Posts Tagged ‘romney’

Holding Mitt’s Feet to the Fire

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Time for a Shake-Up

I’ve been told repeatedly that we must elect Mitt Romney, come what may, because the country won’t survive Obama for another four years. Whether this assertion is true, those who hold this point of view invariably follow up with a claim that I now find utterly laughable.  I am told: “Besides, if Romney wins, we’ll be able to hold his feet to the fire, and get him to do our bidding…”  I wonder if the people who express this view realize how thoroughly nonsensical that position really is.  There is only one way to hold a President’s feet to the fire, and it is by being able to exert electoral control, but as of the Rules Committee report of Tuesday at the RNC, that option is now all but effectively gone.  I would like those who claim that we conservatives will be able to exert some influence over a President Romney to explain to me with precision how that is to be accomplished, apart from vague platitudes:  How can we expect to “hold his feet to the fire?” By what mechanism?

First of all, what fire?  Romney hasn’t pledged much except to repeal and replace Obama-care.  Replace?  Yes, “replace.”  For those of you who practice self-deception, you might not have heard him say that, but now I ask you:  “Replace with what, precisely?”  Here we are delivered more vague platitudes about market-based solutions, but not once does Romney offer what those solutions will be.  More platitudes.  More vague generalities.  It’s a load of hogwash. Welcome to Romney-care 2.0. Welcome to Romney 3.0.

Let us assume, however, that there is some magical laundry list of things Mitt Romney had promised with some specificity.  Even if he has, could some brave soul please explain to me the method by which he is to be made to perform as promised?  What will you do if he refuses?  Will you “primary” him in 2016?  Fat chance.  The power grab begun in the RNC’s rules committee consisted of making that nearly impossible.  What will you do?  Deny him campaign funds?  The advent of SuperPACs has made this an irrelevant point.  Karl Rove will merely scare up a few hundred million dollars and spend it on his behalf.  Why should he care?  Now, if Karl Rove were to get mad at him, that would be a different thing.  What are the chances that he won’t do the bidding of his masters?

Right.  Now you’re catching on.

Once you understand that there is no method by which you will be able to even lean on Mitt Romney, except in the court of public opinion, you must also realize that this notion of “holding his feet to the fire” is as vaporous as spilled acetone.  There is nothing you can do to affect Mitt Romney if he is elected.  Nothing.  The influence any party and its voters exerts over a President is already slim once they obtain that high office, but in the case of Romney, given the rigging carried out on at the Republican Convention, but frankly throughout this primary season, there is virtually nothing short of an actual coup d’etats that would pry him from his positions, whatever they may be.

Amnesty?  Abortion?  Romney-care?  What are you going to do about it once you elect him, having effectively given him the power to re-write the rules of the convention at will?  You’re going to whimper and cry, and you will be stuck with eight years of his liberal tendencies, and as almost half the span of yet another generation will have elapsed believing that this had been  conservatism, your country will be lost. Even now, Governor Romney is out on the campaign trail explaining that he will not repeal all of Obama-care, but will instead opt to keep some of it.  This is what we are told is conservative?  This man, it is said, can be held to perform the promises he’s made?  It hasn’t been two weeks since the convention, and he’s already ditching promises.

One can’t help but observe that the GOP establishment is bound and determined to give us candidates who are not conservative, but who will claim the label long enough to win in primaries before becoming full-bore mush.  For a man who had described himself as “severely conservative,” whatever that means, the rush to retreat from his promise to repeal all of Obama-care is breath-taking.  For those of us who hadn’t believed him, the only thing breath-taking about it has been the predictability of the matter, and the gullibility of all those who have assured us it wouldn’t go that way.  Put another way, the Mittster has shaken up the Etch-a-Sketch, and he’s drawing a new picture.  Post-convention Mitt will now advocate a modified Obama-care rather than a full repeal.

Will anybody who claims to be a conservative please explain to me in unvarnished terms how it is that we will “hold his feet to the fire” on this issue?  This is the enduring problem with Mitt Romney, and it puts the lie to the claim by some who argue that despite his clear attachment to liberal positions on a variety of issues, we conservatives will somehow be able to exert some sort of governing force over him.  It simply isn’t so, and the delusions attached to such claims are astonishing only in the implicit motives of the claimants.  Why pretend?  Why not simply deal with the truth?  If conservatives expect anything but Obama Lite from a Romney administration, they’ve been led astray.  It’s time we begin to contend with the reality at hand:  The GOP establishment moderates who are running the party have led it to ruin, and it’s going to be up to we conservatives to rescue the country, not only from the rabid left, but also from their collaborators in the Republican party’s liberal wing.

Convention Fight Update: It Isn’t Over

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, the GOP establishment is trying to pull a fast one, and they’re using media to confound and confuse the issue. Given my stance on the state of the Republican Party, you might wonder why I care what they’re doing in Tampa.  Let me make this as clear as I am able, because you, who work precincts, and who carry the water for the Republican Party at the grass-roots level deserve and need to know the truth:  They think you are suckers.  I am not trying to make you any angrier than you may already be with the GOP establishment, but I want you to understand the chronology of what has been done. Let’s cover it briefly:

Friday, the 24th of August, Ben Ginsberg, acting on behalf of the Romney campaign gets rules placed that would severely limit the influence of the state parties in selecting delegates, or having much say-so at all in future elections.  This rule 15(and now 16) would have made it nigh on impossible for you in the grass-roots of the party to have your rightful influence on the national convention.

Over the weekend, Morton Blackwell sent out a response to this, outlining the problems.  This was a rather complete appraisal of the probable impact of such rules.  Blackwell is a hero in my estimation, sounding an alarm that began to gather steam by Sunday, and was trumpeted by no less than Mark Levin and Sarah Palin on Monday evening.

The GOP establishment never runs out of tricks to play against us, even as they frequently seem confounded by the Democrats.  On Monday evening, they pushed out a story via the Houston Chronicle that proclaimed the matter resolved, and that any crisis and floor fight had been averted.  Worst of all, it was false, because it ignored and omitted the matter of Rule 12, that will permit the party bosses to shove Rule changes down our throats by a 3/4 vote.  That sounds okay, right?  The problem is that it’s really not as great a defense as some have been led to believe.

This phony “compromise” prompted this morning’s letter from Mr. Blackwell, who explains the truth of the matter.  Wrote Blackwell:

“Proponents of the “compromise” ignore the enormously destructive problem of the proposed Rule 12.  Rule 12 would enable 75% of the Republican National Committee later to eliminate their “compromise” and to destroy or make drastic changes in dozens of other rules which have served our party well over the years.

“In practice, Rule 12 would enable an RNC chairman to enact almost any rules change he or she desired, because an RNC chairman already has so much power and influence that he or she can almost always can get 75% or more of the RNC members to vote for or against anything.  A chairman already has the enormous “power of the purse,” and should not have also the power to change party rules at will.

“There is already quite enough power flow from the top down in our party.  Instead of approving more power grabs, we should be looking for ways for more power to flow from the bottom up.  That’s how to attract more participants into our party.

“The media’s picked up on this series of last-minute manipulations by D.C insiders and consultants, and I’m sure you’ve been bombarded with contacts from both sides.

“The truth is, this isn’t a compromise.  It’s far from it.”(emphasis added)

Complicating this matter has been the fact that many people ran with the “compromise” business without fully grasping what had been omitted from the Chronicle’s story of Monday evening.  Mark Levin posted on Facebook that the problem had been resolved, but the truth is that it hasn’t.  He likely read the Chronicle story or other stories derived from it, and concluded the crisis had been resolved.  He is to be forgiven this error, because this whole thing is being done precisely to create confusion about the state of the fight.   As those of us who followed the matter into the wee hours of the morning know, this was never the case, and as Mr. Blackwell makes plain in his latest note, the matter is far from resolved even at this hour.

