Archive for the ‘Mitt Romney’ Category

One-Half of One-Third of the People Screwing Us [Again]

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Boehner and the Boys

There must be something in the water in Washington DC, and I think it’s about 80 proof.  Speaker John Boehner has led the abandonment of principle once again, and I can’t believe these are allegedly our guys.  This evening, the rotten Republican leadership sent down the word that Republicans ought to support a bill that eliminates Senate confirmation for an additional 169 Executive branch positions, meaning that they just let Barack Obama have his way with 169 more positions he can fill, unchecked by Congress, and able to appoint the most maniacal leftists he can dig up.  Thankfully, it was a roll-call vote, and you can look to see how your Representative voted.  My own Representative voted “Aye” on this hogwash, and before this evening is over, his office is going to hear about it, and tomorrow, his offices both in the district and in DC are going to hear about it.  The purpose of confirmations is that there should be Congressional oversight on these appointments so no President can become too powerful.  Boehner and the boys just voted to reduce their own power but according to Mark Levin’s sources, there’s a reason they did so:  Mitt Romney told them to do it on the basis that he would like it if he were to become President.  What?!?

The purpose of this collection of elected jack-wagons is not to dispense with the Constitution, or to weaken the legislative branch on the basis that somebody from their party might become President at some date in the future.  It is their job to protect and defend the constitution, and that means to uphold its intent, which includes the Congressional responsibility of oversight over Presidential appointments.  Who in the world do these people think they are?  It’s not their job to “remove obstructions” to the process.  For the love of Pete, why don’t Boehner and McConnell just get together with Obama and give him all power of Congress, since Mitt Romney might want to be dictator someday?  This is preposterous.  It truly is disheartening, but more than that, it’s a bit more evidence that we cannot salvage the Republican party.  It’s broken.  It doesn’t represent us in many cases, and it certainly doesn’t represent our interests when our elected Republican majority throws we and our constitution under the bus in the name of expedience.

Others may take a somewhat less terse approach, but I no longer give a damn about holding back “for the sake of party unity.”    When they sell us out, I am going to scream it.  What party unity?  The only “unity” I see in this matter is that between John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Hussein Obama: They’re united against us!  I heard part of Mark Levin’s commentary on this, so I’ve decided to share it with you.

Clips 1 & 2:

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Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to know what’s wrong with the Republican party, look nowhere beyond this instance of dire stupidity.  Or is it something else?  Barack Obama is a dangerous thug wearing the office of President like the robes of a king, and yet the Republican leadership in the House just gave him a pass on 169 appointments.  Their excuse is that Romney wanted it?  What if Romney doesn’t win???

Even if Romney does, do we want him filling those jobs without Congressional oversight, or the ability of the American people to call their Senators to object to appointments?  What happens when Romney begins filling these jobs with RINOs?  What happens when he fills them with more of his friends, in payment for their support?  What are we to do then?  I’ll tell you:  We should thank John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and all the other all-star losers in the Republican party who voted for this garbage.

Your voice as a check on the power of the Presidency is being stolen from you, but the they’re not finished.  They intend to bypass the confirmation process for up to an additional 270 positions.  That’s 440 total possible instances in which some President will have no need to worry that he’s appointing a louse, whether it’s the current jerk, or some future occupant of that office.  Do you not see what they are doing to us?  Do you not realize it?  They are systematically converting the courts and the Congress into a mechanical auto-pen for the office of the President.  In short, they’re building a dictatorship, and I don’t much care whether the dictator has a “D” or an “R” behind the name.  It matters not one whit to our liberty what party a tyrant might claim.

The Republican establishment is a part of the disease in Washington DC, and with incidents like this, it’s becoming apparent that they’re the larger part.  Obama and the Democrats can only get away with this because guys like Romney, Boehner, and McConnell let them, and this sell-out is a prime example.

We pay the price, every time.

This isn’t about Mitt Romney.  This is about the separation of powers under our constitution, and the role of the Senate in confirming Presidential appointees.  It doesn’t matter that Mitt Romney may become President.  It doesn’t matter if Ronald Reagan were to rise and somehow become President again.  This is a bad idea, no matter who the President is, and the fact is that at present, the occupant of that office is Barack Obama, and it may just be him again.  Defending the separation of powers is something our Congress ought to do, and on Tuesday evening, the Republican “leadership” in Washington DC failed us again.

 

 

 

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Shooting-Off Again: Dick Cheney Leads the Attack… on Sarah Palin

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Still Mad, Dick?

Bless his heart, but Dick Cheney really stepped in it this time.  I want to know why the former Vice President is attacking Sarah Palin. We were all sickened when leftists publicly wished he would die, or be denied the heart transplant that has extended his life, but apparently, Vice President Cheney has no heart left for common-sense conservatives, or for the lady who bore the brunt of the left’s most vicious attacks in 2008, since he now adds to them.  Having been the frequent target of the left’s senseless harangues, one would expect that Cheney would know better, but it’s apparent that a decade in Congress, four years as Secretary of Defense, and eight years as the Vice President haven’t made him any smarter.  If I were a leftist comic, I would take the opportunity to remind readers that Cheney has a history of shooting at the wrong target.  Asked by Jonathan Karl of ABC News what advice he would offer about the process of selecting a VP candidate, given 2008 as an example, he said this:

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’”

True enough, but then he said:

“I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her. She – attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don’t think she passed that test…of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”

As is the current fashion in the media, ABC used the occasion of Mitt Romney’s impending VP pick to launch an attack on the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, and predictably, this representative of the Bush administration and of the GOP establishment crowd wouldn’t miss an opportunity to get his digs in.  Mark Levin was so annoyed by it that he posted to Facebook on the subject, and he’s right to be upset with the former Vice President.  After all, what is served by attacking Sarah Palin?  What’s in it for Cheney?  I believe Cheney’s criticism of Sarah Palin reveals something ugly about the Republican establishment, but also their basic view of the Presidency. In their view, the Presidency and Vice Presidency should never be held by “amateurs,” a.k.a., “non-insiders.”

When Cheney said he thinks Sarah Palin hadn’t “passed that test…of being ready to take over,” what he’s stating bluntly is that she was not qualified to be President.  There are likely millions who would disagree vociferously with that assessment, and Cheney’s criticism is one we ought to examine because he had held that office, but we should not fail to turn the question on him:  Was Dick Cheney qualified to hold that office?  Some would argue that from the moment he first exhibited substantial health difficulties, Cheney should have stepped down as Vice President, permitting President George W Bush to replace him.  After all, if something terrible or unfortunate had happened to the President, the health of the Vice President, then unceremoniously elevated to the Presidency,  would have been of immediate concern for the country.

Americans expect is their leaders will do the most responsible thing in pressing situations, but Dick Cheney failed that test.  Whatever the objections of President Bush may have been at the time, Cheney should have stepped down, for the sake of the country, if for no other reason.  He didn’t.  He could have done the responsible thing, and nobody in the country would have blamed him had he stepped aside due to ill health, and a frightening heart condition that could have claimed him at any time.  He’d have enjoyed the sympathies of millions who would have respected him for doing the responsible thing, and yet he failed that test.

While Dick Cheney gives interviews to ABC News, Sarah Palin has been out on the campaign trail doing the hard work of getting out the vote for common-sense, constitutional, conservative candidates.  Dick Cheney is giving interviews to mainstream media outlets to attack Sarah Palin.  To me, one of the most important qualifications for either the job of President or Vice President is to exhibit leadership.  What is Dick Cheney leading?  An assault on Sarah Palin?  What is Sarah Palin leading, and what has she recently led?  In 2010, she helped to lead the battle to retake the House of Representatives, and in 2012, she is helping to lead the charge to retake the Senate.  Meanwhile, Dick Cheney gives interviews offering advice to Mitt Romney on his forthcoming VP pick.  While the country is burning down around us, this is the battle in which GOP insiders like Cheney wish to engage? Nobody stops to turn the question around and ask Cheney about his qualifications, which are assumed to have been sufficient:

Cheney states: “She’d only been governor for, what, two years.”

Question: How many years was Cheney governor of a state?  Answer: None.

Cheney headed the Department of Defense under George H.W. Bush, but that’s a largely bureaucratic position more than one of leadership.  Leon Panetta is the current Secretary of Defense.  Is Panetta qualified for the presidency?  Cheney was a legislator, first and foremost, and an insider who elevated himself within the House of Representatives.  Is this the qualification for President?  Cheney was never an inspirational figure.  Did this qualify him for that office?  After all, it was Cheney who had helped to select Vice Presidential candidates before, including in 1976, and again in 2000, when he headed the search committee, but himself got the nod from George W. Bush.  It was also Cheney who was campaign manager for the Ford Campaign in 1976, and he served as Ford’s chief of staff.  I don’t know how any of that qualified him to be Vice President, or President, but if Sarah Palin ever decides she wants some advice on how to be a DC insider or political hanger-on, she should immediately contact Dick Cheney, as in this at least, one might conclude that he had been eminently qualified.

It’s not my intention here to drag Dick Cheney’s name through the mud, but I must repeat Mark Levin’s question: “Why does Dick Cheney feel the need to attack Sarah Palin?”  Cheney is an insider.  Way back in 1976, it was Cheney at the GOP convention who helped to make sure that Gerald Ford was the Republican nominee, but not Ronald Reagan.  The GOP establishment is rightly sensing a bit of a revolt forming in the rank-and-file, as many conservatives are not altogether thrilled with the presumptive Republican party nominee.  He knows there is a move afoot to ditch Mitt Romney at the convention, and he sees Sarah Palin as one of the threats to the Romney ascendancy because the grass roots of the party loves her. Whatever happens in this election cycle, it is the aim of the establishment to be sure that none but another member of the extended Bush clan rise to the nomination in 2016.  Hammering away at Sarah Palin now, in 2012, helps to solidify the notion that Governor Palin is a political has-been, and one who was never qualified for the office in the first place.

That’s garbage, but in the perceptions-driven game of politics, it contributes another few slashes in the death of one-thousand cuts.  The GOP establishment doesn’t want a Palin candidacy, now or any time in the future, and it perturbs them greatly as the collective hive-mind of the anointed class that at present, the most effective spokesperson for rank-and-file Republicans is a woman they would rather have us all forget.  Sarah Palin brought big oil to heel as Governor of her state, forcing them to live up to contracts with the state of Alaska on which they had been dallying interminably.  She exposed and throttled crooks in both parties, including the state’s own GOP establishment.  None of that sits well with the Washington crowd of which Cheney is an undeniable part.

Whatever Governor Palin’s electoral potential in the future, I find it simply astonishing that a man who had virtually nothing to recommend him as a potential President of the United States other than his appointed proximity to that office now offers Mitt Romney counsel on who to pick as his VP, and in so doing, sets out to demolish the party’s last nominee for that post.  It’s a despicable bit of politicking on Cheney’s part, and it is in such instances as this one that cause many in the grass-roots to wonder about the motives of the establishment.  It is Cheney, as part of Washington DC’s permanent political class that symbolizes the problem.  From his first day working inside the Beltway as an intern for Congressman William Steiger in 1969 until present, Cheney has been hooked into DC politics. Forty years of his influence in Washington is more than enough.  Until we begin to discard these insiders, we will never get very far in restoring our republic.

His opinion on Governor Palin was offered up as another propaganda victory to the left, as it was the sort of answer Jonathan Karl had been seeking.   An old Washington insider like Cheney couldn’t possibly have fallen into a trap of that sort, so this was said with the full intention of malice, and the manner in which it was said makes it clear there is plenty of that left in Dick Cheney’s heart.

(I suppose this evinces also the fact that one can change one’s heart but still not alter one’s mind, however small the latter chore might have been.)

 

 

It’s True: Bush Did It; Obama’s Finishing the Job

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

He Signed a Lot of Liberal Laws

As Senator Jeff Sessions(R-AL) made plain on last Thursday’s Mark Levin Show, George W. Bush in 2002 signed into law an act that made foreign nationals from Mexico eligible for food-stamps. That’s some damned-good “compassionate conservatism,” don’t you think?  What this reveals is more evidence of what I’ve been arguing right along:  What is killing our country is the unwillingness of conservatives to stand on strict principle, and the intentional undermining of conservatives by establishment Republicans at every turn.  I listened to Dr. Levin launch a tirade aimed at the policies of the former President and those like him, as well as at the government of Mexico for several minutes.  He was right in virtually every detail, and he was right to feel betrayed and put-upon by the people who are supposed to be on our side, but with all due respect to the radio giant and conservative beacon, he missed a few things.  I do not intend here to criticize Levin, but I want instead to show conservatives how he had erred, not in his appraisal of the facts, but instead regarding what we ought to do about them.  Dr. Levin’s error is the inevitable result of the contradictions too many conservatives accept,  even those with the intellectual clarity to have known better:  There is no compromise possible between liberty and tyranny, whatever one’s excuses for the latter.

Here’s the clip:

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Nearing the conclusion of his justifiable tirade, Dr. Levin began to speak of Mitt Romney.  He offered:

“I sure as Hell hope that if Romney is elected President, that he doesn’t pull these stunts.”

As Dr. Levin said this, in my own mind, there issued a challenge to the Great One:

“What if he does pull these stunts, Mark?  What will you do?  Not vote for him in 2016?”

Yeah, right…

You see, this is emblematic of why we conservatives have lost much(if not all) of our power within the Republican party.  They’ve called our bluff too many times, and on far too many of those occasions, we have gone along despite our protests.  We always rationalize it in terms of “saving the country” from this liberal demon or that leftist monster, but the fact is that when it comes down to it, we are the ones who have blinked, time and time again.  Anybody who had been confused about the matter should see it plainly now:  Conservatives have been neutered in this manner because we have largely demurred from carrying out our threatened walk-outs.   We lose our spines, the walk-outs never materialize, and therefore, we are seen by the party establishment as mere paper tigers to be managed, but never respected, let alone feared.

