Patterico's Pontifications

1/22/2012

The Girl Who Cried Newt

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 11:40 am



[Posted by Karl]

When it comes to WaPo blogger Jennifer Rubin, I’m not likely to top Dan McLaughlin: “For months, she mocked stop-Romney movements. Now this, writ & stained with tears”:

Dear Govs. Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal; Sens. Jon Kyl, Marco Rubio and Jim DeMint; and Reps. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and Mike Pence (R-Ind.):

***

*** The voters in their infinite wisdom have just given a huge boost to perhaps the only GOP candidate who could shift the spotlight from President Obama to himself, alienate virtually all independent voters, lose more than 40 states and put the House majority in jeopardy.

***

So how about it? One of you can run yourself. Or you can instead collectively get behind a not-Gingrich candidate. But really, if you are to have a Republican Party to lead one day in the future, you can’t very well do nothing.

My own view is that any one of you would be preferable as a candidate to Newt Gingrich, as would either Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney…

Rubin’s agenda here is typically transparent.  Although styled as a “Anyone but Newt” plea, Ron Paul is implictly eliminated and NJ Gov. Chris Christie gets a pass because he has endorsed Mitt Romney.  Indeed, she’s not stupid enough to believe any of her targets could plausibly enter the race at this point; her piece is merely a plea for Romney endorsements.

Although generally critical of Rubin’s modus operandi (note she was equally critical of Romney to boost McCain in 2008), I previously kinda-sorta defended her, arguing conservatives disporortionately attacked her work because her prominent position at the WaPo presents a skewed view of the Right to a mass audience.  However, the problems with Rubin run deeper and beyond the merits of her argument.

The fact that Rubin’s diagnosis of the Romney campaign is that it lacks enough establishment endorsement says much about Rubin as a thinker, not much of it good.  Those who do not read my work regularly should know upfront that I find the amount of venom spewed by some in the ongoing RINO/TruCon argument on the Right to be tedious.  It’s an argument that leads both sides to make arguments that simply have no empirical support.  Rubin is pretty clearly on the RINO side of that dispute and for the purposes of this post, I do not hold it against her. 

However, Rubin’s analysis of the  campaign — i.e., Romney needs more endorsements, Romney needs to attack Newt (as though he hasn’t), Newt’s populism can be easily dismissed — is dull-witted, even when she has a point.  The TruCon perspective is so (to use the Newtian term) fundamentally illegitimate to Rubin that it must be denied or crushed — as though there are not political consequences which would follow.  The populism surging on both the Right and Left in the wake of the Wall Street meltdown and subsequent Obama malaise may not be an unalloyed good, but the lesson of South Carolina is it is one of the biggest obstacles to a Romney nomination and his supporters ignore or mock it at their peril.

Romney’s skid — both in SC and national polls — coincided with renewed attacks on Romney’s image as a fatcat financier.  However much Rubin — or I — may find those attacks wrong or unfair in many cases, it was obvious to everyone that such attacks would come.  Well, obvious to everyone except Camp Romney (including Rubin, apparently).  Rubin’s blog over the past few days has been an echo of the the flailing Romney campaign, stuck in denial that Romney should have been better prepared and running a more competent campaign (especially as competence is what Romney is selling).

As someone who has catalogued Newt’s flaws as a candidate , noted that he is an idiosyncratic revolutionary in ways which may be unconservative and found his attacks on the courts to be over-the-top, I should be the sort of person to whom Rubin’s views might appeal.  But if her dismissal of large factions of the movement were not offensive enough, Rubin seems unable to express that dismissal in any manner other than disingenuous condescension.  Her agenda is transparent, but she seems to think she’s cleverly cloaking it in pieces like today’s “open letter.”  I think even those who disagree with Rubin more than I do would at least respect her more if she honestly wrote that she thinks Mitt is the only electable candidate in the race and that the entire weight of the establishment needs to publicly destroy Newt Gingrich this very minute.  Her disingenous attempts at subtlety make her sound like The Girl Who Cried Newt — even if she’s right, she’s bound to be ignored.

–Karl

147 Responses to “The Girl Who Cried Newt”

  1. So why not just ignore her, then? Wa Po is high-profile, but it isn’t nation-wide.

    The usual suspects to drop by and claim that she represents the typical Romney fanatic in 3 … 2 … 1 …

    Icy (83a940)

  2. The usual suspects to shill for Romney in 3…2…1….

    Oh wait Icy.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  3. Icy,

    First, the WaPo is one of the most heavily trafficked sites in the world, and Rubin is their “conservative” blogger. That’s why people don’t ignore her, as I noted in the post.