Ladies and gentlemen, make of it what you will, but the facts are plain: The GOP establishment is out to rule the party from the top, and despite pretending otherwise, Mitt Romney’s campaign has had a strong hand in this.  Worse, the deceptive notion that Ron Paul supporters are behind this kerfuffle is designed to get you to shrug and walk away without a fight.  I don’t doubt but that there are a number of Paul supporters involved, but there are many who simply wish to safeguard the future of the party, and that’s where you should come in, if you still care about the future of the party.

This isn’t over. It’s not over until the rules are adopted, and I urge all conservatives to get in touch with their states’ delegations and put an end to this madness.  This is YOUR PARTY!

As Erick Erickson reports on RedState, this isn’t over.  Time to let them hear you, conservatives!

Michelle Malkin has a complete list of State Party contact numbers, as well as this list in PDF form.

Romney’s Tax Returns Revisited

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

How Credible?

Let me begin by saying that the veracity of the people involved in “reporting” this story is suspect, and as a consequence, I am bringing the story to you on the assumption that it is probably garbage. Nevertheless, if it should turn out to have some basis in fact, it would be an electoral disaster for the GOP if disclosed in late October, for instance, and having encountered it, I would be remiss if I failed to at least mention it.  Catherine Crier, who I don’t see as a particularly credible source, was on the race-baiting moron’s show(Al Sharpton) on MSNBC.  She admitted it was sheer speculation, but I bring it to your attention precisely because this is the sort of thing about which many conservatives have worried with respect to Mitt Romney’s candidacy.  We’ve been told he’s “squeaky clean,” and that may well be the case, but the Democrats are driving at this Tax Return disclosure business relentlessly.  Crier suggests that Mitt Romney might have been one of those who took amnesty in order to stay out of legal jeopardy back in 2009, when Barack Obama put the IRS on the trail of Americans with undisclosed Swiss bank accounts.

What I found peculiar at the time was the focus on a single banking entity.  When the government does something of that sort, they’ve either been tipped-off, or they have a specific target in mind.  Of course, we are talking about Catherine Crier, appearing as a guest on Al “Tawana Brawley” Sharpton’s show on MSNBC, which is to say that it isn’t exactly iron-clad, and Crier in no way offered a source, but the theory was advanced on Slate on Tuesday and over at the ludicrous HuffingtonPost as well. HuffPo is continuing its coverage as I write this.

Here’s video of Crier on Sharpton’s circus(H/T Mediaite):


Let us imagine for a moment that all of this were true.  What would it mean to the elections?  If disclosed now, I don’t see how Romney would avoid withdrawing from the campaign.  If disclosed post-convention, this would simply cause the end of the GOP’s hopes of capturing the Presidency in 2012, and would almost certainly ruin the down-ballot prospects of retaking the Senate or strengthening in the House, with Romney going down to flaming defeat.  If disclosed after a Romney victory, it would dog him throughout his Presidency, and the Democrats would spend the entirety of his term agitating for his impeachment.  Of course, Democrats would do that in any case, but there’s no sense giving them ammunition.

As is clear, conservatives should view this allegation with the appropriate skepticism.  The source of the information is far too unreliable to be taken all that seriously, never mind at face value.  Still, it should be a concern, and it is one of the reasons that early in the primary season, I was pushing for the disclosure of Romney’s tax returns.  He ultimately provided two years, being the 2011 and 2010 returns.  The return that would reveal whether he had been one of those accepting an amnesty deal from the IRS would have been from 2009, so we do not know with certainty.

We also know the Democrats want ammunition to use against Romney, and that in part, this demand for more years of tax returns is primarily a fishing expedition, and an attempt to get him to disclose that which might hurt him.  He doesn’t need to have done anything illegal, but simply something Democrats can paint as morally questionable or hypocritical.   That would be enough to severely damage the Romney campaign.  That said, I wouldn’t be inclined to comply with the Democrats’ demands for additional disclosures, particularly if I hadn’t anything to do with the allegations Crier tried to imply.  Here is the problem, however, and it is the only nugget in all of this that would suggest there could be some actual smoke, if not fire:  Back in January, when Romney disclosed his 2010 return, it included a disclosure of a Swiss bank account.  That account was indeed with UBS, the bank that had been examined and bullied by the IRS into disclosing some 4,400 American customers. BusinessInsider is now carrying the story, and they’re pushing it further still.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is why I urged the release of Romney’s returns following his father’s example, way back in January.  If there is any connection here, Romney might well be able to conceal it a while, but I would fully expect this to become Obama’s “October surprise,” his last hole-card.  Even if it were true, Romney wouldn’t have violated any laws, because he would have accepted the amnesty to avoid legal consequences, but I must also say that if he actually has this problem, and if Obama’s campaign leaks it to the press in the closing days of the campaign, Mitt Romney will not be elected.  There will be no time to spin it, soften it, or clear up the fact that he had ultimately complied with the law.  Instead, it would be a 24×7, non-stop “Breaking: Romney is a Crook,” with the media fairly jeering on Obama’s behalf, and the Obama administration would have its second term.

This explains why the Democrats are on this fishing expedition, but then again, if it is true, the Obama campaign already has that information, and is sitting on it for the big ambush in late October.  I can understand why Governor Romney wouldn’t want to disclose his tax returns, even if he had done absolutely nothing wrong, but the problem here is that if it were true, and if such a disclosure were to occur late in the campaign, we would have no viable horse for this race, and we will see Obama destroying the country another four years.  Of course, Governor Romney doesn’t need to release his entire 2009 tax return. In my view, if he wants to answer any question, this would be it: “Did you accept amnesty under the 2009 Voluntary Disclosure Program?”  Naturally, even if he answers “no,” there are those who will play up the “denial,” but here’s the other problem:  Given the sorely lacking credibility of the sources in this story, and on the highly dubious proposition that Romney does has some “splainin’ to do” with respect to this so-far unfounded accusation, should Obama catch him out in late October, the Republican Party will burn, and I will be among those wielding torches.

When you consider all of this, you might wonder why I’d report it at all, but my reasoning is simple:  The Republican Party has exhibited a habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and with all that is at stake in this election, I’m now accustomed to being disappointed by the GOP establishment.  With all of my friends who have swallowed their pride and grudgingly gone along with Romney for the sake of defeating Obama, if Mitt blows it now over something like this, there will be literal Hell to pay.  I am in no way willing to take the word of this collection of leftist ghouls for anything, but ladies and gentlemen, trust Mitt Romney if you please, but I’ll be keeping an eye on this.  I fully recognize the Obama campaign’s desire to trap Romney with this, but I also know that if there’s anything to it, I don’t want my readers to be blind-sided in October.  If Romney can refute this, he should, because while it would never alleviate the clamor in the press, it would at least put at ease the minds of those he expects to support him in November.

 

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.

Many Notice the Paul-Romney Tag-Team

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Santorum Sandwich

It’s not surprising to me that while the Washington Post inadvertently proves my point about the Santorum double team carried out by Paul and Romney in Wednesday night’s debate, they fail to understand that Santorum represents one leg of the conservative stool, as the media celebrates Paul and Romney attacking a leg on which Santorum is not really resting.  First of all, let us be clear that Ron Paul is not conservative.  He’s libertarian.  Second, let us be likewise clear that Romney is a liberal masquerading as a moderate.  For Paul to attack Santorum from the right is no surprise, at least on economic and liberty grounds, but for Romney to join in is a bit like being attacked by Barack Obama for being too liberal.  There’s something annoying about an attack from Romney on earmarks, as he’s lobbied for them in his own gubernatorial career.  It’s an inconsistent attack demonstrating Romney’s desperation that shows how willing he is to recalibrate himself to situational demands.

More, the double-team(and this gives that term new meaning) clearly demonstrates that Santorum was the victim of a set-up Wednesday night.  The questions were scripted, the audience was stacked, and Paul and Romney carried out their hit.  The thing many people are missing, including the Washington Post, is that in truth, Santorum actually managed to bear up well.