You might say to me “but Mark, really, we simply must win, because we won’t survive four more years of Barack Obama. The country won’t survive.”  You may be right, but then again, you may not be.  It could be argued that the country is already dead in constitutional and cultural terms, and Levin is among those who has effectively articulated that very argument.  In 2000, I was assured by establishment Republicans that if Al Gore won the presidency, the country would be over, but I told the person with whom I argued that if George W. Bush was elected, it wouldn’t be much different.  Yes, Gore would have pushed the enviro-fascist agenda harder, but then at least the Republican Congress would have opposed him.  Yes, Gore would have tried some of the same tactics of executive fiat that Obama has tried, but again, at least the Republican majority in both Houses of Congress at the time would have been more inclined to do battle with him.  They didn’t oppose George Bush as he extended the power of the presidency through ever more extra-constitutional power grabs.  Instead, we had a Republican President who had a majority Republican Congress for six of his eight years, and he did immeasurable damage to our republic, whether you’re willing to acknowledge it or not.  Yes, he defended the country after 9/11, and yes, he commanded honorably in his role as commander-in-chief, but he had many failings, and the weight of those failings multiplied by the gargantuan multiplier of Obama now smothers us.

To have signed into law a bill that provided for food-stamps benefits to illegal alien Mexican nationals was a crime against every tax-paying citizen in this country, and to all those who will be forced to pay for it over the next several generations, assuming the country survives as a political compartment.  He expanded other social programs as well, created vast new bureaucracies, and otherwise set the stage for everything Barack Obama has done to further the damage ever since he assumed the presidency in 2009.  One might argue that Bush had been well-meaning, but as you know by now, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and it doesn’t much matter whether they’re born in the mind of somebody with an “R” or a “D” after their names.  This is perhaps the single greatest contradiction faced by conservatives like Dr. Levin, who also have good and honorable intentions, and who usually are able to see the folly in pursuing them.

Levin lamented the fact that this isn’t a mere safety net any longer.  He implied that it was instead something monstrous, and he’s right, but let me say to the good Dr. Levin, certainly one of the most talented advocates for our constitution:  There is no rational place in which to draw a line once you begin to build a publicly-funded safety net.  The march of Progressivism throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has proven it, if you needed evidence.  In the early days of our republic, some of our early Presidents drew a firm line when Congress would undertake to create some compassionate measure intended to provide relief to this class or that, always on some construction of the concept that somehow, it could be limited, and that it could be justified in moral terms.  I am here to tell you that it cannot be true that safety nets can be limited and specific, because the primitive nature of pre-humanity is to seek the path of least resistance, or to exercise the least possible discomfort for the greatest comfort available at ease. At its founding, America had the greatest prospects in all of the world precisely because this notion was frowned-upon, and banished in a socially scathing manner, and we tended to consider the purveyors of easy money and easy solutions as con artists and frauds.

Social Security began as a program for widows and orphans.  How long did it remain as such?  The space of a generation had not elapsed before it was extended to wider and wider groups of recipients.  The entire welfare state, from the first bits of Medicaid and Medicare, to AFDC and Food-stamps have all undergone similar transformations, at first for a very limited group, to a broadened eligibility that encompasses vast segments of the American people.  This is what happens, always, once this chain of destruction commences.   It works this way: I say there should be no public safety net. Dr. Levin admits there should be a small, limited one.  His argument is based on his own subjective evaluation of what is the proper level of compulsory compassion.  George W. Bush comes along arguing for food-stamps for foreign nationals.  Levin cries foul, but after all, why is his subjective limitation on compulsory compassion any more valid than the one proposed by President Bush, or President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or some future statist politician? Simply, it is not.

This is how it gets out of control, and it’s really quite elementary: Once it begins, there is no way to reduce it for long.  You might curtail it a little here or there, but eventually people will come to power who will advance it again, and then still more.  This is why our earliest Presidents, fresh from our post-revolutionary travails, did all they could to oppose the encroachment of any of this redistribution under the guise of “compassion.” James Madison, eventually our third President, and the man thought by many to be the father of our constitution, offered this, as he served in Congress debating a bill providing for some sustenance and relief for French refugees from the Haitian revolution.  He said:

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” –3rd Congress, Annals of Congress

This makes the matter plain.  There is no room in that statement for a public safety net of any description or purpose, and being one of the authors of the Constitution, one would suspect he understood its intended limits.  Madison would not be the last to make this sort of delineation, and subsequent Presidents actually stated the same sentiment in vetoing legislation proposing various forms of relief for this group or that.  It was not until the rise of the Progressives, in both parties in the early 20th Century that the first great transgressions of this principle began in earnest.

I would argue that Dr. Levin is right insofar as his evaluation of the Bush enactment of the law permitting the provision of food-stamps to illegal alien Mexican nationals, but I must also suggest in the strongest possible terms that Dr. Levin, and those like him of apt reverence for the constitution ought to consider the contradiction implicit in their protestations on behalf of any public safety net. Once it begins, it will not easily be stopped, and usually terminates with the death of the country in the upheaval of bloody revolution.  Only by rapidly undoing it all are we to avoid such mortal discomfort, though the time-frame to undo it all needn’t be overnight, still it mustn’t exceed much more than a half-decade.  We are living with the necessary result of the contradiction explicit in trying to create some firm boundary along the lines of flexible, subjective criteria, perpetually open to reinterpretation by whomever holds the reins of power. Our constitutional principles are fixed, but it is only our adherence to them that has been flexible.

In a letter to Edmund Pendleton, James Madison also wrote:

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.”

Is this not now the state our republic has attained?  We have undergone precisely the reversal here-described by James Madison, and it will be our undoing.  I am certain that a constitutional scholar with the precision and vigorous intellect of the sort made plain by Dr. Levin’s long history in service to that document and to the republic it had authored must see and be convinced of the fatal dangers of this contradiction harbored so widely, even among our greatest minds.  It is time that we decide if we are going to live in a constitutional, representative republic, or if we prefer instead to be subject to the indefinite power of a colossal government.  It is the choice made plain in the great book Ameritopia, and as a complete work in defense of our liberty, one would expect that with the fullness of time, its author will ultimately embrace the full wisdom of that which he so magnificently defends.

For we conservatives, it is long past due that we should embrace the meaning of Madison’s admonishments.  He didn’t offer exceptions to the principle, but it is only because no exceptions are rationally feasible.  The danger implied was grievous enough that Madison would not countenance its passage, despite surely being as compassionate and charitable a man as any.  He understood that the only manner in which to draw this line was to make it absolute.  He also understood that any less a proscription would lead inevitably to the national turmoil into which we are now sliding.  This is our true challenge as conservatives, because we mustn’t merely begin the already seemingly impossible chore of diminishing the size and scope of the festering blight of the welfare state, but we must begin the process of excising it from our country altogether.   This may seem a fantastical, practically impossible proposition, and yet if we are to restore the republic to the land of possibilities it had been at its beginning, no less will do.

We must undo Obama-care, rolling it back to 2009, but we must roll back to 2002, and then to 1982, and eventually to 1964, and to the 1930s.  We must keep going until it is gone, replacing government with private, volitional charity of the sort that had permitted us to take care of the truly unfortunate persons among us, but that left no room for graft of any sort at taxpayers’ expense.  One-hundred-forty-four million or so Americans now rely upon the welfare state in all its various forms.  That number is exploding, and will soon top half our population, and when it does, there will be no rolling it back, and surely no salvaging of our republic.  Our desire to help others must be restrained from the realm of government.  The contradiction explicit in attempting to have a system that regards the wealth of citizens as one part private property and one part public loot must be abolished, even if there is some temporary pain.  It’s our last chance, time is quickly running out, and I dare say time is a good deal shorter now than any of our public officials dare admit. It’s time to draw an indelible, solid line.

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.

 

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 Anti-Ideology of Mushism

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

The Ideology of the Anti-Mind

Examining some of the things written by those who Josh Painter generously terms the “MittWitts,” what becomes clear is that some people are motivated solely by a form of reflexive tribalism.  Consider how so many choose their sports teams.  Many do so on the basis of geography.  A person from New York might well like the Yankees, while a person from Dallas might well like the Texas Rangers.  Most often, once those preferences are determined, fans of those teams will support them no matter the quality of their play, the conduct of their players, or any other characteristic one might wish to examine.  This is all well and good when we’re talking about sports that have no real consequence in the lives of most people, but when applied to politics, it becomes a more severe hazard, but it’s a hazard every major political party does its best to engender amongst its supporters.  The result of this approach to politics is what I term “Mushism,” the vague, noncommittal, unprincipled stance of he who wants to win and is willing to reject all ideas to do so.

The problem is that such thinking(or the lack thereof) doesn’t actually solve anything, or offer a path forward.  It results in a popularity contest that requires the dumbing-down of all participants.  You might wonder why this happens, but I’m afraid I’ve come to understand it, and I believe it really comes down to this:  By this form of choosing sides, one needn’t go through the trouble of examining any details.  One needn’t bother with records or those messy principles.  One needn’t know anything at all.  This is the realm of anti-ideology, wherein one’s support for an idea’s purveyor has nothing whatever to do with the character or quality of the idea.  Consider how so many come to support the presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney.  It’s not that he’s actually good, or that any significant number of them have read his fifty-nine point plan for the American economy, never mind reading up on his record.  No, it’s all about the perception of him as having won, as having beat back all challengers, and that’s all that’s really necessary for a crowd of people known for simply following the herd.  I refer here to the muddled, mushy middle.

These are the same people who in 2008, followed Colin Powell’s lead and abandoned John McCain.  These are the same people who so easily bought the hype of Obama, and will now quietly change their vote, never speaking of their last one because of how it has come out.  They don’t really believe in anything.  They aren’t conservative, they aren’t liberal.  They simply aren’t much of anything, and yet this is the foolish segment of the electorate to which most politicians panders, and whose support many political analysts seem inclined to see as some sort of golden egg-laying goose.

For those who make their living by shifting this segment to-and-fro, I suppose it represents an opportunity, and one can almost understand why some politicians so frantically seek the support of this crowd.  The problem I have with those of this description is that they seldom learn anything, or having managed to learn something new, misapply the lesson in a helter-skelter fashion that evinces no intellectual consistency whatever.  These are the people who can at once denounce socialism, but at the same time extol the virtues of Obama-care, perhaps amended, but with the core program intact.  This is why “Mr. Repeal-and-Replace” is so thoroughly endearing to them:  They get to say they are opposed to socialism while actually supporting its implementation.

I’ve always been troubled by those who exhibit the symptoms of a mush-mouthed moderate.  It means they’re willing to choose, but only so long as they believe they will be able to avoid the consequences of those choices.  An oft-repeated example of this is in the realm of economics.  I listen to some of the purveyors of Mushism, and they allow that the free market system is absolutely the only system in which free men and women can obtain true independence and self-sufficiency, but in the next breath explain why it must be curtailed or somehow regulated in order to obtain the results they seek.  The problem is that they don’t see liberty as an end in itself, but merely as a tool that will help many obtain prosperity, and they are willing to suborn it to their master plans in order to, well, “spread the wealth around” [some.]

One might well wonder how a person could intentionally make such a mockery of logic, and such a fool of himself in public, but there is an answer, and it comes down to seeking popularity within the tribe.  Everybody’s tribe is a bit different, because each one includes different people.  These overlapping social circles mean that many people will say one thing while among one set of friends, while when with another group, say different things entirely.  This flexible persona requires flexible, fungible principles.  In fact, what it really requires is that all principles save one be set aside indefinitely:  “Be popular, and say or do whatever it takes to remain that way.”  It may also be related to the fact that some people ignore epistemic rationality, instead preferring an instrumental rationality.  In this sense, they follow no principles, but will do whatever it takes to obtain their desired end.  It’s the difference between following evidence where it leads, and choosing one’s course according to where one has decided to arrive.

Let’s be blunt for a moment and consider what this means in terms of our elections.  It means that once a politician becomes popular within his party, his candidacy at some point is nearly assured if he or she can obtain a critical mass of support.  Mitt Romney has demonstrated this in 2012.  People did not swell to the polls for Romney so much as others were discouraged from voting for alternatives.  The air of “inevitability” helped to maintain an illusion, and his support in decidedly blue[r] states elevated him to the top of the heap, along with some nifty advertising done on his behalf, furiously tamping down the others.  Having arrived with this “presumptive nominee,” who shall now tell me he is the best candidate to take on Barack Obama, lead the repeal of Obama-care, and extend long coat-tails deep down the ballot?

This is the inevitable result of permitting the non-ideological to drive one’s party.  This is how a party goes about making the worst possible choice.  It’s why I’ve left the GOP behind.  I simply cannot be part of this ideology of fuzz, this new Mushism that pervades the party since Romney’s apparent “presumptive” nomination.  This is another reason why I see the “anybody but Obama” theorem as somewhat dangerous.  Is it really so impossible to imagine outcomes worse than a second term of Barack Obama?  Admittedly, it would be awful in every dimension, but I can think of worse.  One of those possibilities is the term of a candidate who effectively permits most of the Obama agenda to stand, and who would replace embarrassingly few of Obama’s henchmen, doing as little as possible to rock the boat in Washington DC.  Where does that leave the country?