    Second, at the risk of getting a little “inside blogging,” it has been my experience that in blogging, as in the establishment media, people become much more engaged with stories about people than about policy or even ideology. Thus, it is often useful to start the discussion you want by riffing off a personality. It is my hope that people who start reading because they like or dislike Rubin will absorb the points about the pluses and minuses of populism, the RINO/TruCon divide, and the actual weaknesses of the Romney campaign, either consciously or subconsciously.

    Indeed, in this case, perhaps some in Camp Romney might recognize that blaming the voters is not a winning campaign strategy, while TruCons might consider that Rubin, for all of her obnoxiousness, is not necessarily wrong about Newt.

    I’ll grant you it may not work as well as I’d like. But I guarantee that if I made the same points in a more academic way, even fewer would read it at all.

    Karl (8cdbad)

  4. He and Mrs. Rubin…. they got a thing goin’ on.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  5. Rubin doesn’t really understand the underlying dynamic;

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/newts_third_law.html

    narciso (87e966)

  6. Or here, like I say I have no illusions but this same crew had the same disdain for Palin, for Perry,
    and even Cain, when they were addressing real issues;

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/psst_hear_the_roar_and_pay_attention.html

    narciso (87e966)

  7. narciso,

    I think Clarice starts with an interesting point, but detours into some conventional conservative wisdom about Newt’s media-bashing.

    The underlying dynamic is a populist one fueled by widespread mistrust in government and other big institutions like the MSM. It’s not necessarily that Rubin doesn’t get it, but that she lets her disdain for it get in the way of accepting that the party which taps into it without capitulating entirely to it will have a big political advantage.

    Karl (8cdbad)

  8. narciso,

    …and conversely, I find the Wright piece about half-right for different reasons. Clearly, much of Newt’s support comes from those who want a “fighter.” Unfortunately, people in that camp never want to entertain the idea that the 7-10% of casual voters who will decide the election are the most likely to be repelled by a pugilist. They don’t like fights; that’s why they don’t like politics in the first place. That’s why Obama and the MSM went out of their way to pretend O was a centrist, even in the middle of an economic calamity favorable to the challenger.

    Karl (8cdbad)

  9. they both know that it’s wrong, but it’s much too strong to let it go now…

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  10. I’ve stopped reading Rubin. She’s tedious and predictable in her rallying for Romney. A lot like some commenters here, matter of fact.

    Newt has passion, ideas, a stated goal of a much smaller government and is (clearly) a human being.

    Romney has a carefully crafted 59-point plan, a deep and professional staff, a lot of money and a careful manner. But he could be a robot for all I know.

    What is electable? Obama would have been unelectable in any other year, and would have lost in 2008 — even given W — had it not been for the fortuitous market meltdown and a bumbling opponent. (Go look at the punditry the day before.) But the stars lined up and he had the persona to capitalize on it. He captured the people’s passion. Hope & Change.

    They (TIME, Newsweek, etc) said Ronald Reagan was unelectable all throughout 1980. Right up to the moment he CONNECTED with voters by saying “I paid for that microphone, Mr Green!” After that it was easy, and when he said “There you go again”, “we” were already on his side.

    Passion matters; it shows the true core beliefs. It is what gets political resonance going and sustains it. Nobody ever in the history of time walked precincts for a 59-point plan (at least this side of the LP or Greens). People react and vote on feelings, even those who won’t admit it.

    If Mitt has a chance, he has to let his hair down and let us know who he really is. And not just a looser mask. We may not like what we see. Then again we might. But right now all we have is the mask and that won’t do.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  11. The other thing about Rubin is that she is doing the same scorched-earth attack on Newt that she incorrectly accused Newt of using against Mitt. I expect that she will shortly declare that if Newt wins it she’ll vote for Barack. I am so done with her.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  12. How come Sarah Palin wasn’t on her list?

    Kevin M (563f77)

  13. Karl – I attribute Gingrich’s success this past week to the two debates and the attendant publicity surrounding them. As you yourself have noted, Gingrich has never been a traditional conservative on any axis and his voting record is more moderate than both Boehner and Hastert.

    As you said, “Gingrich has engaged in a rolling series of flip-flops, on (among other issues) Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, universal healthcare (including anindividual mandate), Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, education, and the cap-and-tax scheme for carbon emissions. (For immigration hardliners who didn’t like Perry calling them heartless, note Newt used the same word for them in the first GOP debate this year.) He also will likely be shown to be on both sides of the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played in the housing bubble (his involvement with the GSEs goes back further than commonly known, too). In short, Newt is not Romney, but he’s not exactly NotRomney, either.”

    He’s a disgraced ex-Speaker who is lobbyist in sheep’s clothing. I love the fireworks he brings to the table, but I think he’s erratic and his temperament is more suited to talk radio than the Oval Office.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  14. daleyrocks,

    Obvsly, I agree with most of that, having written most of it. It’s a shame that Rubin seems incapable of making the case as succinctly as you did, instead of rolling out the counter-productive condescension. However, I did also write that it’s a “pick your poison” situation. Newt lacks in temperament, but I’m increasingly concerned (in addition to my prior concerns) that (a) Team Romney is misreading the mood of the electorate; and (b) that mood might be too populist for his candidacy in a general election.