One of t he things people claim is that they want politicians to tell them the truth.  I think that’s a bunch of aimless happy talk, because when they do, they are frequently crucified for it. Whether you like it or not, or agree with it or not, what Santorum said on Wednesday night about politics being a “team sport” is true: You simply can’t get legislation through if you’re a perfect purist.  Witness Ron Paul.  His legislative agenda witnesses few actual successes, but it’s easy to be uncompromising in this context if all one is really doing is making a political statement with no actual intention of implementing one’s ideas.

Of course, some compromises aren’t really that at all, but are instead complete surrenders. Knowing the difference between real compromise and surrender is important to succeed in a legislative branch that consists of 536 voting members(when the Vice President presides over the Senate.)   When Santorum admitted that while serving as Senate Republican Conference Chair, he had to push bills he didn’t necessarily like, that’s true, I’m certain.  The problem is, most Americans don’t know that position exists, or what its holder does, if they’re familiar with the term at all.

This is a year when such nuances may not matter to voters.  Instead, many seem caught up in the huff-and-puff of the media memes of the day, as they come and go. Details don’t matter, and I think this is what Romney’s banking on. As I concluded some time ago, this whole primary season seems to be a scripted affair, as one after another of the alternatives to Romney have been pushed hard, obtained front-runner status briefly, and been ditched with a clearly coordinated effort to keep Romney out front.  Go back to the beginning, and look at the charts.

Bachmann went up, won the straw poll, and was chopped up by Perry’s entrance as she was portrayed as a wide-eyed loon with simple picture selection in the media. Combined with a few gaffes on her part, she was quickly eclipsed.  Perry rose, and became front-runner, and stayed there until an “oops” moment in a debate that added to his previous weak debate performances, and soon he too was on his way down.  Then we had the rise of Herman Cain, and right on cue, as he had attained the top of the polls, here came the stories claiming he was guilty of this, that, and the other. Down he went, and then along came Gingrich.

In Iowa, Paul, Santorum and Romney all hammered on Gingrich, and this sent him downward, but the problem is that Newt wouldn’t stay down, so they hammered on him a bit more, Drudge going nuclear, and Rick Santorum wound up the beneficiary.  Today, Santorum should realize what has been done as they are now doing to him what they did to Gingrich, and Cain, and Perry, and Bachmann, and anybody else who rises to challenge Romney.  The most disappointing part to me is how willing conservative voters have been to be driven along in this way.

It’s bad enough that it’s been plain for some time how this is being managed, but when I see Santorum and Gingrich getting sucked into this, I think they’re both missing the point.  They’re both being picked off, one at a time, but rather than put their heads together to cut off the head of the snake, they spent too much time going after one another.  Finally, I think the two of them are beginning to realize it, and if Santorum didn’t see this last night, he never will. If he’s smart, he will try to form a strategic alliance with Gingrich much as Paul has done with Romney.  This is what Gingrich began to do before he was ambushed in late January, when he brought along Cain and Perry in support of his candidacy.

If Romney and Paul can get together for their own nefarious reasons, it might be time for Gingrich and Santorum to consider the same. I think it’s fair to suggest that a strategic alliance aiming at the elimination of Romney is a good idea, but the only way they’re going to do that is to begin exposing Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts.  Romney likes to talk about his time in the private sector, and his management of the Olympics, but he avoids talking about his record as governor, except to tell us he managed to balance his state’s budget four years in a row.  What he doesn’t advertise is the fact that it is required under law.  Santorum made that point in Wednesday night’s debate, but I think the significance is lost on some people.

Will Romney ever face the sort of examination the others have undergone?  It’s looking unlikely, as the media is saving all its best dirt for the general election.  Bank on it. I Paul and Romney succeed in making this a two man show, Romney will win the nomination, and Paul will be able to exact some sort of promise for his role.  I think it’s fair to say that if Gingrich and Santorum don’t wake up to this reality, they’re in big trouble. While most clear-thinking Americans have noted the apparent Paul-Romney tag-team, the two people who most need to notice it and work against it have not: Gingrich and Santorum must start to think about how to coordinate a bit. Knock out Romney, and it’s a new ball-game.

European Downgrades Imminent(Updated)

Friday, January 13th, 2012

The Beginning of the End?

As I have discussed at length over the last few months, the Euro currency is in trouble, and the member nations who make up the Euro are all facing potential credit rating downgradesDrudge is linking the CNBC report that France has been downgraded by S&P, while others are sure to follow in the short run.  At present, Germany and the Netherlands aren’t among those under immediate threat of downgrade, but the effects have been immediate as stocks have slumped throughout the morning on fears over the blow-back in financial markets.  This is going to continue to threaten the global economy, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see a way out of this mess.

Meanwhile, there is no deal yet on Greek debt, which is a part of the trouble:  Sovereign debt is destroying Europe, and as this occurs, we’re mimicking the levels of expenditure that got Europe into all of this trouble. It’s now clear that during a single term, Barack Obama will have added $6.2 Trillion to the national debt.  That’s an extraordinarily dangerous growth in public debt that threatens the economic future and the political stability of the nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, this level of borrowing and expenditure cannot be sustained, and I cannot imagine how somebody like Mitt Romney will do anything to change this.  He’s a timid politician in most respects, and he has no record of making cuts in issues where there is substantial political difficulty.  In fact, the truth is that he’s added to the future liabilities of the state of Massachusetts through his health-care program, that is even now bankrupting that state. In this respect, Romney offers nothing substantially different from what another term of Obama promises to provide: American decline.  It’s time to look closely at all of these candidates to see if any have a record of real cuts, because our nation’s future will depend on it.

Update: Before I could even get this posted, the situation is fluid, and it is being reported that five nations have been downgraded, including Italy, Spain, and Portugal by two notches each, while France and Austria were each dropped a single notch.

 

You Can Learn a Lot From an Endorsement

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Together Again?

Before this primary season is said and done, you will have learned a good deal from various Republican politicians just how thoroughly they are part and parcel of the GOP establishment. It’s really no surprise, but Hot-Air is now reporting, former Florida governor Jeb Bush will endorse Mitt Romney before the Florida primary.  This follows on the heels of news on Thursday that John Bolton is endorsing Mitt Romney.  One after the other, these people are revealing who they really are, and what it is they intend.  Mitt Romney has become the Bush-clan nominee, and since the Bush family still has so much thorough influence in the party, they’re now leveraging everything they can in the direction of Mitt Romney.  Mitt is their kind of conservative, which is to say he’s not conservative at all.  The reason for all of this is to dis-spirit and demoralize the base, and to cut off entry to any others.

It’s time to shake up this party, and this primary, but I don’t know how to do it from among the current crop of candidates.  Worst of all, what you find when you drill down through it is that all of these people are really fellow travelers.  The Bush clan’s reach is long, and they have been dominating national Republican politics for more than a generation.  This is why the GOP never seems to make any ground against the big-government Democrats, and at times you’d almost believe they’ve been doing it intentionally.

You might wonder why all the endorsements from the Bush clan and its allies are coming so fast and furious now, and the answer is actually very simple: It’s their intention to shut down this nominating process before you can rise to oppose Mitt.  The GOP establishment is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bush family, and the implications are clear:  They believe they should run the country indefinitely, and they have no intentions to turn away from power.  Dominating the GOP directly is the method by which they maintain their power, and they are not conservatives.  The Bush clan is communitarian.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, I hope you’ll read up on  it, because it describes the philosophical base of the GOP establishment.  This is why I view these endorsements as important, because if for no other reason, they tend to show us who the other communitarian politicians are.  Watch and count who comes out to endorse Mitt Romney, particularly those who endorse before he has the nomination numerically cinched.

If you wish to defeat Barack Obama, you’d better nominate somebody else.  Mitt Romney will not get it done, but if you want to see how thoroughly they love power, watch how they’re willing to lose in order to prevent conservatives from gaining power again.  They wanted McCain too, and as soon as he had the nomination, they set out to undermine him.  What do you think Colin Powell’s last minute endorsement of Barack Obama was really all about?