Mush is the order of the day, and for those who like it, I suppose that makes of it a good day.  Mush permits one to obscure the details of one’s vision, the facts of one’s record, and the motive driving either.  Mush relies on purely tribal thinking among one’s supporters, and it is this sort of intellectual laziness that characterizes the whole of the middle.  Perhaps that’s the part that troubles me most: If one hasn’t any ideas whatever, or perhaps worse, holds contradictory ideas with no attending effort to reconcile the intellectual chasm, how does one make the claim to have acted responsibly?  How does one make the claim that one’s candidate is the superior?  I don’t believe it’s possible to do so with any sort of credibility.  I believe ideas matter, but the absence of clear ones is not enough to overcome bad ones.  The evidence will come in the Fall.

 

 

Palin Haters Not Exclusive to Left

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Them's Some Kooky Sheep...

I must admit to having read some bizarre conspiracy theories about Sarah Palin, because in seeing what these nuts write, one gets a sense of just how thoroughly out of touch some people have become.  For far too many rank-and-file Republicans, it’s all a cult of personality.  Few are concerned about fundamental principles, to such an extent that they are unable to linger over even the most obvious facts that might stand in opposition to their odd-ball theories.  I have been sent a link to a group of such odd-balls on Facebook, where one may find the most obtuse concoction of cobbled-together propositions embraced by psychological delinquents I’ve seen since the anti-Palin bloggers I have covered in the past.  It’s a veritable nexus of dumb, and it seems to be composed of Romney supporters who seem to believe Sarah Palin is an evil genius, setting up for a 2016 Presidential run in which she expects to face Hillary Clinton in what these brain-addled doorstops term a “mud-wrestling match.”  It would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that they have nearly one-hundred members.

This means there many more deluded, psychologically broken people in Romney’s camp than one might otherwise expect.  Their basic theory?  Sarah Palin is trying to undermine Mitt Romney in 2012 so she can run in 2016, and she’s being aided in that venture by none other than Rupert Murdoch.  Yes, there are certifiable mad-caps in the GOP, too.

Before any of the Palinistas reading this get too excited, I’d like you to have a sample of the intellectual rigor of the people who are positing this theory.  Says one:

“The whole point of Obama care is to take over Health care by creating another government beauracracy. It’s a communist take over of an industry. The people will not benefit from this, because they are not supposed to benefit from it. It is designed to create more liberals who will be working as beuracrats for the communist government. This has nothing to do at all with Massachusets, that’s just their cover to throw people off the trail. It is a communist take over. Communists always have a group of people they oppresss as part of their power grab. Obama care has already selected the first group that they will oppress, those without health care who cannot afford it. They will be given an oppressive …tax, that they cannot afford. This will then be used to garnish wages and confiscate personal property of those who do not pay the penalty. Year after year the debt will grow. I bet they will imprison people who fall into the catagory I described. The beauracrats, hired by their buddies in the government, will over see this oppression. This has nothing at all to do with Massachusets, or even health care, it is merely a vehical to bring communistic practices full circle. Who knows what mandated laws will be implemented once by Obama’s beauracrats, get going? The sky is the limit. Health care is only the vehical, not the goal. It’s just an excuse. What are we seeing already with the millions of dollars being put into the solar energy. It’s the same thing, they are empowering their own as they declare war on us. Has nothing at all to do with Massachusets. And sadly, too many will find out only when it’s too late.”

I kid you not.  This sad person isn’t merely a terrible speller, but is also blinded to reality.  Somebody should tell this young woman that Mitt Romney imposed precisely the kind of system about which she spends most of her time criticizing, and that in fact, Romney-care is the prototype for the system against which she is railing.  Yes, this is an example of the logic you will find in this group of utterly helpless people.

Naturally, you can expect a torrent of useless babble from any group that announces its intentions thus:

“It’s TIME for the Conservatives and the Moderates to UNITE to STOP Sarah Palin from pushing her way into this Presidential Election. Whether through manipulation, deception, or down-right dirty politics via a Brokered Convention, Palin is POISON and always has been. This group is OPEN, we are not speaking to just ourselves and don’t intend to. Join this group, share a link to this page, invite your friends. There is a WEALTH of info here documenting the REAL SARAH.”

Of course, the hits keep coming, because this group of mad-caps is so twisted-up with hatred for Sarah Palin that they can’t even objectively consider the nonsense they’re spewing:

“Regarding the argument that Christie would make a bad VP pick for Romney because Christie woud overshadow Romney, I have this to say:

“To overshaddow someone, you have to do it DELIBERTLY, When that happens, it’s no accident. Anyone who thinks overshadowing is done on accident is a FLIPPIN fool. Decent people with character know when to hold back. FLIPPIN backstabbers never hold back, cause it’s always about THEM!!! People with character know how to make it clear they are NOT number one. Christie has character, unlike the last no account, backstabbin, FLIPPIN quitter!!!!”

If you were to choose to”delibertly” avoid this group, I would understand. The same poster seems to study slow-motion video clips of Sarah Palin, turning every motion of her face into a secret, subliminal message:

“Because this is the Sarah Palin Conspiracy Threory, might as well mention it cause it’s something I have noticed before:

Speaking of Historonic personality disorder and excessive attention seeking, just saw Palin in slow motion licking her lips and heaving as she was being interviewed by Hannity, her eyes got really narrow and then really wide as if she was coming on to him during the interview. I have seen her do this with other men who let her run all over them. It’s like she does it on purpose, not only for control over the interviewer, but for control over the male viewers. Wonder if anyone else has noticed? Oh, and by the way, when Palin kept insisting that she is supporting Romney, because it’s: ABO – Anybody but Obama, and she kept repeating this over and over like she was trying to slap down Romney and degrade him with that, I noticed Hannity didn’t protest or confront her on this. Wonder if the lip licking has anything to do with Hannity’s compliance when it comes to Palin?”

Yes, this is real. I’m not embellishing anything. I couldn’t fake being this stupid, and I don’t believe anybody else could fake it either.  Undeterred by anything even vaguely resembling a fact, this genius continues:

“The reason why the Palinbots are pushing for either Rubio or Jindial as the VP pick for Romney is because of this:

“The reason why the “base” (and I call them that losely, cause I think we all know that they are just a segment with their own selfish agenda, that has nothing to do with real people like us), is pushing for those lackluster two is cause they don’t want to win this time around, they want to throw it for their Imbicial Snow Queen. They know what they are doing, and it ain’t pretty. They can take it their two lackluster ones, and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Sorry for the crudeness, but they’ve earned it.”

Most Palinistas I know wouldn’t want either Rubio or Jindal, never mind “Jindial ,” whomever s/he may be.  If Palinistas had their way, I think most would like to see Allen West as VP.  Of course, the lunacy that pervades this Facebook group is quite stunning, and all the more when you consider this bit:

“The Tea Party is still dreaming of a Brokered Convention. Shame on them!”

This appeared with a link to an article in the Washington Times, in which Tea Party Nation’s Judson Philips is quoted as asking: “Is it too late to switch?”  This remark was made in the aftermath of Eric Fehrnstrom’s remarks about whether Obama-care is a tax or a penalty.  The rabid Romney-bots in this particular Facebook group simply cannot conceive of the thought that Mitt Romney might be seen by the broader base of conservatism as something of a sell-out.

They weren’t satisfied to go after the Tea Party, as they attack Mark Levin for his support of Sarah Palin, and generally regard Palinistas as brain-dead zombies.  Yes, they are leaping to the defense of Mitt Romney from the she-devil Sarah Palin, who they will tell you is a socialist.  That’s right, for these folk, Sarah Palin is a socialist.  Try not to soil your computer screen with spewed coffee as you laugh at these flakes.  I promise, you will read their ‘critiques’ of Governor Palin as very nearly a parody of leftist critiques, and I think this demonstrates my point from earlier Saturday.  If they had been mere Romney-bots, we might not have spotted the fact that these are full-bore kooks every bit as bad as any on the left.  It’s refreshing to have one’s assertions born out within the space of an afternoon.

Editor’s Note: While it is clear that these people claim to be Romney supporters, it is certain they aren’t doing this with the blessing or endorsement of the Romney Campaign.  Then again, he couldn’t tell the SuperPacs what to do when they were bashing Newt Gingrich, either. (Wink Wink) They could also be Obama-shills, attempting to stir up trouble between the Palinistas and Romney-bots, but at least on the surface, these appear to be genuinely nutty Romney supporters.  Go figure.

 

Harboring the Enemy

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Is the GOP Bearing Us Gifts?

My friend Carl likens the GOP establishment’s strategy to the idiotic way in which the US lost in Vietnam.  Too often, the Republican Party creates a safe haven for the left by placing off-limits to attack such programs as education in which they hold complete sway.  More than this, the party adopts rules of engagement that hamper the effort, for instance when John McCain refused to use Obama’s middle name, or when Romney used every Alinskyite tactic to secure the nomination, but will not use them in the general election campaign.  I’m prepared to take it one step more:  When we elect establishment candidates, we provide the left with a safe haven in government, as most of them are permitted to remain in place.  Permitting establishment Republicans to call themselves “conservative” without challenge, we encourage the denigration of actual conservatism.  Mitt Romney isn’t conservative.  He’s a “moderate Republican,” which is to say he is a liberal.  If he takes the White House in November, it will remain staffed by people who are statists.  There will be no change in philosophy, but merely a slow-down in the rate of its pursuit. We shouldn’t expect to restore our constitutional republic by harboring the enemy.

Mitt Romney says he’s been “severely conservative.”  I don’t know how one who knows the first thing about conservatism could begin to make such a claim.  If anything, his history as Governor of Massachusetts tells us something quite different.  Romney-care is an abomination to any free people, and the mere fact that he helped enact such a program as law puts the lie to his claim of conservative credentials, much less a “severe” one.  No, he enacted regulations that pushed the entire farcical global-warmist agenda, and he helped to create and fund programs such as “Welfare Wheels” that are all in keeping with a big-government statist.  The most telling part of his claim is the use of the word “severe” as his adjective of choice.  It is only the most liberal Republicans who attach the impression of severity to conservatism.  For mainstream conservatives, we believe we do not need to say we are “compassionate” because compassion is implicit in our policy ideas.  To the degree we are “severe,” it is in the realm of truth-telling and logical analysis.  To apply the modifier “severely” to conservative is to admit that he doesn’t know what conservatism is all about.  It confesses a philosophical distance from conservatism that cannot be bridged by our desire to win in November.

There are those who would take issue with my description of Republican establishment types as “enemies,” but this is at long last  why some might refer to me as a “severe conservative.”  I’m not willing to gloss over the reality, either for the sake of an election, or for the sake of some false sense of party unity, much less to condescend to other conservatives who will have known better all along.  The simple truth is that establishment Republicans repeatedly damage conservatism in two fundamental ways, and I won’t apologize for pointing them out:

  • They actively seek to undermine conservatives, conservative ideas and principles, and frequently side with the radical, statist left.
  • They frequently attempt to disguise themselves as conservatives, such that when their own versions of statist programs go awry, the wider universe of conservatism in general takes the blame, despite the fact that conservatism had exactly nothing to do with the failures.

I’m going to prove the first method by the use of a single name:  John Roberts.   John Roberts undoubtedly sees Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as  examples of  “severe conservatives.”  His own abandonment of constitutional principles and precedents marks him as precisely the sort of enemy we face in the GOP establishment.  Following along behind him is a cadre of Republican(but not conservative) excuse-makers who will try to convince you he had ruled correctly, somehow.  What John Roberts did by his ruling marks him as an enemy of free men everywhere, and I frankly don’t give a damn what some spouting geyser of human incompetence says to the contrary.

They often disguise themselves as “conservatives,” and you can often see this when they begin to attach all sorts of modifiers to the label “conservatism.”  They will tell you they are at least “moderately conservative,” or practitioners of “compassionate conservatism.”  What these really mean is: “Weak-kneed, non-conservative conservatism.”  In practice, what these translate into are simply more statist programs, regulations, and market-manipulations.  What the programs born of these will reveal is a contempt for principled conservatism.

Some will immediately throw in my face that my own favored candidate, whose candidacy didn’t materialize in 2012, likes to talk about “common-sense, constitutional, conservative ideas.”  Permit me to explain why I see this as significantly different.  When Governor Palin uses that particular phraseology, I believe she is describing the nature of the ideas. I also think she’s describing the nature of conservatism accurately.  Conservatism is rooted in a respect for common sense, or if you will, simple logic.  Conservatism is rooted in a reverence for the constitution as written by our founders, but not necessarily as reinterpreted by subsequent lawmakers or judges.  Based on such evidence as her career in politics makes plain, I don’t believe that Governor Palin is trying to re-define what conservatism is, but instead, simply explaining it those who haven’t understood it, or have been misled about it by some of the alleged practitioners(who weren’t.)

Enemy identification is a difficult task at times, and it’s made all the more difficult by enemies who try to position themselves as allies.  The GOP establishment doesn’t love any liberty so well that they’re willing to stand on its behalf if they perceive a popular movement of any dimension against it.  The truth may be worse, because just as many of my readers have perceived over time, there are instances in which it has been perfectly clear that establishment Republicans are part of the left.  Consider the issue of immigration, or the implementation of new entitlement programs, or their willingness to go along in many cases with further restrictions on firearm ownership.  See how they pander to the environmental movement, another front for radical leftists.  It is becoming apparent that in all meaningful ways, they are absolutely committed to undermining our republic, just like the leftists. The only significant difference I can see is that most of them will claim a committed faith, whereas the leftists distance themselves from faith in most instances.

