing: Mitt Romney evinces no solid core of beliefs, and his half-decade long campaign for the Presidency is built on many instances of shaking up the Etch-a-Mitt. Romney’s positions on various issues have changed, re-shaped, “perfected,” and re-drawn so many times that conservative voters have suspected this all along, and all Fehrnstrom’s comments to CNN did was to solidify that impression, and it’s not so likely to be erased by a gentle or even vigorous shaking.  Krauthammer’s real disappointment here is that Fehrnstrom spilled the beans, but he doesn’t seem too concerned about the facts that support the disclosure.

This should offer you a bit of insight into the mechanics of Washington DC.  Krauthammer is more concerned with the impression it leaves than the fact that it seems to be true.  This is how everything in Washington is viewed:  Through the sorry, distorting lens of politics. It’s not a question of what an event means in fact, but what impression it will make.  It’s not a matter of what is truth, but instead  merely a concern over how a thing is perceived.  Krauthammer isn’t exercised over the fact that Romney may indeed “Etch-a-Sketch” his campaign appeal if he obtains the nomination, but that his Communications Director would openly admit this is a mortal sin.   You see, the reason he isn’t bothered by the former, but is so disappointed in the latter is because he’s part of the crowd that knows this is what Romney’s about, and while they have worked to conceal it from the eyes of voters, Fehrnstrom’s little disclosure made plain what they have toiled to keep secret, or at least tamped-down.

This is a sort of admission that I wonder if Krauthammer won’t later regret, because it exemplifies what’s wrong inside the Beltway, not just in government, but in the sickening media that services it.  They don’t exist to inform you or keep you abreast of critical issues so much as to manage your opinions and tell you what should be important.  What Fehrnstrom has inadvertently managed to do is open a window not only into the Romney campaign, but also into the diseased mindset of Washington DC on both in front and behind the camera.  Krauthammer’s remarks prove it, but it may be too late.  If conservatives ignore this, Romney might  be able to pull off the nomination in spite of it all.  On the other hand, as Krauthammer’s commentary also demonstrates, it seems that conservatives have finally seen the cracks in the Romney facade, and there may be no filling them any longer.