Remember, these people have nothing with respect to liberty at stake, because they’re in a position to avoid the worst aspects of Obamacare, and they will be able to walk past most of the socialist programs with which you’ve been saddled.  In short, they don’t care, and they don’t reference such concepts in their thinking.  This is how you wind up with the abomination of George W. Bush arguing that he had to “destroy the free market to save it,” with respect to TARP.  This is why when they enact their ridiculous Medicare Prescription Drug entitlement, they aren’t worried:  They are able to get whatever they want.

Now if you think this sounds vaguely like the language of an “Occupier,” let me suggest to you that you’re missing the point.  It’s not their wealth I find obnoxious, but their willingness to let your liberties slide away because they have their own wealth.  In this sense, the system they are creating is one that will prevent you from joining them in wealth. To read that Jeb Bush will endorse Romney before the Florida primary merely demonstrates the point:  They’re intent upon cutting off debate lest you realize the nature of the game and nominate somebody else altogether.  My suggestion to you is that you do so anyway.  You have nothing to lose by it, and everything to gain if you can frustrate their continuing attempts to dominate our politics.

 

What Do You Call Somebody Endorsed By GHWB, Dole, and McCain?

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Birds of a Feather

“Loser.”  Seriously, on Wednesday, Senator John McCain, (Rino-AZ,) endorsed Mitt Romney(Rino-MA).  This follows on the heels of other endorsements from other famous losing GOP establishment types, including Bob Dole(Rino-KS) and George H.W. Bush(Rino-Texas via Kennebunkport).  Frankly, I am less than astonished by the RINO brigade coming out to support one of their own. This is why the Republican party will go the way of the Whigs.  It’s time to look at how we can develop a new challenge to the GOP establishment from within the ranks of the TEA Party.  Otherwise, we’re going to be permanent losers.  Unless and until the Republican party stops taking conservatives for granted, this is going to be the result.  I hope you folks love Barack Obama, because the GOP is determined to make sure you see a lot more of him.  Four years worth, to be precise.

 

 

Virginia Shocker: Bachmann, Huntsman, Santorum Not Qualified(Updatedx2)

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Really?

In what must be considered the biggest blunder in electoral history, Michele Bachman, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum failed to gather enough signatures to qualify to be on the ballot in the pivotal swing-state of Virginia.  As HotAir is now reporting, the only thing worse is that Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry might also have failed to gather enough, as it requires 10,000 qualified signatures.  Gingrich and Perry both have more than 10,000 signatures, barely, but they may not have enough qualified signatures by the time the petitions are examined.  Of course, this is great news for RINO-in-Chief, Mitt Romney, because if all five of these failed to gather enough signatures, his only other qualified opponent will be Ron Paul.  I have a hard time believing in coincidences, and this really makes one wonder about the intent of some of these campaigns.  Clearly, this throws into question the matter of competency.

Note to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Utah voters: You might as well scratch Bachmann, Huntsman, and Santorum off your list.  Any of these will now have a hard time winning the nomination, as Virginia has a large number of delegates, and none of these candidates can get any from Virginia.   More, if they can’t manage a campaign to get themselves on the ballot in Virginia, they may not be presidential material.  Advantage Romney, and you had better believe that’s the point of all of this, and to me, it has the look of a set-up.

I’ve begun to think we’ve all been had by the establishment [again.]  Make of it what you will, but this stinks to high Heaven, and it’s not conceivable that these candidates hadn’t know this in advance.  10,000 signatures is a large number, but extrapolating the polls across the population of Virginia, it wouldn’t seem difficult for any of them to obtain the requisite number of qualified signatures with a large number to spare, excepting only Huntsman, who might not be able to gather that many signatures across ten states.

This is an unmitigated disaster for Bachmann, Huntsman, and Santorum, and the margin will be close for Gingrich and Perry.  One would think it might have been more important to these candidates to spend a little time on Virginia signature-gathering if they expected to be around for that primary.  Maybe they didn’t, and then, why are they still in at all?

Update: Perry has been DQ’d also.

Update 2: Newt also gets DQ’d.

2012: Will The Progressives Run the GOP?

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Bull Moose or Moose Bull?

In 1911, Theodore Roosevelt began his second campaign for President.  Having retired from the presidency in 1909, Roosevelt tried to capture the the Republican nomination in 1912, because he was angry with President William Taft, who had served under Roosevelt as Secretary of War, and had been Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor.  Failing this, he decided instead to run as the candidate of the Progressive Party.  That party is more commonly remembered by Americans as the “Bull Moose Party,” because upon surviving an assassination attempt, Roosevelt announced he was “as fit as a Bull Moose.”  I prefer to drop that label, and focus instead on what the Progressive Party really was: A National Socialist Party that was subsequently rejected by the American people, but in 1912, resulted in a split in the Republican Party that handed the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson, a Socialist.  It’s useful to understand the political parties of the time in evaluating the 2012 election, because if the past is prologue,  what we may be seeing now is merely a global re-run of the worst parts of the 20th century.

First, let us understand what the Progressive Party of 1912 had wanted to accomplish, and what its platform contained. Here is a sample:

  • A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.
  • Social insurance, to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled
  • Limited injunctions in strikes
  • An eight hour workday
  • A federal securities commission
  • Farm relief
  • An inheritance tax
  • A Constitutional amendment to allow a Federal income tax

These may sound familiar to you because all of them have become law in some form or fashion.  These may also sound familiar to you because these were the same ideas on which Woodrow Wilson substantially campaigned.  In fact, with the progressives under the flag of the Republican party in Congress, the progressives in both parties succeeded in putting this agenda through, and Wilson was only too happy to oblige.  In short, the “Bull Moose” Party consisted of the RINOs of their day.  They were the barely disguised fifth column of the main socialist political formation, and they managed to convince enough Americans unaware of their designs to aid them in implementing the first steps in converting our country from a Constitutional republic into a Socialist democracy.

Ask yourself this: How many of the current Republican candidates support the list of measures above?  After nearly a century, the answer is: Almost all modern Republicans accept most of the ideas outlined in the platform of the Progressive party of 1912.  So what was the difference, in 1912, between the Democrat progressives, and the Republican progressives?  The Democrat progressives were the US equivalent of European Communists who came to dominate Russia.  The Republican progressives were effectively the same as the National Socialists that would rise to prominence in Germany.  They were both brands of statism, as I’ve discussed previously.

Weigh this against our current situation.  Today, many conservatives look at Romney, or Gingrich, compare them with Obama and are frequently led to ask:  What’s the difference between leftist progressives and so-called “right-wing” progressives?  The truth is that just like in 1912, the differences are few, and you will note with some disappointment that Woodrow Wilson was able to implement most of the planks of the socialist platform outlined above because he had the support of a large number of progressive Republicans who were just enough to rule the day together with Democrats in Congress.    If this sounds familiar when considering Speaker Boehner, and the rest of the Republican sell-outs in our current House GOP leadership, you’re spot on.  The differences between today’s progressive Republicans and 1912′s “Bull Moose” Party are essentially nonexistent.   When you realize that certain powerful players financed both the Bull Moose and Republican parties in 1912, not as a political insurance policy as is so common these days, but in order to keep them at odds, and thus effectively keeping them at rough parity, giving the election to Democrats.  You can bet that this is what is being done in the US at present.

The progressives have always used their friends in the Republican party to undermine conservatives.  This is not a new tactic or practice, and in this sense, Ross Perot was much the same thing, with his runs in ’92 and ’96.  Those of you who believe the establishment wing of the Republican party would rather see Barack Obama elected than to let conservatives into power must understand that this would not be the first time such things have happened in electoral process in the United States.