There are those for whom such an apparent difference is enough to make a distinction, but as I have observed, I cannot know what a man truly believes simply because he declares it.  What I can know is what a politician has done, and what it says about the views held by virtue of their practice.  If this is the measure, and I firmly assert that there must be no other, I do not know why I would view the establishment of the Republican Party as anything other than an enemy, every bit as committed and intractable as the rabid left to the dissolution of the American republic as we have known it.  In the final analysis, this is why I am walking away briskly from the Republicans.   I am still “severely conservative.” I haven’t changed my views, but one: I no longer believe that the GOP can serve as a vehicle for the restoration of the republic.  I will no longer be tempted for short-run political advantage to adopt the old notion that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  I will simply hereafter acknowledge that I may have more enemies, and that the only real battle between them is akin to the struggle between rival gangs.  They might fight with one another, but in practice, they’re all the same, and either will happily pillage, plunder and poach my life when the opportunity arises.

Rather than we conservatives looking for ways to join the Republican Party, I think it’s time for conservatives to move on, and let Republicans try to join with us.  I’m not willing to let the latest Republican Trojan horse through the gates of our city, bearing statists.  Be not deceived, conservatives.

 

The Curious Statements of Bill Clinton

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Best Buddies?

Many of you will have noticed the oddity over the last week in which Bill Clinton both defended Mitt Romney, and seemed to disagree publicly with President Obama.  Dick Morris raced out to tell the world that he believes Clinton wants Obama to lose, but there are a few problems with that idea.  Clinton isn’t really the sort of guy on whom conservatives should hang their hopes.  If they cite him as an authority for the purposes of a tax cut argument, what will they do when the former President returns to previous positions(and he already has) arguing in favor of higher taxes?  There are conspiracy theories circulating on this subject, and nearly all of them end with Barack Obama losing to Mitt Romney because Bill Clinton will “spike the election.”  I believe Clinton would undercut Obama if it served his ends, but the question must be: Does it?  Perhaps worse, I think some Republicans are falling too easily into citing the impeached serial liar as some sort of authority on economic policy.

Let us remember who it is we’re referencing when we talk about Bill Clinton.  He’s the guy who tried to let his wife ram a healthcare plan down our throats.  He’s the guy who promised to feel our pain, but instead spent most of his two terms feeling-up interns and other “targets of opportunity.”  This is the guy who ignored Al-Qaeda, and who missed vital opportunities to get Osama bin Laden before 9/11.  This is the wretched man who turned over the Department of Justice to Janet Reno, who in turn turned over much of the day to day operations to one Eric Holder, now serving as the Attorney General.  He has a history of cover-ups that began well in advance of Fast&Furious, stretching back to the Waco operation. Bill Clinton was also the guy who blamed the Oklahoma City bombing on Rush Limbaugh, and who couldn’t wait to use the legislative impetus provided by the act of domestic terrorism to enact a nonsensical “assault weapons ban.”

Bill Clinton was the President who helped to created the Housing bubble from which we are still suffering, and he is the goon who lied endlessly, along with his willing accomplices in the lamestream media about the intentions and ultimate effects of the budget the Republicans tried to put through in 1995-6.  He lied endlessly about Newt Gingrich, and the Republican Congress, and he sent his favorite congressional hatchet-man, David Bonior(D-MI,) to do his dirty work.  He lied to a grand jury under oath, and only the malingering of a federal judge prevented him from facing a criminal rather than civil perjury charge.  These are merely some of the highlights of his “esteemed” career in the oval office, or the anteroom in which he caroused with interns, and he lied repeatedly to the American people, waggling a finger, and chastising the people who would even dare to ask him such questions.

I offer this brief refresher up because it seems that some Republicans are gleefully referencing the Slickster’s remarks on the basis that he speaks with some authority.  He has no credibility.  When Clinton pointed out that he had balanced four budgets, I only saw one Republican politician willing to point out that Newt Gingrich had a substantial role in all of that:  Sarah Palin.  Still, it was a bit bothersome to see so many Republican rush out to refer to a guy who they ought not use as a benchmark for anything, budgetary or otherwise.  The simple fact is that Clinton is and always has been out for Clinton, and while it’s true that his wife is the hardcore leftist ideologue in the family, it is also true that Clinton is himself a leftist, albeit a somewhat more malleable one.  It was Clinton who insisted on referring to taxes as “contributions” or “investments in America,” if you’ll recall, so I would just as soon cease the Clinton-worship now.  Still, his behavior seems curious to political observers, because it seems to clearly undermine Barack Obama.  Why would Clinton do that?

I suspect that if that were his true aim, it could only have one or two possible objectives, and both end with Hillary occupying the Oval office.  After all,  if Obama is damaged enough, maybe he follows Doug Schoen’s advice and steps aside, leaving the Democrat convention open to somebody else, or if Obama loses in November to Mitt Romney, perhaps there’s a shot for Hillary in 2016.  On the other hand, one could conclude that both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham are Soros-shills, and that this may be part of a plan to replace Obama on the ticket with his Secretary of State should Soros find it necessary to pull the plug on a weakened Obama.  Of course, these theories and all of the myriad permutations of them require that we assume that Clinton wants to undermine Obama, but is that the case, or are Republicans being sand-bagged by the Slickster[again?]

As of Wednesday, both Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader McConnell made statements referencing Bill Clinton’s remarks, and it leaves one to wonder if the pair aren’t being led down the garden path by the former cigar-aficionado-in-chief.  When one considers the possibilities, one must always remember that despite any differences among them, the Obamas and Clintons are leftists, and if there’s anything they can unite on, it’s defeating conservatives.  It’s probably true that the former president never quite got over Obama’s playing of the race card in 2008, and it’s probably true that Hillary views the Obama administration as a bunch of amateurs, but what of it?  After all, Hillary’s record both in the Senate and in her current job aren’t exactly glistening examples of effectiveness, and while her husband is often given credit for the economic conditions of the 1990s, it’s important to note that it was the conservative insurgence in Congress that actually had built the conditions to the degree we had some fairly prosperous years.

Whether Bill Clinton is actually out to undermine Barack Obama, or is merely playing a game of cat and mouse with Republicans, I don’t think conservatives should fall into the trap of believing that Clinton would be doing much better or much different if he were in office today.  Bill Clinton’s administration is not a model of good governance to which we should turn for reference.  On the other hand, the active and aggressive Congress led by Newt Gingrich that put the brakes on Clinton’s escapades, and restrained the growth of government for the first time in my life is something we should reference, and while Bill Clinton poses as the elder statesman in his party, the simple fact is that if he had gotten his way, unopposed, through 1994-96, he’d be remembered with every bit as much doubt as Barack Obama faces in the electorate now, and we conservatives would do right by history as well as the political debate in this country to remember it that way.

 

 

Romney Appointment Evinces Healthcare Intentions

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Romney and Leavitt: Healthcare BestFriendsForever?

Monday, NRO published a brief piece referencing a Politico article discussing Mitt Romney’s pick to head his transition team, if he should win, Former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt.   The Leavitt appointment raised eyebrows in conservative circles, even getting a mention on the Rush Limbaugh show, because his company has profited handsomely from the start-up of the state Health exchanges under the auspices of Obama-care.  That’s right, Leavitt loves the state exchanges, as he’s cashed in on them, and while some have urged me to drop my opposition to Romney and climb aboard his campaign bus, or at least occupy the kennel strapped to its roof, I’ve been unwilling and this is one of the reasons for my resistance.  I have no interest in electing another statist to the White House, but more than this, I really don’t wish to be in league with the profiteers who are working overtime to make sure that whomever occupies the White House next year, we will be universally shafted with Obamacare.

NRO picked up on the following in the Politico piece, and it’s significant:

Leavitt has said some relatively positive things about certain elements of Obama’s health reform law, suggesting earlier this year that “Obamacare” empowers the HHS secretary “to do certain things that are clearly aimed at trying to move us in the right direction.”

[Leavitt chief aide Rich] McKeown, who still works with Leavitt at his Utah-based health care consultancy, acknowledged that the former governor does not want to undo one key part of the controversial legislation [Obamacare].

“We believe that the exchanges are the solution to small business insurance market and that’s gotten us sideways with some conservatives,” he said.

The exchanges are not only a matter of principle for Leavitt — they’re also a cash cow.

The size of his firm, Leavitt Partners, doubled in the year after the bill was signed as they won contracts to help states set up the exchanges funded by the legislation.

One of the things I warned you about the GOP establishment is that there are those who have not only political sympathies with the left, but also a number of people who have learned how to profit from the big-government mechanisms the left invariably puts in place.  These people are nefarious, and in the end, they always undercut conservatives and conservatism.  They’re more interested in the deal, and making a buck than in standing on any principle.  Conservatives are right to worry when they see Romney appoint somebody to his transition team who is such a thoroughly enthusiastic advocate for the exchanges being set up by Obama-care.  Let’s not mince words:  There is a class of Republicans who are willing to make money off of governmental actions without respect to ideology, philosophy, or any consideration beyond their own bottom lines, and by all appearances, Leavitt is one of these.

Leavitt is close to Romney, having been Governor of Utah, particularly when Romney was working with the Salt Lake City Olympics, and there can be little doubt that Romney’s choice for transition team may indicate some of the back-scratching that goes on in politics, but I also believe it reflects part of the problem with Mitt Romney.  He’s not a conservative, and he’s probably going to work to keep at least some parts of Obama-care, as I’ve contended right along, and he’s effectively admitted it in his previous statements.  Once you realize this, it’s an elementary matter, and the importance of the controversy over Leavitt’s appointment to a prospective Romney transition team tells the tale.  Back in February, Florida Attorney General and Romney supporter Pam Bondi told us the same thing.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re in real trouble here.  If the Supreme Court doesn’t overturn Obama-care in its entirety, we’re never going to see it repealed in full.  The Romney crowd simply won’t do it, because they’re making too much money from setting up the state exchanges, and in the final analysis, we won’t be able to get out from beneath the heap they’ll dump on us all.  Much as many conservatives have always suspected that Romney would oversee the full implementation of a program that is just like Obama-care, for all intents and purposes, we must now do what I have always stated we would be forced to do if Romney somehow manages to win the presidency:  We will have to play self-defense, not merely against the left, but also against a Romney administration.

 

…and Another Thing…

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Who Me?

While I’m busy declaring war on the GOP establishment, I ought to make mention of another thing that burns me up.  Some of you will have noticed throughout the primary campaign season that certain GOP candidates seemed unwilling to go after Mitt Romney on a number of issues, and always seemed to defer to him in various ways.  It’s true.  Some of them seemed more interested in blowing him kisses than in defeating him, and to be blunt, some of you along with me thought at times that they may have been conspiring with Mitt right along.  If to withhold one’s criticisms of one’s opponents is to evince some sort of collusion, I must now ask you what it must be if Mitt Romney does it with respect to Barack Obama.   This business of Mitt Romney repudiating the examination of Barack Obama’s relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright and other leftist radicals is disgusting.

Mark Levin commented on this subject last week, and he properly flogged Romney.  RightScoop provides the audio.

Levin is spot-on here.  Romney used every conceivable advertising gimmick and revisionist historical fraud to attack Newt Gingrich, and he and his surrogates left no stone un-turned in seeking to hammer the former House Speaker, but when it comes to Barack Obama, some things are simply off limits.   Ladies and gentlemen, I must ask you with a sense of grim foreboding:  If you believe that Ron Paul held fire on Mitt Romney in exchange for something, why do you suppose Mitt Romney is insisting on holding fire against Barack Obama?  Answer it.  If you believe there is a quid pro quo in the first instance, please tell me what you believe about the second instance?  Don’t tell me that Romney is “unwilling to go to the gutter,” or some such nonsense.  He was more than willing when his opponent was Newt Gingrich.  He was more than willing when any of the would-be non-Romneys rose, even momentarily.  Sure, he used surrogates, but what is this business about leaving the Rev. Wright issue alone?

Does he believe it will buy Obama’s silence on Romney’s religion?  It won’t, and the evidence is that it hasn’t.  Knowing this, why would Romney seek to repudiate all of those who raise the issue of Rev. Wright?   When it was about obtaining the nomination, Romney was a “no-holds-barred” and “hey, that’s politics” sort of guy, but now that it’s Barack Obama, whose defeat is the object of this entire campaign, he’s pulling his punches?

Don’t tell me that the GOP establishment wishes to defeat Barack Obama.  Don’t tell me they don’t constitute a “fifth column.”  Don’t pretend to me that Mitt Romney is anything but another statist placeholder who will lead us into defeat.  I have taken all I am inclined to take when it comes to the Republican establishment.  It’s not that they don’t know how to win, but that they don’t want us to win.  Holding back on Barack Obama’s associations with radicals isn’t a strategy to “keep clear of the gutter,” as some would suppose, but a strategy to let Barack Obama go un-vetted for a second consecutive election cycle, and the only reason somebody, anybody, could possibly want that is…

What?

You see, there are those who have already begun to argue that Romney, if he loses, will do so because of a lack of support.  The idea is to shift blame to conservatives, Tea Party folk, or anybody else who will not step up and vocally support or at least vote for Romney.  I reject that thesis as a scandalous lie.  Don’t tell me Romney wants to win but doesn’t want to talk about Reverend Jeremiah Wright, or Bill Ayers, or the whole rogues’ gallery of philosophical villainy that accompanies Barack Obama.  Then, after rejecting these obvious problems with Barack Obama, I’m to blame if Mitt Romney loses?

No way.