    Karl (8cdbad)

  15. Newt’s Jolt in SC came when he savaged the media. S.C. troglydytes may have loved it, but they are oblivious to the troubles posed by a Gingrich GOP nomininaton.

    DV1252x (045cef)

  16. Karl, I basically agree with your analysis, but at the same time I can’t see your average voter in, say, Nebraska giving a flying fig about her opinion. Those voters don’t care if “the establishment” is behind Romney; they want to know that Romney is behind them.

    Icy (83a940)

  17. te digo la verdad, mis amigos… y la verdad nos hará libres a todos.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  18. DV1252x – have you met Colonel Haiku?

    JD (318f81)

  19. He was assessed the cost of the investigation, 300 K, some what akin to the 500,000 in legal costs that Sarah incurred to defend herself. So that
    really isn’t going to fly.

    narciso (87e966)

  20. I wish we could have Dave Weigel back representing the conservative position at the WaPo.

    MayBee (081489)

  21. yikes

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  22. How is it on the sidelines, JD? Any splinters yet?

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  23. How is it on Romney’s side yet? Mouth bruised yet?

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  24. Very few delegates have actually been picked. Ms. Rubin obviously is banging her spoon on her high chair about GOP voters not liking Romney. But a brokered convention becomes more likely each passing day. Jeb Bush has gone from possibly endorsing Romney to staying neutral in the Florida primary. And let’s face it; as much as the thought of another Bush is nauseating he would be a better nominee than anyone running. But it would usck to know that since the day reagan went home the GOP has been a charade for one powerful family that isn’t conservative in the least. Bush would carry all those “superdelegates” across the GOP that his brother and dada dealt with for years. Another gin&tonic at the country club for everyone!

    I will cast my vote in the NY primary for Ron Paul. Again.And hold my nose in November for whom ever. Again.

    Bugg (ea1809)

  25. Florida throwdown
    piggish eyes wink, in on joke
    Everglades await

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  26. Karl,

    This is your best post of the current election cycle.

    Romney’s strategy, all along, has seemed to be one of running out the clock while holding his cards close to his vest. To be honest with you, I have a poorer understanding of who Romney is and the principles he holds than any other candidate in the field. Who is this man?

    I am hoping that the stunning defeat in South Carolina will finally force Romney to come out to play on the field of big ideas, because I am fairly confident, though by no means certain, that Romney has the intellect and depth of character make a good showing. It is time for Mitt to face off with Newt. Ours will be a stronger party and a stronger nation if Romney backs off on the televised smears and finally shows us what he is made of.

    Of course, Occam’s Razor tells us that Romney has not made such a showing because he cannot make such a showing.

    Yours truly,

    ThOR

    ThOR (94646f)

  27. Maybee – hahahhaha

    sarahw (b0e533)

  28. I like what Kevin wrote:

    “…Passion matters; it shows the true core beliefs….”

    But it all depends on two things:

    1. Passion not being the same as craziness.
    2. Passion being genuine, and about issues, not personalities.

    It’s also important to remember that Dear Leader is out of the loop right now. I want Mr. Obama out there, tussling.

    As long he is quiet, and the Right attacks different factions of itself, he wins.

    Why, I have many friends who truly think that Mr. Gingrich saying “Juan” to Mr. Williams was racist, that the applause of the crown against the way the MSM acts was “a rallying cry of racists.”

    Don’t be surprised to see an awful lot of this in the coming election.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  29. Fyi… gabby giffords to resign.

    Click the link on my name.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  30. I think Jennifer Rubin, other journalists, and bloggers who write about Jennifer Rubin and other journalists, should save the rest of us from wasting our time reading about what Jennifer Rubin and other journalists pontificate. I agree with the first responder here.

    Why don’t you just get off the fence and tell us why we should vote for whoever it is you think the better candidate. I don’t think an opinion of what Jennifer Rubin has to say, or not say, is very cogent or interesting.

    frank (dfb62a)

  31. Rubin doesn’t really understand the underlying dynamic;

    So the underlying dynamic is Republicans want to go after the liberal media, not win the election.

    Gerald A (b4fe48)

  32. The political junkie in me would love to see Gingrich tear it up as the Republican nominee, lambasting the media and zinging Obama in a debate. There is no question that Gingrich is the best speaker and debater among the remaining four. However, the pragmatist in me acknowledges that the average American decides things differently than us wonks. For every vote that Gingrich gains from the red meat contingent, he will likely lose more than one from the centrists and independents. Elections are won by attracting swing voters, and I fear Gingrich would fail at this.