This is done for no other reason than to prevent the rise of a populist conservative in the Republican party.  The progressive would win every election if they could, and they do their level best to carry that out, rigging both parties with firmly progressive candidates.  That way, while they would prefer the Democrat progressive, the very worst outcome they expect to see is a Republican progressive.  You and I are the rabble to be kept in line with appeals to patriotism, faith, and unity.

In 1992, Ross Perot arose to run on behalf of the “volunteers,” who were roughly analogous to the Tea Party today.  He was doing so well at one point that he suspended his campaign, which was enough to prevent him from winning, but not enough to allow Bush to win: He still  siphoned off enough of the electorate to give Bill Clinton a plurality.  It worked so well that in 1996, they brought him back for a second round.  Dole was a weak candidate, but Clinton had significant problems, so a little insurance was needed. Once again, Bill Clinton failed to achieve a majority of the popular vote, winning with a plurality instead. While not as stark as in 1992, it was clear that without Perot in the race, there was at least some chance Bob Dole could have won.

You might ask what any of this has to do with Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Party.  My answer to you is that conservatives are being set up again.    The progressives aren’t finished, and they intend to win in 2012 irrespective of the Republican Party primaries.  Enter Americans Elect.   As I’ve explained before, Americans Elect is a group that is seeking to put a candidate on the ballot in all fifty states in 2012.  They’ve not yet picked a candidate, who will be picked later on-line, but this candidate will almost certainly seek to appeal to the disaffected Tea Party types.  The purpose of that candidacy will not be to win, but to divide the center-right and allow Obama to be re-elected.  Their candidate will pose as the modern-day variant of the “Bull Moose” party, and in many ways, it will be.  Be prepared for this to play out. Increasingly, you may notice the Americans Elect ads on sites around the Internet.

All of this is contrived.  I see no way to overcome the progressives of either party in the 2012 election without some radical new thinking about our remaining choices.  Mitt Romney is currently attacking Newt Gingrich as not being conservative.  This is roughly akin to a singularity calling the kettle “black.”  While Newt certainly has his warts, Willard has more.  The conservative base generally recognizes this, which accounts for Gingrich’s meteoric climb since the beginning of Cain’s fall.   Conservatives and Tea Party folk  are looking for a real conservative, and while they are forced to overlook many flaws in Gingrich to see him as a conservative, they look at Romney and see what has been widely described in conservative circles as “Obama Lite.”  No conservative wants to vote for such a prospect, and that they’re willing to turn to Gingrich speaks volumes about their displeasure with Romney.

As this blog has reported, many of these same conservatives and Tea Party patriots would have preferred Sarah Palin to the lot of those still now in the race.  The reason for the ups and downs of the primary season thus far is largely due to the fact that conservatives are seeking a single candidate upon which they can all agree.  They look around the party, and they notice flawed candidates, and while no candidate is ever perfect, they simply see little to recommend in the ones now offered.  The worst part is: They’re right.

If you think conservatives are being set up, I have a suspicion you’re right.  Karl Rove is still out there stirring the pot, and whether he’s a Romney guy, or he’s banking on some late entry, he’s not finished either.  He represents the same progressive wing of the Republican party, so there’s little doubt but that where Rove is, trouble can’t be far behind.

Beware the “Bull Moose” or any reasonable facsimile thereof.  Be sure that a late entry isn’t designed to lead you to slaughter.  The progressive wing of the Republican party isn’t a friend to conservatives, never mind Tea Party folk, and while I have no advice to offer you on candidates to support, I nevertheless remain convinced that the progressives of the Republican party would rather assure Obama’s victory than to let an actual conservative win.  It now falls to you to decipher who that may be.  Progressives favor progressives, and they stick together irrespective of party.  The Republican progressive view themselves as the “loyal opposition,” and in this you should recognize with which ideology their loyalties lie.  It isn’t free market capitalism.  It isn’t conservatism.

 

Cain Campaign Accuses Perry Campaign…Without Evidence

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

As Mitt Romney Looks On

I don’t wish to seem too indignant, but why is the Cain campaign now accusing Perry’s campaign of outing this story about sexual harassment allegations and settlements about Cain?  It’s not that Perry’s campaign wouldn’t have any motive, but I’m going to need to see more evidence, just as I’ll need to see more evidence on the allegations about Cain before forming any judgments.  Earlier in the day, there was an equally plausible story about Cain’s successor at the National Restaurant Association, now a Romney supporter, who may have been in a position to have known some details about the Cain story, and then it was revealed that Karl Rove and Karen Hughes had connections with the same fellow, Chris Wilson, the pollster who was interviewed on KVOT in Oklahoma and said several things about the Cain allegations.

Why, with all of this, would Herman Cain’s campaign leap out there and make these accusations against Perry’s camp?  Do they have any more evidence to which we are not privileged?  Or is it something else?  You folks know by now that I am a bit cynical about all of this, and that my own speculations are based on reading the same information widely available to everyone, but what you expect is that I will consider things from a different perspective, and I have done so knowing I am challenging conventional wisdom at times, but that in lieu of evidence to the contrary, we ought to consider all the possibilities.  Some wondered early on if Herman Cain’s campaign was a shell operation because there is so little organization or firm foundation there.   Dana Milbank seems certain that his campaign was never supposed to go anywhere, as she absolutely rips him in the Washington Post.  Cain at times has seem ill-prepared for questions, and at times his answers have been unfocused, vague, and self-contradictory.  Cain was the immediate beneficiary of Christie and Palin bowing out, and none other than Rick Perry was passing his peak in the polls as Cain started briskly upward.

Honestly, I’ve had some doubts about Herman Cain, and they are born of an observation about his campaign, and his preparedness.  At times, I haven’t been alone in wondering if he wasn’t simply trying to secure the VP slot.  It’s entirely possible that I have misread Cain, as he is genuinely likable and seems a good-hearted man, but his tendency at times to align with Romney have left me to wonder how serious about the presidency he has been. Some have suggested that he knew all along these allegations would be coming, and ought to have known they could wreck his campaign.  I don’t know about that, but what I do know is this:  An allegation of the sort Cain’s campaign is now making against Perry could be the fatal blow that sends Perry home to Texas, whether founded in facts or not.  For their part, the Perry campaign is flatly denying the charge.

So who is the beneficiary if Cain is taken down a notch or two, and Perry is delivered a knock-out blow?  This is all speculation, but one could just as easily link these allegations to Romney as to Perry.  While all of this goes on, who is sitting pretty, safely out of the fray, as the opponent he really worries about – Rick Perry – takes a black eye he may not deserve?  That’s right.  Part of the problem in all of this is how it reveals the incestuous nature of Washington DC politics.  For all of his bluster about being a sort of outsider, Cain worked as the CEO and President of the National Restaurant Association in DC.  According to Wikipedia:

The association lobbies for the restaurant and foodservice industry and represents the industry on Capitol Hill.[15] It was the largest food and beverage political action committee contributor to both the U.S. Democratic and Republican Parties in the 2004 election cycle.[16]

Now that puts a little different light on the subject, and a little different light on Mr. Cain, the “outsider,” doesn’t it?  That’s sounds vaguely like it could be a part of that whole beltway-insider system we keep hearing about.  It would be apparent to the various GOP establishment operatives that they would have to defend Romney from the outset if they were going to get their chosen candidate across the finish line.  They must have known that Romney’s RINO skin would begin to show through the paper-thin conservative veneer with which they had covered him.  How better to defend him by preventing him from having to do battle at all?  As Machiavelli might have observed, what better way to be sure your candidate prevails than to control all the candidates?

For the record, I’m not suggesting that all of these candidates are merely establishment shills, in this campaign only to set things up for Romney or anybody else, but let’s at least be honest in that most of these people do the same cocktail party circuits, know most of the same people, employ the same law firms, lobbying companies, and public relations outfits.  In short, they all speak a different language and have different points of reference from most of us wee folk out here in fly-over country.  It’s the reason why for most of them, it’s impossible to listen to the claim of being “an outsider” while maintaining a straight face.