If Mitt Romney loses, it will be because he failed.  He failed to be a conservative.  He failed to insist on talking about Barack Obama’s radical associations.  He failed to rally the base of the Republican party.  He failed to motivate conservatives.  He failed. If you want to blame me for a Romney loss, have at it, but I won’t accept blame.  Here we have a candidate who saw no problem in hammering his Republican opponents in dishonest ways, but who now shrinks from talking about the truth of Barack Obama, and some wish to blame me?

If you will not call a monster by name in public, why would you be surprised if others will not view him in that light?  After all, we elect Presidents because we expect them to tell us the truth even when it’s unpleasant.  If we know the truth about Obama, but Romney won’t say it, what could be the justification?  At what point does somebody step up and ask Romney:  “Why won’t you talk about Obama’s radical associations?”  Why, after saying he cannot tell the superPACs that support him what to do, when it came to Newt Gingrich, is he now going out of his way to dissociate himself from any discussion of Obama on this subject by those superPACs?  What he’s done is to “call off the dogs” on this, something he refused to do when it came to Gingrich just a few months ago, laughing it off as the nature of politics.

I am beginning to think Mitt Romney will have a good deal for which to answer if/when he loses in November, because if he refuses to talk about Obama’s past, he’s helping Obama to win.  Every conservative in the country must know this, lest a parade of the “political analysts” tell us it’s our fault.

Again.

 

 

 

Our Crisis

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Thomas Paine

I was interested to read a piece and listen to the commentary by “Mr. L” posted on his Mr. L’s Tavern blog about why he won’t be out beating the drum for Mitt Romney this Fall, and I find that I simply cannot disagree.   His reasoning is sound, and in many ways, he repeats the complaints I’ve lodged, as well as those leveled by other staunch conservatives who realize Mitt Romney simply isn’t a conservative, by any measure, or in any significant way.  To be blunt about it, Mitt Romney is a liberal Republican, and while he may well be the party’s nominee, he’s not my candidate, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold my nose and vote for him.  I’m not alone, apparently, but there exists a growing number of people in the Republican party who are so desperate to be rid of Barack Obama that they will accept almost anyone.  I don’t like counterfeit conservatives, and in fact, it’s fair to say that in many respects, I dislike them even more than Obama, and it’s because they do more to undermine our nation than Obama ever will.  How many times have we been undermined by Republicans who rush to surrender to the statists?

In war, the only thing worse than the enemy is a saboteur or spy or collaborator, who pretends to be one of your own, while working to undermine you.  This is the reason that in war, we traditionally deal severely with traitors and such, because in fact, they are worse than the enemy because you’ve relied upon them to be on your side.  I have come to view the entirety of the Republican establishment in that light, and there’s really no getting around the fact that in many ways, they serve as a fifth column for the statist phalanx.  They pat us on the head like children, with all their solemn assurances that they understand the conservative point of view when they want and need our votes, but when it comes time to implement policy, the pat on the head is replaced by a swat on the behind as we’re sent to a perpetual time-out in the corner of the classroom.  After decades of this, we should begin to bring our own dunce caps.  We’ve been snookered again, but not by Barack Obama.  Despite the great Presidency of Ronald Reagan, the GOP establishment has never accepted our ideology, while they have accepted our votes and financial support.

We should expect Obama to lie, and to advance the cause of statism at every turn.  He’s a statist, and we’d be shocked if he did anything else, and for that reason, we have risen to oppose him.  The problem remains that we are still losing, but the reason we’re losing is not because Barack Obama is such a masterful politician.  He’s simply not that good.  Instead, we are losing because we accept leaders who dither and negotiate and squander every tactical advantage in pursuit of a strategy that doesn’t include any concept of victory you or I might accept.  Instead, the GOP establishment leads us from retreat to surrender, on one battlefield after the next, and the truth is that until we supplant them entirely, and until we push them out of the party, or abandon it to them, going off to form our own, we will never find victory, as it is ever delayed, forestalled, or abandoned as an idealistic goal never to be achieved.  Their approach rests on the basis of the “pragmatic” calculation that politics is all about the “art of compromise,” in establishment terms, but translated into language you and I understand: “Complete and unconditional surrender…over the long run.”  The Republican establishment offers that the statists are like The Borg of Star Trek infamy, and that we “will be assimilated.”

Mitt Romney is part of the greater parcel that ails the Republican party.  He’s exactly that which most conservatives can at best hold their noses to support, but at worst can merely look at with disdain, or even contempt.  As a matter of factual consideration, the truth is that Romney’s operatives were already undermining the McCain-Palin ticket during the 2008 election cycle in October, before the defeat, and they were already establishing the narrative that it was Sarah Palin’s fault.  Mr. L picked up on this fact, and I’ve discussed it here before, but I raise this only because Mr. L, while delivering the bill of particulars against Mitt Romney, mentions that the Romney bunch had been attacking Palin as early as Novemeber 5th of 2008, but I beg to differ only inasmuch as we now know they were attacking her a good deal earlier, in October.  It’s a minor point, but it’s not insignificant, as many of you voted for John McCain solely because he picked Sarah Palin to join him on the ticket, and in the context of a political “war,” it’s important to know who was working on behalf of Benedict Romney in shoving Palin under the bus, and when.  They didn’t wait for the defeat, but proactively began to establish a narrative aimed at undermining Palin for the future, and of course undercutting McCain-Palin in that cycle.

Bearing in mind that many of you were holding your noses to vote for McCain at all, motivated in large measure by the prospect of the able young Governor of Alaska as his running mate, it’s important for you to recognize who it is that you’re now being asked to support.  I say “asked,” but the truth is more like “cajoled” and “prodded” and “urged,” and in a few cases, “bullied.”  I won’t be bullied, so those vocal Romney-oids can cease with the e-mails.  I’m much too busy to read much e-mail these days, but what I do read won’t be the various iterations of “support Romney if you’re a real patriot.”  Excuse me?  The next time I see somebody named Romney walking a mile in the combat boots I once wore, talk to me about patriotism.  Otherwise, they can shove off.  While some of these were still in diapers, or standing on a stool to be breastfed in the absence of a Time magazine photographer, I was following orders all over the globe at the behest of a real Commander-in-Chief, so lay off the ridiculous appeals to a misplaced sense of patriotism.  It won’t work on me, so forget it.

You see, this is my basic dilemma, and it’s no different from what many of you now share:  Romney may well be all there is in 2012, but can we survive four more years of Obama?  I’ve decided that for me, the answer doesn’t matter any longer, even though I think the answer is “yes.”  Yes we can.  Yes we will.  What I’ve decided we cannot survive is another four years of an “opposition party” that doesn’t oppose diddly.  That’s right, I said it.  I have come to view the GOP establishment as the political enemy I must defeat.  I can’t defeat the statists by siding with their gentler , plodding version.  The constitutional republic will not be restored by going somewhat more slowly into that good night.  I recognize that many view Romney as a stalling tactic of sorts, and as a way to buy a little time to shore up Congress, take back the Senate, and so on.  I say to you that if you shore it up with Boehner, Cantor, and their ilk, while capturing the Senate only to place it in the hands of Mitch McConnell, there’s no point, and you’re not even delaying the inevitable.

I may find in short order that I am writing to read my own typos, and little else, but that’s okay by me. From obscurity only to return to obscurity is fine where I’m concerned.  I realize some conservatives have such an over-riding fear of Obama that they would vote for anybody at all who would oppose him, but I must tell you that I am not that desperate.  I am not afraid of the big bad wolf, huff and puff though he may.  My emotional, political and philosophical house is made of brick, and besides, I’ll always resist the further encroachment of government.  Over this last month and one-half as I have dealt with issues of a personal, professional, and agricultural nature, what I began to recognize is that Ayn Rand was correct: The only way to resolve such a problem is to withdraw your material support.  I think most of you already do that, each in your own way.  After all, how many of you have contributed to the GOP lately? You might selectively contribute to candidates or causes, but the party?  No. You’re not foolish, and you don’t wish to oil a machine that continues in many instances to work against you.

My question must then change:  If I do not wish to give my material support to the Republican Party, should I give the most precious thing I have to give — my vote — to the service of a party that has worked non-stop for three-and-one-half years to shove Mitt Romney down my throat?  A vote is a valuable thing, and I view it a bit like one’s virginity.  You shouldn’t yield it frivolously, because once you’ve done so, there’s no getting it back.  The glorious thing about a vote is that you have a new one to give in each election, although it can never fully repair any damage you may have done with its predecessors.  I want politicians to understand that my vote isn’t automatic because one has an “R” appended to his or her name, and that I expect performance.  The same is true of parties, and causes, and virtually anything in politics or the free market.  I don’t yet know how I will vote, but I am inclined to withhold it from either major candidate at this time.

There will be the inevitable cursing and gnashing of teeth aimed at me, along with the many others who may decide to stand in opposition to the GOP establishment.  I welcome it as I do the aches and pains of age that now greet me each morning , confirming  by unpleasant means the good news that I remain among the living.  In the same way, I expect that I will find that there exists some number of conservatives who will dislike my stance…immensely, but I will take their vocal displeasure as evidence that they understand the implications of my stand.  If the people who would tend to vote Republican in lieu of a conservative candidate wish to win the White House, they’re going to find their path difficult.  Like Mr. L, I will not “rah-rah” for a liberal Republican.  I will not trade my virtue for momentary satisfaction that will leave me feeling empty in the searing light of the morning after.

I recognize there will be those of you who disagree with my position on this, but that’s a deeply personal choice we must make, one and all.  I’m not so afraid of Barack Obama.  I’m not frightened of all of the things we believe he might well bring about, because I now view most of them as inevitable, and I know that Mitt Romney will neither stop them, nor even be inclined to do so if he could.  I also know that in another generation, we won’t have so many people willing to resist as we do now.  This is and has been the intention of the statists right along, as they have propagandized our children for five decades.  I have long agreed with the words of Thomas Paine, for so long as I’ve known them, and now that the time is drawing nigh, I will not wilt from them, or pretend they hadn’t been uttered, or written:

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. ” –Thomas Paine

Is this not the sentiment of all conservatives?  I think it so.   Will a battle with the GOP establishment be messy?  Undoubtedly.  Will conducting it whilst the raging statism of Obama continues apace make it all the more desperate a battle?  Surely.  Will I yield for the sake of a false unity that abides no satisfaction of my complaints?  No.  These times truly are what Paine reported as he wrote of The Crisis:

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.”

If this is not the character of our resistance to tyranny, I must ask “Why bother?”  Do I trade my vote to forestall it only?  For what will I next trade it?  A month’s delay? A week?  Another miserable breath?  If I must ask myself about the character that has been my life, I cannot for so paltry a sum diminish it.  Life may abound in compromises, but even so, knowing what constitutes compromise from that which embodies surrender is a critical distinction I cannot ignore.  I will not be bound to Mitt Romney, and I will not admit that Barack Obama controls my fate.

Delegate Drama: Brokered Convention Still Feasible

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Brokered Convention Still Possible?

I just received this video via email, and I thought I should share this with readers because it provides an interesting report on the matter of delegate counts, and whether this primary is really over after all.  More, it provides some interesting tidbits on the activities of the RNC.  As you know, Ron Paul is still in the race, as is Mitt Romney, and the reason that’s important is because RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has directed staff to “open up channels of communications” between Romney’s campaign and the RNC. That would most definitely seem to violate the RNC’s rules while there are more than one contestant in the race.  We’ve known the RNC was in the tank for Romney for some time, but once again, this serves as further evidence of how they will do anything to advance their chosen candidate.  Here’s the video report from Ben Swann on Cincinnati’s WXIX News:

As you can see from this report, if the “unit rule” isn’t applied, then Mitt Romney may be looking at an open convention after all.  Look out!  “It ain’t over ’til it’s over…”

Swann also provided the link to thereal2012delegatecount.com in the course of his report.  At present, the count shows 697 delegates for Romney, but he needs 1144.  It would provide the irony of ironies if Ron Paul actually wound up forcing a brokered convention.

Scapegoating Conservatism: Post-Defeat Planners Redux

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Conservatives?

One of the things I’ve already noticed is the start of the excuse-making on the part of the Republican establishment.  They shoved Mitt Romney down our throats, but some of us have vomited him out of our mouths because we simply cannot tame the bile-raising nausea we feel in the pits of our stomachs.  The immediate response of the GOP establishment has been to manufacture a narrative that will effectively blame conservatives if Romney loses.  They won’t blame his lack of conservatism.  They won’t blame his duplicity or his negative primary campaign.  They won’t blame their own complicity in setting us up with a candidate we don’t want, but what they will do is blame we conservatives, and it’s starting already.

I don’t play that game.  If they wanted to win this election, they could have supported a conservative candidate for a change, but they are very much a take-it-or-leave-it crowd.  You see, if they don’t get their way, they take their ball and their donations and go home, all while they insist we conservatives are to blame if we respond similarly, leading to the defeat of their chosen candidate.  The problem the establishment faces is that conservatives still remember Ronald Reagan, and they know too well that genuine conservatism wins.  They can continue to scapegoat conservatism, but we shouldn’t accept their excuses any longer, and we shouldn’t fall into the trap that this year’s crop of post-defeat planners are already laying.

If I owned a hot-dog stand and after years of selling barely palatable wieners,  I go to something even worse, my customers will likely find them disgusting, causing them to flee.  Do I blame them for their lack of “loyalty?”  I might even cry “but you’ll starve without my hot-dogs,” but will they?  I might appeal to their sense of loyalty as customers of long-standing, but if they don’t like my product because it’s terrible, who is to blame?  Them?  Or me?   In making the loyalty argument, I must purposely evade a concept my customers would be right to throw in my face:  If I were loyal to them, I wouldn’t try to feed them bad product, and rather than worsening it, would concentrate on improving it.