Herman Cain’s successor at the National Restaurant Association is a Romney donor.  Chris Wilson, the pollster who was on the radio today, worked for Karl Rove and the National Restaurant Association, along with many others, but only recently, for a PAC associated with Perry.  If you go through all of these candidates and compare their lists of donors, contributors, volunteers, lawyers, pollsters, and PR flacks, you’ll find that over time, there have been all sorts of overlapping relationships and linkages.  This is the ugly truth of how the game has been played all these years, and it points out the intractable problem with the desire among so many to “clean up Washington:”  To untangle this spaghetti of associations, connections and relationships is nearly impossible.

When Herman Cain’s campaign comes out with this flimsy link to a pollster who has only recently begun work for a Perry PAC, you must realize that they’re trying to sink Perry, but if they have no more evidence than this, I’d suggest as much or more caution as I had suggested earlier Wednesday.  On the other hand, Perry’s campaign might be behind this, but the sense I’m getting from the reports of the Cain campaign’s charge is that it has less foundation in fact and substance than the already pathetically flimsy allegations Politico published about Cain, and that should give you pause.  Why would his campaign leap to this accusation, particularly on such a flimsy basis?  Do they have more evidence?  Do they have something concrete tying this to Perry?  I’m no Perry fan, and no I wouldn’t be surprised, but let’s just say that something about the way this charge against Perry’s campaign came together makes me wonder.

Cain Sabotaged by Fellow Republican?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Sabotaged by a Fellow Republican?

Robert Stacy McCain’s blog sidekick “Smitty”(theothermccain.com) is reporting that one of Romney’s donors is the successor to Hermain Cain as CEO and President of the National Restaurant Association.  McCain links to another site, Virginia Virtucom, for the meat of the story, as McCain himself cautions readers not to be in too great a hurry to connect the dots.  At the same time, Limbaugh discussed the allegation near the end of the first hour of Wednesday’s show.  As I explained in my analysis of the Cain allegations story and the way it was broken, I have always suspected that this was an attack launched from within the bowels of some other Republican candidate’s campaign.  While it’s much too early to know anything with certainty, it does look a bit interesting, but as theothermccain.com cautions, maybe not.

After all, these people all travel in the same circles of power and influence, and it may be entirely coincidental.  Nevertheless, in examining FEC records, the person in question seems to have contributed to only two of these Republican candidates:  Mitt Romney, and Herman Cain.  Some would ask if he was out to damage Cain, why he would contribute to the Cain campaign, but that could simply be cover.

The truth is that we may never know how this story was broken, and who tipped off Politico, but I still strongly suspect a trail will lead to some Republican insider, although whether it winds up being Cain’s successor is a matter of some doubt.  There’s simply not enough evidence to make this claim, or as Smitty says, “connect the dots,” but Virginia Virtucom is insisting they’re closing in on the originator of the disclosure to Politico, and Northern Virginia Lawyer isn’t backing down from the story.

This is what turns off so many people to politics.  If it turns out that a campaign or its surrogate(s) are tied to these allegations or their disclosure, you can bet that there is going to be  hell to pay for that campaign.  Whomever did this, there are a number of people pursuing it, and in the end, it will be found out.  I would caution readers not to assume this is the individual who disclosed all of this to Politico.  It might well be somebody else, and there’s simply not enough data to prove it, so like Smitty, I’d say you shouldn’t rush to assume connections and relationships that may not be real.  Nevertheless, it’s an interesting development, as the blogosphere scrambles to find out who dropped this story in Politico’s lap.

I Don’t Know If Any of Them Are Fit

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

The "Not Ready for Primetime" Players?

As you know, I don’t support Rick Perry for a whole host of reasons, particularly having been a Texan throughout the time he’s held state-wide office, and knowing he’s got a number of really ugly crony-capitalist skeletons in his closet.  With that in mind, I must say that this story about the hunting lease, and the rock with a racial epithet stinks to high heaven.  I realize that a hint of racism would disqualify a candidate from consideration, and well it should, but to extend this story to impute some racist motives on the part of Rick Perry is simply going too far, and is mere race-baiting nonsense.

Perry has done himself enough damage with his poor debate performances, but what I found stunning in the aftermath of the Washington Post story on this greatly overstated controversy about Perry was that Herman Cain exploited it to make an attack on Perry, by calling the instance “racially insensitive.”  He later walked that back once the full context became known, but his reflex to run with that sort of inflammatory story has caused me to question the temperament of Cain more than Perry.  The only thing perhaps more disgusting was the fact that even after the story had begun to lose some of its initial traction, Romney’s camp pounced once they thought it was safe.  Like you, I believe every one of these candidates should be thoroughly vetted, but I think we’re coming to the point in American politics where the “Gotcha” business that Newt Gingrich has lamented is getting out of hand. Rather than focus on the real shortcomings of the candidates, we’re off on these over-hyped tangents.

This display of wretched gutter politics makes me question the lot of them.  When it boils right down to it, none of them are really exhibiting the character I expect from a president.  Perry has a whole host of problems on a substantial basis of facts, as does Romney, and as I’ve been learning more recently, Herman Cain as well.  The problem is that when you see them pile onto a story like this, you know it’s not about substance.  It’s about scoring “Gotcha” points.  For Herman Cain to now sink to the level of playing the race card, after already having accusations of racism thrown at him over his remarks about “brainwashed blacks” is a matter of a serious failure in judgment.  Romney ought to know better, but he’s apparently happy to stand back and let others make the first attacks and then stick his two cents in and kick his opponent once he’s already on the ground.  That sort of cowardly play is just what you’d expect from a candidate who seems to seek victory by default.

All in all, it’s a pretty sorry state of affairs.  Here we have nine candidates in the race, and they seem muddled and dominated by the media narratives of the day, and that may be the saddest declaration about this field one can make:  None of them seem fit.  More fit than Obama?  Yes, perhaps that’s the case, but are any of these really the people we want to lead(not run) this country?  While the jury is still out on the question, I believe it’s become time for we voters to being answering it.  It’s astonishing that at this late date, what we now seem to have is a group of people engaged in a fight to avoid the worst “Gotcha” moments, but apart from some platitudes, and a horrible lack of policy details, I’ve yet to see anything particularly compelling from any of them, and none of their records offer much solace.

They all need more vetting, and as they become the front-runner, or challenge the front-runner, one after the other, we need to examine their records and their history in office and in business.  Issues like this Perry story are simply concocted nonsense in an attempt to drive the election according to a media narrative.  If we’re to select a candidate, that candidate should have an impeccable record in office, and we must do our best to avoid this sort of tabloid journalism.  It simply doesn’t serve the electorate, and while it can create many nifty headlines and soundbites, it doesn’t do anything to take us in the direction of restoring our country.  I can think of thirty reasons not to support Perry, but none of them have anything to do with some painted-over, turned-over rock on a hunting lease in West Texas of which Governor Perry may have once been aware as an artifact of a terrible, but thankfully bygone era.

Leading By Default?

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Can I Win Without Speaking?

After the FoxNews/Google debate, it had begun to crystallize in the view of many Republicans is that Rick Perry isn’t the candidate many had hoped.  Capturing the straw poll in Florida on Saturday, Herman Cain reached new heights as Perry’s slide down hill has accelerated.  Bachmann has peaked and begun to taper off, while Gingrich, Paul, Santorum and Huntsman continue to struggle in the middle-to-low single digits.  This leaves Mitt Romney out front, not because he’s such a great candidate, but because to date, his chief opponents have grossly underperformed.  This begs the question most conservatives want most to ask: Is Mitt Romney capable of carrying the conservative banner into battle a year from now?  Most conservatives seem to believe the answer is a firm “no,” but it nevertheless leaves Romney in the position of the last candidate standing.  He’s done nothing revolutionary or proactive to seize the lead or stay at or near the front of the pack, but instead seems to have landed in the lead by default.  If we’re to defeat Barack Obama in November 2012, it’s going to take a stronger candidate than Mr. Romney has been to date.

When you examine his debate performance, the best you can say about Romney is that he hasn’t gotten into serious trouble, but he has flipped and flopped to the extent that most conservatives are looking elsewhere.  Mr. Cain’s straw poll victory on Saturday demonstrates the point:  While Romney doesn’t spend much energy on straw polls, knowing he will not win them in front of a conservative audience that constitutes the base of the party, and the overwhelming majority at straw poll events, he believes it’s better to avoid energetic participation and score poorly than to engage fully and still score a a small proportion of support.  He realizes the infinitely larger black eye that embarrassment would confer on his campaign.

What this demonstrates, perhaps more than anything, is Mr. Romney’s complete lack of courage for a fight.  He’s not even willing to make his pitch to conservatives, and that means he knows he cannot win their support except by virtue of being the only candidate remaining.  His unspectacular campaign mirrors his less-than-thrilling debate performances inasmuch as while he says nothing particularly offensive, he also fails to inspire even a tepid response.  In short, Romney’s strategy is to cruise carefully while avoiding clear debacles, and hope to survive to lead at the end, knowing that the anti-Obama sentiment prevailing among Republicans will be enough to carry him through the nomination.  That may be a suitable strategy for winning the nomination, but it’s unlikely to win the Presidency in 2012.

In Thursday night’s debate, Romney got into a battle with Perry who was busy criticizing the former Massachusetts governor’s health-care plan, and challenged him on changing between what he had said in his book and what he has been saying on the campaign trail about the plan’s possible application for the entire nation.  Romney said:

“I said no such thing”

and that “Romneycare” was merely:

“a state plan for a state.”

The problem with this statement by Romney is that he knew it to be untrue.  While in paperback, the idea that his health-care reform plan might have national application was omitted, the fact is that in his original hard-bound book, No Apology, it was clearly stated:

“We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country.”

Either Romney was lying, or he hadn’t read any but the paperback version of his book.  That puts his jab at Perry into better context:

“I actually – I actually wrote my book, and in my book I said no such thing.”

What Romney sought to imply about Perry’s book is that he hadn’t written it himself, and while that may very well be true, it calls into question if Mitt remembers writing his own.  This illustrates the problem with Romney too, because for all intents and purposes, he’s just another well-polished, glad-handing politician who is at least vaguely conservative, but to the conservative base, this speaks volumes about his lack of credibility across the board because it strongly implies a basic dishonesty in Romney’s approach and his policy positions.

This is the likely cause of Herman Cain’s runaway Florida GOP Straw Poll victory on Saturday.  In addition to the poor or at best fair performances of the two alleged front-runners in the Thursday night debate, combined with his own compelling performance, Cain suddenly looks a good deal more attractive to voters than to these two.  Better, if Cain continues to press forward, there is some chance that Romney will be forced to abandon his strategy of winning by default.

The top five in the Florida GOP Straw Poll:

  1. Cain: 37%
  2. Perry: 15%
  3. Romney: 14%
  4. Santorum: 11%
  5. Paul: 10%

This result is a testament to Cain’s strong performance in Thursday’s debate, but it also speaks volumes about the lack-luster performance of the supposed front-runners.  If Romney pursues his current course of avoiding engagement much longer, he risks falling into single digit territory particularly if there is a later entry into this race.  Perry is self-destructing, and while he does so, Romney plans to capitalize mostly by doing exactly nothing.  We Republicans should ask ourselves if that is the sort of candidate we expect to defeat Barack Obama as well as restore the nation now floundering economically under the weight of programs of the same sort Romney has himself implemented in his own state.  Perhaps this is key: When asked during the debate if he thought Obama was a socialist, he vacillated to avoid a direct answer.

With a general election on the horizon that promises a billion dollars of Obama campaign cash, we simply can’t afford another nominee who will not engage fully in this fight.  Romney may win the nomination by default, but he can’t win the general election that way, and the conservative base of the party knows it.  If he won’t speak the truth now, talking to the base of his party, will he ever?  If not, how does he intend to distinguish himself from Barack Obama?  These are the questions Mitt Romney must answer, but chances are that like most everything else, he’ll take a pass and hope to win by default.

Romney Bickers With Perry; Perry Stumbled; Cain, Gingrich Shined

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Bickering Between Perry and Romney

As expected, the spectacle at center stage between Perry and Romney bickering over their respective interpretations of their books became a recurrent theme.  Perry took the first real shots at Romney, looking much too aggressive, and coming across as too eager to hammer his opponent.  Romney battled back, but as a Texan, I became  embarrassed for my Governor.  He looked confused at times, and ill-prepared.  By contrast, the stars of the show were Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, the first revealing his fight with stage four colon and liver cancer, and expressing his strong support for Israel, and his 9-9-9 plan, with Gingrich providing the real wit in the crowd.  Bachmann was flat, while Romney was wooden.

Cain had many great lines, but among his best was this gem:

“Ronald Reagan said we’re a shining city on a hill. We’ve slid down that hill.”
Gary Johnson had one of the funniest lines of the night:
“My next-door neighbors two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”
The rest was  fairly standard. Aside from Cain and Gingrich, the remainder of the field sounded tired.  Romney’s rhetoric was particularly flat, and Perry came out too aggressively, and sounded confused by the end.  He has shown in two successive debates that he has a problem holding himself together for more than an hour.

Perry’s worst moment may have come when he seemed to double down on his compassion argument for the in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.  That was astonishing and drew some extended booing from the crowd.
This field needs something that’s missing.  I have my own ideas. What are yours?

This Is a “No-Crony-Capitalists-Zone”

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

One Has a Drawl

I believe that capitialism is the only economic system under which a free people can thrive. I don’t believe in “too big to fail,” and bail-outs, hand-outs, or other subsidies for anybody.   Have I been clear enough?  I believe in the form of capitalism best expressed in the writings of author Ayn Rand.  For those of you familiar with the book Atlas Shrugged, I would like to remind you of three characters you ought to consider when deciding who to nominate as the GOP’s candidate for President in 2012.   Those characters are Orren Boyle James Taggart and Wesley Mouch.  If you’re not familiar with the book, I’ll try to help you along.  These three are important characters because they define the problem we have with the establishment Republican Party in Washington, DC, and elsewhere.  By understanding the flaws of these characters, it may help to understand what is wrong with the current front-runners in the Republican primary race.

Orren Boyle fancied himself a steel magnate, but he was not interested in competition.  He wanted controls placed on his competition that would favor his interests, investments, and incompetence.  Boyle was one of those captains of industry who prefers to make social statements than to produce goods for the market, so the quality and production output of his steel mills showed it.  Reduced to the state of a scavenger by his incompetence in his own industry, Boyle came to rely upon government to boost his sales and fill his coffers via regulations on his competitor.

James Taggart was the President of Taggart Transcontinental Railroads, and his connections to Washington were his main source of power.  His sister, Dagny, was actually responsible for keeping the company afloat, because James had never troubled himself to learn from his father what makes a railroad go.  James fancied himself a cultured man, and enjoyed using his political connections to destroy his competitors.  He had no competency for business, and instead spent his time plotting how to ruin his own sister even if it meant destroying the railroad over which he presided.  Not satisfied to ruin businesses, he also took a bride in order to destroy her.

Wesley Mouch began as a lobbyist for Orren Boyle’s main competitor, Hank Rearden, and while Rearden didn’t know much about what his lobbyist was doing for him, everybody told Rearden he needed a lobbyist to defend his interests in Washington.  Mouch double-crossed Rearden and set him up, eventually becoming the chief adviser to the President on economic matters, and essentially the economic dictator of the country.  Wesley Mouch was the perfect government man, using the power of government and law to extract money from people and businesses to the detriment of a few wealthy interests, particularly Orren Boyle and James Taggart. He also used his power to destroy his former employer’s business.