They may even appeal to my patriotism: “How can you let Obama win?”   As with the loyalty argument, I again turn it around:  How can they offer us a candidate who they know many of us will not be able to support, if they care about the country?  In a free market, such intransigence would soon lead me to go out of business, and the fact of the matter is that the same is true of the GOP establishment.  Of course, they’ve tried to rig the market in their favor, but it’s really not possible in the longer run.  They use their influence, given them by means of our votes, to solidify their hold on the “market” of political ideas, and it is our willingness to do so that enables them to continue.

The good news is that we can still make gains from this election cycle.  We can still elect conservatives to all of the down-ballot seats, and as is now plain from polling data in Indiana, where Richard Mourdock is now leading Dick Lugar despite a multi-million dollar campaign against him, it’s evident that we conservatives can still turn the tables on the establishment.  In Texas, we’re having a bit more of an uphill battle as the establishment guy, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst continues to run slightly ahead of Ted Cruz and a whole slate of lesser-known candidates, but with less than a month to go, it’s still close enough that it’s anybody’s race and we may well wind up with a run-off, in which case Cruz looks stronger.

The basic point is that irrespective of the Presidential race, we can still have a significant impact in 2012.  If we can sweep away some of the liberal Republicans in the Senate, and replace a number of the Democrats who are up this year with conservatives, we can stymie President Obama and aggressively pursue him should he continue to use illegitimate executive powers to run an end-around on Congress even if Romney loses.  If Romney wins, it will leave us with some means by which to exert control over him.

Of course, the establishment won’t go quietly.  They will continue their game, and part of their play is to make you feel as though you must support their guy.   Once you realize this, it’s easier to understand how it is that they can sell you a lower quality hot-dog, and you will be forced to swallow it, disgruntled though you may be.  In the end, they know that while they are not really the sole source, or the sole choice, they are the sole choice you can bring yourselves to make.  It’s true in both parties, but what this really means is that in most respects, our country is ruled by a political oligopoly that wishes to leave you with no other alternative.  They can afford to wait you out in most cases, because even if you sit out an election or two in protest, you’ll eventually be ripened by some issue to come back to them for harvest.  This is why they’re willing to lose elections in order to punish you.  After all, it won’t hurt them much, but let’s examine who loses what, and under which circumstances the losses really occur.

If Mitt Romney loses in November, does the GOP establishment lose?  I contend to you that they not only win, but they have set up the manner by which they will win big in 2016.  By then, assuming the country endures(and I believe it will,) they will have managed to create some substantial sense of Obama-fatigue.  Its early manifestations are already showing up in the polls, but you see, for the elites of the GOP establishment, none of it will make any difference to their immediate health, safety, or prospects for continuing profits.  In short, they won’t be hurt because their money insulates them.  Your farms may go down, your businesses may crash, your jobs may disappear, or you may find yourselves in other calamities, but none of that will bother them.  In fact, it will tend to make you more compliant with their desires and demands in the future.  If you’re starving, you’ll take my low-quality hot-dog any way I wish to serve it.

It’s for this reason that they don’t mind losing an election or two(or ten.)  If it serves their long-run interests, it may even be preferable to victory.  It also gives the Republican establishment an opportunity to defame conservatives[again.]  This makes it easier for them to win in the future, because if they can succeed in painting conservatives as heartless, inflexible ideologues who would rather lose than compromise, it makes it all the easier to sell the American people a “compassionate conservative,” who does not actually exhibit the first substantially conservative trait once examined closely.   It’s for this reason that I believe the Republican establishment will be happy to see Mitt Romney lose, because in 2016, you’ll be only too thrilled if they offer you Jeb Bush.  At that point, you’ll vote for the most liberal Republican they throw at you if only you can get rid of the Democrats.

Viewed in this manner, the GOP establishment knows it has conservatives over a barrel, and that’s what they’ve been working to do throughout this election cycle, and in perpetuity.  I realize that the choices they offer us are abysmal, because that’s the nature of their game.  Where I will not budge is on this notion that conservatives will have been at fault if they do not support Mitt Romney in November.  Viewed as any other business competing for customers or clients, the Republican Party has a responsibility to put forth an acceptable candidate.  Failing that, it is they who are to blame, and it is they who are culpable in any defeat suffered.

Of course, that assumes they want to win(in 2012,) but given Mitt Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts, I’m not convinced that’s the case.  They have intentionally put forward a man who is a veritable “poison pill” for many conservatives, and I don’t believe it’s accidental, or somehow the result of political happenstance.   Besides, from the GOP establishment point of view, this allows them to kill off a whole flock with a single stone.  Conservatives and Tea Partiers will take the blame, and they’ll be able to sell us on almost anybody in 2016 when they’ll have an easier time winning the Oval Office because it will soon be vacated anyway.  That’s Win, Win, and WIN from their point of view.

Conservatives and Tea Party types should be prepared for the moment when the blame game begins in earnest.  They’ve already begun to push this narrative, and that’s to be expected, but should Romney lose(and many are fairly certain he will,) you can bet that the morning of November 7th, the questions will commence on FoxNews and other establishment outlets:  “What’s wrong with conservatives?  Why are they so hard to please?  What will we do about the Tea Party?”  Bank on it. Even now, the recriminations are beginning, softly, gently now, but they will build to a crescendo by November the 7th.  I actually had a telephone call from one conservative campaign fund call and urge me to contribute on the basis that Mitt Romney probably cannot win, so we need to shore up the Congressional side, and yet there are those conservatives who say I am a gloomy guy?

On the other hand, if Romney manages to win, this will be an even bigger victory for the GOP establishment:  They will have been able to put up a liberal Republican, and out of sheer desperation, have conservatives support him.  Game over! At that point, conservatives will have no means by which to restrain a Romney administration, because they will have been a paper tiger.  This is the dilemma we conservatives face, which is why I still hold out hope, slim though it may be, for a brokered convention.  There’s a reason Romney is having a closed-door meeting with Santorum, and you’d better believe it’s about trying to get more support.   I don’t think conservatives can afford for either Obama or Romney to win, whether out of desperation to rid ourselves of Obama, or in order to avoid the inevitable scapegoating.  In particular now, it seems the GOP establishment is going after Palin supporters.  Ah well, yes, most of us are accustomed to that, as the same crowd tried to make a scapegoat of Sarah Palin in 2008.

The simple fact remains:  I can’t see how Mitt Romney’s supporters or the GOP establishment will be able to carry off such scapegoating with any credibility.  After all, how unpalatable must a candidate be to lose to an incumbent who has unemployment at around 8%, has record deficits, has added trillions of dollars to the national debt, has overseen the devaluing of the dollar, starved us of fuel and energy resources, hobbled our military, aided our enemies, abandoned our allies, and generally made a wreck of things?

Just how bad must a Republican be to lose in that kind of environment?  How thoroughly must he have been disliked, not only in the general electorate, but in his own party in order to lose despite such conditions?  How thoroughly has his campaign offended some sizable number of conservatives?  Should he expect such voters to shut up and eat the week-old hot-dog he’s selling? Are you ready to paste your palate with that stale, low-grade bun that’s been in the steamer rack four times this week?  The GOP knows what it’s doing.  You still believe, innocently, that they want to win, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent to me that they do not, and I’m not willing to let them off the hook by playing the role of scapegoat, and I won’t eat sorry hot-dogs for a notion of loyalty that is clearly unidirectional.

If You Can’t Beat ’em, Join ’em?

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Conservatism Rides On Roof...

Signaling what may be the beginning of a new round of endorsements of Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann(R-MN,) endorsed Romney on Thursday, but one wonders how she squares this endorsement with her position prior to exiting the race that Romney “cannot beat Obama.”  This may be the beginning of the big push to get everybody to rally around Romney, with Newt Gingrich having suspended his campaign officially this past Wednesday, and it may leave some number of conservatives in the lurch, including me, because I’m really not interested in endorsing Governor Romney.  On the basis of the adage “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” I find I’m in the position that I have no choice.  I’m not the sort to tell people how to vote, as I would rather make my arguments and leave people to decide on their own, so I’m rarely inclined to “endorse” anybody.  Naturally, as you might expect, any sort of “endorsement” I might offer will be fully justified in the context of my arguments, unconventional though it may be.  In order to explain myself, I need to catalog my reasoning:

Mitt Romney is a spineless wonder when it comes to confronting not only the left, but also the media.  He stays away from interviews he thinks might go poorly for him, considering the particular outlet, and this makes him positively disgusting in my view.  I have no problem with a candidate avoiding a liberal outlet on which it is believed a fair shake will not be offered, but to avoid interviews on conservative shows is another matter.  In virtually every issue over which there exists controversy, Willard remains aloof until the dust settles, never staking out a firm position until the outcome is already settled.  Remember the Debt Ceiling debate?  He had nothing of merit to say until it was over.  Remember the issue of Eric Holder and “Operation Fast and Furious?”  While others called for Holder to step down, and still others called upon President Obama to fire the Attorney General, Mitt remained quiet about it until the evidence was completely damning, and Holder had been criticized broadly.  That’s Mitt Romney’s leadership style, and if you’re going to replace Obama, you might just as well get somebody who joins President Obama in “leading from behind.”

Mitt is the father of Romneycare, and Romneycare begot Obamacare.  If you’re a fan of socialized medicine, this is your guy!  If you like health insurance mandates, and if you really love the notion of death panels, you have found the guy who brought this system to America.  He won’t repeal Obamacare, although he may tinker with it a bit, and if you’re into big government programs, the Republicans couldn’t have picked a better nominee.  Mitt Romney is the son of a liberal Republican archetype, so none of this is really a surprise.

Mitt Romney is a loser.  That’s what Republicans do when they nominate liberals only barely disguised as conservatives, and if you liked the Bob Dole campaign of 1996, you will absolutely love Mitt Romney’s.  He’s been endorsed by a whole slate of Bush-clan members, minus the most recent President Bush, and he’s the establishment’s chosen son.  If you liked the communitarian policy preferences of George W. Bush, or for that matter, his father, you’re going to love Mitt Romney.  If you want somebody who will carry on the Bush dynasty, throwing occasional bones to conservatives while holding court with a bunch of liberals, there has been no finer example of the type seeking the GOP nomination in 2012.

Mitt Romney is not a conservative, despite the pretense, and while the media will do its best to portray him as such in order to attack conservatives, the simple truth is that he’s more inclined to be one of theirs than one of ours.  He will be hammered by the press as a member of the elite, and a rich Wall Street guy, who is out of touch with mainstream America, working-class America, and so on.  He fits the template of the candidate against whom Barack Obama most wishes to run.  He relies upon his own version of Alinskyite tactics, since his father George Romney thought Alinsky was a peach.  We don’t need to worry about Mitt Romney dredging up Saul Alinsky in this campaign, and raise any issues that might be uncomfortable for Obama.  Isn’t that swell?

Of course, if you like failed campaign tactics, consider what Mitt Romney has employed throughout the primaries.  He and his supporting cast of super-PACs have absolutely demolished every opponent, by running dishonest attack ads to a degree I believe is unprecedented in Republican primary campaigns.  He has managed to demoralize conservatives to a degree that some will simply never vote for him, and that means he’s placed his own election chances in serious jeopardy.  His strategy rested upon ad buys that outspent his opponents by as much as twenty to one.  Of course, nobody in the media is asking how this strategy will translate to a general election campaign, when he will not have such an advantage over Barack Obama, and besides, he won’t want to offend any moderates or liberals.  Offending conservatives is fine where Mitt is concerned, but one simply mustn’t offend the left.

Considering all these reasons, I therefore believe it is nigh on inevitable that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee and candidate for President, and he will almost certainly, inevitably lose the contest to Barack Obama, barring some completely unknown factor.  Of all the Republicans the party could have chosen to best and most thoroughly lose the coming presidential election, I believe Willard “Mitt” Romney is absolutely the most thoroughly qualified.  It’s clear that the party establishment intends to lose this election, so that they can put up another insider, perhaps another Bush, and Mitt Romney makes the perfect place-holder.  He’s safe.  He stands little or no chance of victory, and that will clear the path for Barack Obama’s second term, and an incumbent-free oval office in 2016.

Since it’s fairly clear to me that the GOP establishment wants to lose this election, as is clear by its “inevitable” nominee who at last seems to fill that role, I believe I will support the Republican party in its goals.  They didn’t want conservative support, and they tried to close off conservative participation, and I am in the mood to grant them their wish.  Many conservatives aren’t excited about a Romney candidacy, because they know even if he were to win, they will spend the entirety of a Romney administration not battling liberals, but instead in a constant battle to prevent Romney from going along with the left.   Even if Mitt Romney manages to beat Barack Obama by some cosmic comedy of errors on the part of the Obama team, he will have done so without my help.  It is with this in mind that I do hereby heartily “endorse” Mitt Romney as the next liberal Republican presidential loser in a long string of them.   Those who have more recently joined the Romney camp may find my “endorsement” somewhat lackluster, but after all, as a conservative, I believe in accepting responsibility and doing things right, so if we’re going to lose, we might just as well lose big.  It’s the least I can do.

Conservatives may eventually hop aboard the Romney bus, but if and when we do, we will be riding on the roof, and we know it.

 

Note to Readers: My apologies for the lack of posts lately. Between the recent death of my father-in-law, the Spring work on the farm, and a difficult and lengthy project at work that is consuming between twelve and fifteen hours daily, seven days per week, I’ve been unable to post so much as normal.  I expect that by the end of May, the bulk of the farm-related efforts will be complete for the season, and by mid-June, the project at work should be complete.   There will undoubtedly be occasions upon which I am able to post more in that period, but it obviously hasn’t been this week.