Now that you have some familiarity with these three characters, let me explain to you that they were all quite obviously villains.  They exhibited all the traits of the crony capitalism I despise, and believe you ought to also.  It should be noted that among the various people now entered in the race for the GOP nomination, nearly all of them have these sorts of skeletons in their closet.

Mitt Romney is a fake capitalist.  There’s really nothing more to say about it than that.  The moment you consider his Romneycare law in Massachusetts, there’s really damn little else to say.  A government, at any level, that mandates you buy a product or service, for any purpose whatever is a tyrannical fascist machine.  As an actual capitalist, I know that such mandates serve only four purposes:

  • To enrich politicians via lobbying and political contributions
  • To establish and maintain a captive market
  • To drive up costs for every customer, on average
  • To enable politicians to disclaim future responsibility with a claim of “It couldn’t be helped…” when things go wrong

That’s it. That’s all there really is, and it’s all you should need to know to understand why Mitt Romney is wrong for America.

Rick Perry has many of the same attributes, as I’ve covered at length in other posts. There are those who do not like my willingness to point out these problems with Rick Perry’s actual record, but I won’t retreat.  His record is one of repeated dips into the barrel of crony capitalism if we inspect only two notorious issues: The TransTexas Corridor and the Gardasil flap. There are many, many more.

You’re free to tell me you’ll support him anyway, but you’re not free to pretend his record has been anything but filled with such instances.  You lose all credibility to suggest otherwise, and you can bet that just as I am pointing it out now, the Democrats in 2012 will shove it down his throat(and yours) with glee.  Rick Perry has been a government guy almost the entirety of his adult life, trading favors and peddling pull all along the way.

You can pretend to yourself that Mitt Romney and Rick Perry aren’t really modern day, real life versions of Wesley Mouch, but you’re only pretending, and the only person you’re likely to fool with all this is you.  If you’re happy with this sort of fake capitalism, and aren’t worried about its implications, and if it doesn’t bother you enough to reject either of these, how can you be upset by Obama’s use of similar tactics?  Jeffrey Immelt? (Orren Boyle?)  George Soros? (James Taggart?)  If you can look at these things when done by Barack Obama and consider them a travesty, why can’t you see the timber in your own eye?

My conservative friends, I’d ask you to consider that rather than worrying about “who can win,” or other such nonsense at this early stage, you should instead take great care to vet your own candidates based on their records.  If you put up a nominee who is compromised by the same ethical troubles, and therefore indistinct from Obama, how do you intend to defeat him?  Will you suggest to me that you’d be happy to have somebody to run who can pretend not to be a statist?  Will you offer to me that this is good enough because Obama must go at any cost?  Any cost?  What about the cost of your intellectual integrity? Your soul?  Your sense of right and wrong?

Ladies and gentlemen, I stand prepared to vote for any plausibly capitalist candidate who is not part of the problem we’re already experiencing so bitterly and thoroughly. Neither of these fit that criteria.   The country cannot be saved by Wesley Mouch.  You’d better learn to identify the fakes in your midst, and your time is running out.

Fiscal Conservative, Social “Moderate”?

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Which Way, Which Day?

One of the worst lies told by so-called “moderate” Republicans in each election year is that while they are “fiscally conservative,” they are also “socially liberal” or “moderate.” This attempt to ignore reality is perhaps less excusable than the constant delusion of the left, because these people aren’t insane. They’re simply wrong, and they know it. Part of it stems from a desire to avoid seeming “judgmental,” but if truth be told, only the worst possible judgment can originate in the minds of those who accept this shoddy idea. Attempting to walk the fine line between the political left and right, they’re not capable of energizing their base or even capturing a substantial portion of the squishy middle. The reason is simple: Their would-be supporters immediately recognize that the fatal flaws of the latter position negates any virtue to be found in the former.

 

Any Way They Can

Consider President George W. Bush, whose argument was that he’s a compassionate conservative. The base implication of that label is that conservatives have no compassion. It was designed to reassure voters that he’s a social moderate. His first term punctuated the notion, as he assisted in crafting laws on social policy including the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, and an education act that was drafted largely by such great conservatives(?) as Teddy Kennedy. These programs will eventually have cost Americans hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars, all in service to a liberal social agenda. How can one then contend that the notion of a fiscal conservative and the idea of a social liberal/moderate could be anything but mutually exclusive?

Because Bush claimed to be a conservative, however, many on the right happily went along with the programs in the name of ‘bi-partisanship.’ We’ve seen recently in the Debt Ceiling debate what that sort of joined-hands surrender to the left this approach offers up in the end: A complete and utter failure that serves no one but government. What really defines a social liberal isn’t merely the so-called “social issues,” but the unflinching willingness to spend tax-payers’ dollars on them. It is this fundamental contradiction with all such “ideological moderates” that labels them dishonest brokers for a failed statist ideal. Many got a moments’ chuckle from my post on the mythical program S-GROPE, but these are the sorts of mindless, destructive federal expenditures born of moderate Republicans.

Consider what would have been the case if moderate John McCain had been elected in 2008. He too would have enacted some sort of health-care reform, but Republicans would have surrendered in sufficient numbers to pass it because of the shoddy notion of party loyalty, rather than loyalty to principle. Since McCain didn’t win, Republicans made a principled stand against it, and the issue is still very much in doubt as Federal courts continue to find parts or the whole of the law to be unconstitutional, nearly ensuring it will have a future date before the United States Supreme court. Had it been enacted by a moderate Republican like John McCain, few would have said even a word in opposition, and they would have been painted as “Hobbits” or “terrorists” or some other smear.

This is why when you see a governor like Rick Perry, willing to use the power of the state to require vaccines against the spread of a behaviorally-transmitted disease like HPV, you can bet you’re looking at another moderate “do-gooder” willing to spend the peoples’ treasure on the advancement of a leftist policy imperative. Not satisfied with defaming all girls twelve years or older in the state of Texas as sexually active, he actually wanted to mandate this and have it administered at school, without charge. Notice how the social moderate winds up always dismissing his fiscal conservatism in the name of some imagined public good on behalf of statist dogma.

Consider Mitt Romney’s ridiculous health-care plan in the state of Massachusetts. It’s not possible to suggest that Mr. Romney doesn’t understand how ridiculously simplistic his arguments in favor of a mandate are under logical scrutiny. First, he offers that it’s a states’ rights issue. That really doesn’t hold water, so instead he offers up a sorry analogy to auto insurance. What sort of auto insurance may any state mandate on drivers? Liability insurance. They don’t mandate collision or comprehensive or road-side assistance or towing or any of the other options you can purchase with your policy. They require only that you cover the losses and damages you inflict upon others. In all logic, there can be no way to contort health insurance to fit such a mold, and yet this is the policy initiative of a man who claims to be a conservative.

These are among the sort of issues in which the social liberalism reveals the true nature of one’s fiscal orientation. When a politician claims to be a “social moderate,” he or she is attempting to govern as a liberal, but generally more slowly, hoping to disguise it all behind the ski-mask labeled “fiscal conservatism,” and further hoping you won’t notice the philosophical slight of hand. Unfortunately for them, voters catch on to this maneuver quickly, and the slick ones will always try to stay a bit ahead of the unmasking, some of them now claiming to be social conservatives on the basis of their professed faith, or their stance on one or more divisive issues preferred by people of faith.

In 2012, we conservatives will be faced with two momentous questions: First, which candidate for the nomination will we support, and second, will we show up to vote in the election? It’s my contention, aimed squarely at the GOP establishment, that if we don’t nominate a real common-sense conservative, this time, that will provide the answer to the second question. Rather than preach to us about the necessity of winning at the expense of our principles, it would be surprising if those glorious advocates of compromise would allow themselves to see it our way, for once in a generation. Rather than being the hidden enemy in our home encampment, let them discard their principle of the center stripe, upon which we’re frequently mowed down, and side with us for a change. A real change.