Do You Fear Obama?

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Do You Fear This Guy?

Listening to conservative commentators, one can witness a kind of fear of Barack Obama that I’ve never encountered in domestic politics before.  Sure, back in the 1990s, there were some conservatives who were fearful about the things Bill Clinton might do, given a chance, but the unmistakable terror some exhibit at the mere idea that Barack Obama would somehow be re-elected is astonishing to me.  Is he horrible?  Yes.  Is he actively undermining our nation?  Certainly.  Is he a demagogue?  You bet!  Nevertheless, I do not understand the fear that seems to grip so many on the right side of the political divide.  I don’t fear Barack Obama.  He doesn’t impress me that much, and if he takes the country all the way to and over the brink, patriotic Americans will stop him.  I’m not scared of Barack Obama.  I’m not threatened by a temporary political hack.  The thing that makes me fearful is the tendency among conservatives to imagine more power on the part of Obama than he actually possesses, but worse, the willingness on the part of establishment Republicans to cede to him such power.  The power of the presidency doesn’t belong to any man, but to the people, and all it takes to stop any President is their will.

Fear is an important tool used to herd us in the direction of the establishment’s favored candidates.  I am not driven by that sort of thing.  What makes me fear for my country is the endless parade of candidates who are put up by the Republican establishment every four years who leave us with a choice between the wholly unpalatable and the unconscionably unpalatable.  It’s like a perpetual taste test between excrement sandwiches where the only question is whether the prime course originated with a horse or a bull.  What drives me to something like real fear is when I see the uncritical thinking that pervades so much of our culture.  When I hear alleged conservatives saying that they think George W. Bush was a “real conservative,” I shake my head and walk away.  There’s no point to an argument over the matter.  He wasn’t a conservative, but for those who think he was, there’s no convincing them, no matter how many instances of his big-government statism his record provides as evidence.

I don’t fear Barack Obama because we already have an example of how to make a leftist President ineffective.  Newt Gingrich showed us through determined leadership in the middle 1990s, and except for betrayals from the establishment wing of his own party, he might well have accomplished more.  The problem is that the same people who destroyed his campaign this year by one act of dishonest infamy after the other are representatives of that same group that undercut him nearly two decades ago.  Even at this late date, with Gingrich effectively out of the running, still there are attacks by the Romney campaign on Gingrich.  Why fear Barack Obama?  With “friends” like this, who needs enemies?  Still, Gingrich showed us what we can do by his example in 1994.  To do it, we will need to change the face of the Senate.  That’s where Gingrich ran into the most trouble, and apart from our tepid House leadership today, I think this is where we must begin.

We need to eject RINOs like Dick Lugar from the Senate, and send in conservatives like his opponent Richard Mourdock, and just as Kay Bailey-Hutchison is departing the Senate, I will be happy to send Ted Cruz there rather than establishment tool David Dewhurst.  I was a bit astonished, after his appeal to Tea Party types, to see Rick Perry endorse Dewhurst.  Of course, Friday, he also endorsed Romney. I guess we know all we need to about that, but it’s another example of our problem:  We need to defeat not only Democrats who are holding Senate seats, but also a number of Republicans who shouldn’t be left in charge of anything.  You see, we don’t need the Presidency to run the country.  We merely need a large enough majority in both houses of Congress, but that will still only help us if they’re not a pack of establishment types.  While John McCain came out to endorse Dick Lugar, Sarah Palin instead endorsed Richard Mourdock, continuing to demonstrate that one needn’t have a title to be effective, and we need more of that kind of leadership from high profile conservatives.  From the Republicans’ presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney? Silence.

I don’t fear Obama, but if you want to see me afraid, observe my reaction to the wasted effort the GOP establishment has made of the Tea Party’s victories in 2010.  There was momentum and vigor, but by a long list of sorry surrenders, Boehner and McConnell have sapped the energy out of the movement.  I fear that the Tea Party waited and waited for a Presidential candidate to emerge who would carry their banner, and when one didn’t appear, or at least didn’t stick around, and while the establishment undermined conservative alternatives to Mitt Romney, the Tea Party seems as though much of its energy has been spent.  I hope I’m wrong, but with Romney emerging as the probable nominee, it’s hard to imagine the Tea Party getting very excited.  Who can blame them?  The establishment of the GOP is intent upon giving us a guy who lost to Ted Kennedy by double digits in 1994, a year Republicans made huge strides and took both houses of Congress.  Do we expect to defeat Barack Obama, and even if we do, to what end?

I don’t fear Obama because I know that he’s just one more step down a path our country and culture has been following all my life.  If it wasn’t Obama, it would be somebody like him.  If it wasn’t Romney, it would be somebody like him.  They fit their respective templates, and they fulfill their respective roles.  We’ve been railroaded into a notion of America that is top-down, and I simply don’t buy it.  There are three-hundred millions of us.  Do you really think Washington DC can impose anything on us that we(or some sizable number of us) refuse to do?  The problem I see is that the longer we let this fester, the more foot-soldiers for the cause they breed.  Do you really wonder why neither party is serious about controlling illegal immigration?  Do you really wonder why it is that our social safety nets are encouraging more of the same, now largely hammocks in which too many people recline endlessly, while you work like rented mules to carry their burdens?

Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t believe we need a third party.  I’d be happy with two.  Unfortunately, from my point of view, I’m finding it impossible to discern much difference at the upper echelons, apart from the much too rare sort best exemplified by Sarah Palin.  The establishment in DC plays both sides of the street, and neither side is composed of conservatives.  This whole system is full of corruption, and it’s not because the system was built to be corrupted, but because we the people, by our shameful inattention, and our general unwillingness to do our homework have left the store undefended, the till untended, and our alleged ‘public servants’ unaccountable.  When I say “we,” I don’t mean you and I, though we surely should do more, but I look around at the popular culture, and I note with dismay that there are hundreds of television channels available, and apart from C-Span, there are perhaps a dozen or so that cover public affairs, politics, and political news, and none of those garner as many viewers as the average prime-time sitcom.

If you want to know why America is in decline, you need only observe the priorities of most people.  The amount of time daily that most Americans devote to public affairs is minuscule.  Most of them can’t recite so much as the preamble to the constitution, and few can recite, verbatim, any of the amendments, even the first ten.  Don’t ask them to provide from memory some notion of the structure of the constitution, and don’t ask them to tell you anything about the enumerated powers of Congress, the President, or the courts.  As long as this remains true, there is no chance to reform the country. You and I can go to Tea Party rallies, and the GOP establishment will do its best to co-opt them.  The broad body of the American people remains unmoved, and nothing short of catastrophe is likely to move them, but as with most such things, the catastrophe will be evidence that they’ve been roused from their slumber too late.  We say we believe in citizen-legislators, and the form of self-governance our founders gave to us, but too few of us who are able step forward to take the risk.

On the other hand, I don’t fear Obama in part because I know that common sense will eventually trump him.  A good example of this is the proposed regulation out of the Department of Labor that would have made it illegal for anybody under 18 to perform certain chores or work in certain jobs in an agricultural setting.  The backlash was so strong, even among Democrats, that the Obama administration actually rescinded the proposed regulation, at least for the time being.   The administration and the Department of Labor were deluged with a huge number of tersely worded communications from across America telling them to back off or else.  One farmer I know locally, whose two sons routinely help him operate tractors and so on actually called and told some government stooge in Washington DC that he was free to come and impose his regulations if he thought he could. Ladies and gentlemen, there are three-hundred millions of us.  Even if fully half have “gone over to the dark side,” the government can’t impose anything on the rest of us if we refuse.  People wonder why I don’t quake in fear about Obama, or any other tin-pot dictator who might set up shop in DC, but this is the reason.

A government loses its legitimate claim to authority at some point, and small incidents like the backlash over farm labor rules is just one such instance.  Another bit of evidence comes in the form of gun and ammunition sales, still at record levels these last three years as people prepare for…come what may.  Sure, it’s only a small fraction of Americans who are preparing to any substantial degree, but that’s still a goodly number.  As they liquidate debt, pull assets out of markets, buy durable commodities and stored goods, and make ready for the possibility that this society may break down.  The core that keeps this country afloat is doing what it has always done: Through prudence, thrift, and industry, they are preparing to the best of their ability for the worst that the world may throw at them.  They don’t fear Obama either.  Like me, they’re more inclined to fear the legion of unprepared network television viewers who will be standing there with one hand out-stretched, gun in the other, issuing pleas for help in the form of demands, if and when things go even more badly for our country.

The thing we must all remember is that as bad as Obama is, he is temporary.  He may do this or that, and he may make a wreck of things for the nation, but he’s temporary, and there’s nothing he can inflict that we can’t undo.  The only thing that makes a guy like Obama dangerous are the people ostensibly on our side who seek to collaborate with him.  It’s the moderates who undo us each and every time.  I offer the debt ceiling debate of last July to any who doubt me.  No, I don’t fear Obama, bad as he may be, nearly so much as I live in terror at the prospects of the next surrender of the Republican establishment.  That’s what makes our situation seem hopeless.  Who among you harbors the delusion of John Boehner riding in to save us?  Mitch McConnell?   Mitt Romney?  That’s what demoralizes our conservative activism.  That’s what cuts the heart out of the resistance.  We won’t be delivered into communistic despotism by Barack Obama, but instead by some gutless cabal of establishment Republicans hurriedly cutting a deal to save their own necks, thereby damning the rest of us into servitude.  It is ever the betrayers, the surrendering class, clamoring to hold onto some vestige of what they see as their rightful place, or even merely to save their own hides.  I see this as the most pressing issue we face.  Barack Obama is only possible because of the sell-outs.

For all appearances, Mitt Romney seems to be part of that class of Republicans, and if you ask me what it is that I fear, it is that once again, we will be saddled with a nominee who is not one of us, doesn’t understand us, and doesn’t see the world from the point of view we mostly share, out here, where the country is made to work by the choices, the goals, and the devotion of millions of individual Americans, each working to better his or her own life, and the life of their families, but actions that also redound to the benefit of the nation at large.  When I listen to Romney, I am left with the unmistakable impression that I am hearing a man who wants to rule over me, the same as Obama, but with slightly different aims.  I hear a man who is speaking to collectivized notions of American greatness that defy 250 years of the history of individual achievements linked by the consent and volition of the achievers.  What I hear is: “New boss, same as the old boss.”  If you tell me you fear Obama more, I can’t help but wonder why.  Nothing is more terrifying to me than the thought that Mitt Romney is the best we could do in the face of Barack Obama’s four years of rampant destruction.  If true, it may mean we’ve already lost the country, and there is nothing about Barack Obama so frightening as that possibility.

 

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.

 

Will the Establishment Ever Learn? Will We?

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

The Best We Can Do?

I’ve watched with some interest as the media has all but coronated Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee, and it’s fascinating to see all of the RINO-types emerge briefly from the shadows long enough to tell us to jump on the Romney bandwagon, but frankly, I don’t give a damn about the establishment except inasmuch as they are another faction of anti-American sentiment that must be defeated.  I really wonder if the Republican establishment thinks conservatives are aboard for all of this, and to watch a news outlet like Fox News, you might have formed that impression, but for my part, I’m not interested in Romney, and I don’t believe this race is over.  My state, Texas, has yet to hold its primary, scheduled for the last Tuesday in May, and I’m not voting for Romney in that primary.  Bank on it.

When May 29th comes around, I will be voting for Newt Gingrich as the only alternative we conservatives now have, but also because Mitt Romney remains unpalatable to me.  His latter-day conversion to something approximating conservative views simply is not convincing, and I refuse to support the Massachusetts liberal.  What the establishment of the Republican party should begin to ask itself is if it gets its preferred candidate, what will have been the cost?

How many conservatives will now abandon them? It’s not fair to say I am unenthusiastic about Mitt Romney.  The notion of a lack of “enthusiasm” does the concept no justice.  I am stridently opposed to Mitt Romney, and I would like to help my conservative friends understand my reasoning.  For decades, I have watched the establishment of the GOP act as a fifth column for the Marxists on the left, always undermining conservatism, and always cutting deals with the left.  For a time, I believed they were merely misguided people who foolishly believed in a Chamberlain-like appeasement policy, but as time has gone on, I’ve realized they are much worse than that.  It’s not a matter of incompetence, but instead, a matter of malevolence.  The GOP Establishment doesn’t like conservatives, and if the truth is told, they prefer the company of their leftist friends.  In too many instances, even during the short lifetime of this blog, we have seen a number of sell-outs by the establishment of the Republican party, particularly in the legislative temperament of Speaker Boehner, who has undercut the conservatives in his own party with deals on critical issues imperiling the nation’s future.

All of us on the conservative end of the spectrum knew what would happen if Boehner cut a deal on the Debt Ceiling increase last summer, and despite our warnings, and in spite of our attempts to get them to reconsider, they went along with the insane lunacy that provided Obama trillions more in borrowed money, a piggy-bank he is already breaking in order to help his own re-election.   We knew it.  We urged Boehner and the House Republicans to stand strong.  Boehner made a deal with Reid even before the ink was dry on Cut, Cap & Balance, leaving us dangling in the breeze.  This form of surrender, whereby we find that we have no support for the most critically important items on our agenda is simply a continuance of the same old thing:  Conservatives fight for a conservative agenda, and the establishment, that gives lip service to conservatism, walks it all back at the first opportunity.  The problem with Mitt Romney is that he is a perfect example of this kind of Republican, and to date, everything he has said that claims a conservative inclination, I fully expect him to walk back.

I don’t need another president like that.  Moderate establishment types assure us that Mitt Romney is at least somebody we can hope to control, but I don’t want a President who needs to be led or controlled by conservatives in order to govern in a conservative fashion.  What’s the point in that?  If we need to spend four years of a Romney administration preventing him from surrendering to the left on a whole range of issues, I’d just as soon not have a Romney presidency.  Try, if you will, to see it from my point of view:  I’m one of those guys who pays attention to what lame-duck sessions of Congress may be doing.  Most people go back to their daily lives, post-election, hoping things will work out.  What I know is that they seldom do work out.  Instead, the permanent DC political class continues its agenda full-time, and when most Americans stop paying attention, they’re working their worst at our expense.  If Mitt Romney is President, you will do what?  How closely will you pay attention once the election is over?  Most Americans go back to their ordinary daily grind, and their usual diversions.  It’s the nature of things that the greater body of the electorate pays attention for roughly ten weeks before an election, and roughly one week afterwards, the rest of the time ignoring it unless something big happens that cannot be dismissed.  It is this that gives me pause about the notion of another President with an “R” next to his name that we conservatives would be forced to battle in order to prevent Chamberlain-like appeasements of the left.

Many like to point to the US Supreme Court as one reason that we should accept any Republican over Barack Obama, and while at first blush, this seems true, the fact is that we suffered with David Souter as a result of the presidency of George HW Bush, and had conservatives not lashed out in vigor, George W. Bush might well have appointed Harriet Miers to the court.  You see, I don’t want a Republican president who we will need to fight on judicial appointments.  Even the record of Ronald Reagan on this matter was a bit spotty, at least on the high court.   If we’re going to have a Republican president, I’d just as soon have the sense that conservatism was the default philosophy used in making decisions, rather than having to worry that it’s not going to be observed as a guiding anchor in a new administration.  The simple fact is that with another moderate, or even liberal Republican in the oval office, too many people will again assume that the policies issuing from such an administration will be conservative, but as we have seen repeatedly since the elder Bush, that’s not the case.

Conservatives simply won’t fight a Republican president, no matter how liberal, as strongly as they would a leftist demagogue like Obama.  This is not an endorsement of Obama, but what I’m waiting to see is what conservatives will explain as the method by which they will exercise control of any sort over a Romney administration, the campaign for which has done everything conceivable to ignore conservatives and win the nomination in blue states without them.  Exactly why would Mitt answer to we conservatives?  I can’t think of a single reason.  It’s for this reason that I will continue to fight for Gingrich, and hold out for a brokered convention.  I don’t blame any conservative who evaluates the record of Mitt Romney and finds it sorely lacking.   In short, I’m right there with you.  Romney simply isn’t a conservative, and he knows it.  So does the GOP establishment, that hopes to win the nomination for him, with or without conservative support. I don’t have any interest in supporting another moderate Republican in the primaries, so when the Texas primary comes around, I’ll be voting for Newt Gingrich.  He understands conservatism, even if he has not always been its most perfect practitioner.  Romney is still unpalatable to me.

Will the GOP establishment ever learn?  I suppose the answer to that question lies in the evidence.  After all, maybe they have learned.  Maybe the real lesson for the establishment is that if we conservatives have no remaining options, we’ll ultimately surrender, and go along to get along, that we conservatives will ultimately accept their leadership if only to prevent worse under leftists like Obama.  Maybe the question shouldn’t be whether the establishment of the GOP will ever learn, but whether we conservatives will ever exhibit the determination to defeat the establishment.   After all, come mid-November, as we go back to our football and our plans for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, who will be minding the store?  Us?  Or the GOP establishment?  I see this as the real problem.  It’s not a matter of Mitt Romney, so much as it is a question of our diligence.  The establishment we fight knows we will shut up, most of us, and go on quietly about our business while they run the country.  It’s not their fault.  It’s ours.

 

 

 

I Don’t Believe Conservatives Are Finished Just Yet…

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Credibility Problem Solved?

While tending to things in the aftermath of my father-in-law’s passing, word came to me that Rick Santorum had dropped out.  Conservatives have an opportunity, just one, to get this thing right.  Mitt Romney is a set-up candidate, and the fact that he’s now warning conservatives about Obama’s anti-gun agenda merely disguises his own.  I also heard a little about the Hilary Rosen flap, and I must tell you that conservatives fell for that one, hook, line and sinker.  The story was nothing if not a political set-up, and both Romney and Obama were happy for it.  For Obama, it gave him a chance to put Michelle Antoinette Obama “off limits,” and for Mitt Romney, it gave him a chance to rally the troops.  The speed of the Romney campaign response, along with the speed at which Obama and company threw Rosen under the bus was the dead giveaway.  Obama wanted a chance to put his wife’s conduct and any criticism of her “off limits,” but that’s not going to work any more than the Romney camp’s attempt to make some political hay out of it is going to help him here. I’m calling “BS” on all of it.

The throw-away remark by Rosen was just that, and another bit of political snark of the sort the Democrats will not restrain themselves from employing later.  If you’ve deluded yourself into the belief that the Obama campaign won’t go after Ann Romney in the general election campaign, let me assure you: They will be merciless.  What will happen is that nobody in the Romney campaign will go after Michelle Obama for her lavish vacations, her incessant meddling in nutrition policy, and otherwise interjecting her hypocritical views into the lives of we and our children.  Bank on the fact that a Romney campaign, as dirty as it is willing to fight against other Republicans, will show no such fervor against Barack Obama or his spouse.  What the Obamas hoped to purchase by throwing Rosen under the bus so quickly was a sort of temporary truce against spouses. They don’t want us looking too closely at Michelle’s expenditures and so on.  Why not?  Simply put, it’s scandalous how the current “first lady” has spent our money.  One need only examine how the Obamas have used their daughters as tax shelters by distributing income to them to understand why they don’t want to talk about the Obama family.  It’s a great racket they can make work so long as they have all the benefits attached to the presidency.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney needed the flap even more badly than Obama did, because he needed something to swing conservatives over in line behind him as a matter of defending his side of an argument.  Frankly, while Rosen’s remarks may well be offensive to some, to others, the ability to stay home to raise children in this day and age does smack of a certain “luxury” (the term Obama used to describe it multiple times) that most women do not enjoy.  Some women are bound to say “good for Mrs. Romney,” but there are many more for whom this plays directly into the notion of privilege and an inability to relate that has heretofore characterized Romney himself.  Fair?  Absolutely not.  Will it play a role?  Bet on it.  The emerging Obama campaign is one in which Romney will be painted as a born-to-wealth son of privilege who never served in the military, and whose five sons likewise never served.  The fact that Obama never served is immaterial to the argument they will make, and will largely succeed in advancing about the Romneys as out-of-touch and too wealthy to understand the concerns of ordinary Americans.

The “rally ’round Romney” strategy employed in response to Rosen’s remarks was not entirely unsuccessful, but it was also hardly earth-shaking.   The problem is that conservatives are more than a bit put off by the fact that one by one, they have watched the Romney machine destroy their favored candidates, only to now be thrust into the position of defending Ann Romney against the Obama machine.  Too many conservatives simply aren’t ready, but I expect there will be a number of such opportunistic appeals to rally ’round Romney in the weeks and months ahead.  Romney’s scorched Earth campaign against Gingrich and others prohibits me from feeling any sympathy, and I haven’t given up on Gingrich completely either.  Santorum’s withdrawal makes it harder if not impossible to stave off a Romney nomination, but it’s not impossible.

For my part, I have watched this from a place of detachment, caught up in my own personal issues of the moment, and it’s been easy to remain detached: I don’t like Mitt Romney’s negative attacks on Santorum, Gingrich, and the whole host of others inasmuch as they were dishonest attacks, and that’s part of why I don’t see much effective difference between he and Obama except the color of their respective jerseys, one red emblazoned with a big “R”, and the other blue and sporting a capital “D.”  If this is the best we conservatives can must in 2012, we will lose either way.  Romney isn’t likely to win, but even if he does manage victory, we’ll be confronted with an administration every bit as much composed of virulent statism as the Obama administration.  It’s hard to be enthusiastic about that, particularly as a conservative.  There’s still hope, slim and slimming as time goes on, but for now, and until further notice, I am on the Newt 2012 train.  Given the conduct of his campaign these last six-eight months, I’m not sure I can support the liberal governor from Massachusetts.  I think many other conservatives share my reservations, and that’s why some number of Santorum supporters are now shifting to Newt Gingrich.

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.

________________________________________________________________________________________

 

NOW Politico Notices Rove’s Apparent Leanings?

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Rove? Biased? Get Out!

Permit me a moment’s chuckle as I consider the brilliant “journalism” of Politico.com.  Here is an on-line “political news site” that brought to light claims by various parties against Herman Cain, along with other Pulitzer-Quality journalism that indicates just how spiffy they really are over at Politico.  Now they’ve posted a story by Kenneth Vogel and Keach Hagey speculating on the possibility that Karl Rove is assisting Mitt Romney.  Now that’s journalism!  Heck, that may qualify as outright rocket science.  I find the article laughable, but for the fact that they seem to be quite serious in their approach, a fact that makes the article all the more excruciatingly gut-busting.  Let’s be honest, shall we?  That they’ve only now arrived at the conclusion that Karl Rove might be pushing for one particular candidate is embarrassing.  Where have these guys been?

As their opening argument, they offered this:

“But it’s hard to miss, among all of Rove’s Fox commentary and Wall Street Journal columns, that he seems to favor one candidate over the others.”

No way!  Shocking!  Karl Rove favors one candidate over the others?  Is it possible?

“Over the last year, Rove has used these powerful media platforms to systematically undercut every rising Romney challenger in succession while lauding Romney’s victories as “historic.” The pattern has gotten under the skin of the supporters of Romney’s challengers, who argue that Rove has more ties to Romney and his super PAC than he is disclosing to his media audiences, and thus has no business assessing the Republican primary race as a purportedly independent analyst.”

I’d like to know what this pair of investigative gurus have been doing these last eight months.  In fairness, I will say they have done an excellent job of laying out some pertinent facts about Rove’s connections to Romney via his SuperPac, American Crossroads GPS.  What I couldn’t quite understand was why they suddenly felt the need to tell us what has been painfully obvious for some time, but they managed to tell us why they’re really concerned about Karl Rove’s machinations at this late date anyway:

“Santorum and Gingrich are both former Fox News contributors, and have been beating Romney handily, in terms of airtime, on the so-called “Fox News primary” throughout the campaign. But they are not winning the all-important Karl Rove Primary – significant both for his media prominence and his association with the super PAC American Crossroads and a sister group that together plan to spend as much as $300 million attacking President Barack Obama and other Democrats in the general election.”

That makes more sense.  It’s not that the writers are so concerned for the unfairness they document in Rove’s treatment of other candidates so much as the fact that Rove will certainly be turning his powerful machine against Barack Obama. Nevertheless, they did manage to put up a list of Rove’s dirty deeds, and it seems to match with what I have seen:

 

  • When Romney was being ridiculed for offering to bet Rick Perry $10,000 in last December’s debate, Rove told Hannity he “didn’t think it was a big mistake,” and then pivoted to attacking Gingrich for his talk of a lunar base.
  • Later that month, when Gingrich complained about being carpet-bombed by negative ads paid for by Romney’s super PAC in Iowa, Rove called him a “whiner.”
  • When Gingrich was leading the polls in January, Rove dinged Gingrich for calling Romney “a liberal” and suggesting that poor children should work as janitors in schools.
  • In mid-February, as Santorum was coming off a batch of wins, Rove said Santorum’s views on contraception, particularly within the bounds of marriage, “appears to be judgmental,” before going on to call Gingrich a “whiner” once again.
  • As things were looking close between Romney and Santorum in Michigan, Rove accused the press of “rooting for Santorum to win even though they are hammering him with a lot of social things” because “the media is rooting for Obama to win.”
  • On the night of the Michigan and Arizona primaries, he echoed the Romney campaign’s complaints about Santorum’s robocalls to Democrats and called out Santorum for labeling Obama a “snob” for wanting everyone to have a college education. That, Rove said, “hurt more than what you might think” because “most of us believe that higher education is a means for prosperity.”
  • In his Wall Street Journal column following those primaries, he declared the primary “solidly in Mitt Romney’s direction” and proceeded to reiterate Santorum’s “unforced errors,” from the college comment to his dismissal of John F. Kennedy’s speech about the separation between church and state.
  • Even when Rove is critical of Romney, as he was in a Feb. 1 Journal column declaring the “Romney campaign is tilted too heavily toward biography and not nearly enough toward ideas,” he acts like a supportive adviser doling out constructive criticism, tossing in lines boosting Romney and chiding Gingrich for their respective handling of Paul Ryan’s budget.

That’s a pretty decent laundry list of recent Rove doings, but as they point out, there are more complete lists including Tommy Christopher’s at Mediaite, penned back in December, noting that Rove was doing a number on Gingrich at the time, but he listed many others.

Of course, it’s difficult to say with any precision what may be lingering between Karl Rove’s ears.  I’ve never had any particular problem expressing my own concerns about his whiteboard antics on FoxNews, including some of the garbage he was heaving in the direction of Sarah Palin late last summer.  As The Politico piece concludes, Rove is part of the GOP establishment now, and his antics merely prove the point that if he’s involved, it’s because he has a dog in this hunt, as I asserted all those months ago.  As I said then, Karl Rove is a master manipulator and this is how he operates.  None of this is surprising to me, and I’m stunned that it’s taken Politico this long to notice.