    On the other hand, I am also frustrated with Romney. Unlike others here, it is not his political record that bothers me so much. He was the governor of Massachusetts, for crying out loud. There, you can either be a moderate, and accomplish some good, or be a conservative, and not even get elected.

    No, what bothers me with Romney is that he seems to be too tightly wound, too robotic, too nervous, and overeager. He doesn’t come across very naturally. It’s almost as if he was beaten as a kid, and still carries some kind of emotional scar. It’s too bad his Mormon faith doesn’t allow him to drink; I actually think he would do better if he had a drink or two before debating. Short of that, maybe he should try what George H.W. Bush did before debating Dukakis—get a nice, deep-tissue massage.

    I don’t like Santorum because he is too sanctimonious, puts social issues first, and would probably erect trade barriers.

    I love Ron Paul when it comes to domestic issues, but he is too extreme on foreign policy. I want to scream every time he equates Iran having a nuclear weapon with the Soviet bloc having nuclear bombs. Somebody should point out to him that Communists, atheists that they are, don’t want to die. Radical Islamists see dying as a badge of honor. Besides, Ron Paul is just too old to begin a presidency.

    norcal (dac205)

  33. In a word, Romney doesn’t have a base.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (b59509)

  34. Hey Bradley,

    Remember me from the old Cathy Seipp / Festering Swamp days? Good to hear from you again.

    norcal (dac205)

  35. norcal, I do indeed remember you from those classic days! And I’m likewise glad to find you here.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (b59509)

  36. I long for those days. I still haven’t found a blog that gives me a fix like that one did. For hard-core politics, this blog is good. But Cathy wrote about much more than just politics.

    norcal (dac205)

  37. Newt’s Jolt in SC came when he savaged the media.

    Not true. There were two debates in SC and it was the first one (before the ex’s thing broke) that tore things loose. The tirade against King in the second one merely kept it going, but he was winning SC before that. Why do you think that story “broke”?

    Kevin M (563f77)

  38. Gerald A,

    I’d say the underlying dynamic is Republicans have to go after the liberal media to win the election.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  39. If history is indeed an instructive guide, then there is no need for the GOP establishmentarians to coordinate Newt’s destruction, no more than their efforts are needed to induce the decay of an unstable radioisotope.

    Newt’s original half-life was measured in years, but now — consistent with the Feller Faster Thesis and his own predilections — it’s measured in months, or perhaps even weeks. Nevertheless, any single incident of decay effectively seems randomly timed. Will one come before the Florida primary, or after? I don’t pretend to know when.

    But I expect it.

    Beldar (88eab4)

  40. (Sorry, that ought to have read “Feiler Faster Thesis.” Sorry, Mr. Feiler.)

    Beldar (88eab4)

  41. Beldar, if you are right, then at least Newt has done the GOP a huge service in getting Romney to perfect his responses on a number of issues. I don’t think any other candidate has had the chops to make Romney sweat.

    BTW, your criticisms of Newt have really tempered my enthusiasm about him because they are factual and presented without any kind of hostility (just to be clear, I’m not being sarcastic… it’s clearer to me that Newt is problematic). I do prefer Newt among those remaining, but it’s like ordering from the value menu at Taco Bell.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  42. I do prefer Newt among those remaining, but it’s like ordering from the value menu at Taco Bell.

    That’s a good line, Dustin, and gave me a grin.

    We’ve got this weird, ungainly, semi-random process for picking our party’s nominee. It is not democratic. It is not rational. It’s geographically ridiculous, arbitrarily awarding the same unrepresentative GOP states extraordinary relative voices for absolutely no defensible reason, apparently in perpetuity. Our system is, once again, producing a crop of candidates to choose from which doesn’t include the party’s best talent. It’s selecting for those who want to be President, but not those who are best qualified to be President, nor most likely to win. Why do we accept that year after year? How many more Bob Doles and John McCains are we going to nominate before we realize that our system is consistently giving us second- or even third-rate nominees?

    Whoever wins this year’s nomination, the nomination system has to be changed. Indeed, there may end up being no choice but to reform it, because it’s tottering toward a potentially self-destructive catastrophe in this election cycle.

    Beldar (88eab4)

  43. I’d say the underlying dynamic is Republicans have to go after the liberal media to win the election.

    Perhaps more fitting at this thread:

    Newt Gingrich’s big, slobbering mutual love affair with the elite media

    Toby Harden explains the unique relationship Newt has with the media, and they with him.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  44. Unfortunately, Beldar, in this day and age getting a decent presidential nominee is only half the battle. We also have to be able to get him elected.

    A Des Moines man (a former Obama campaign staffer) has been arrested after police say he used, or tried to use, the identity of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz in a scheme to falsely implicate Schultz in perceived unethical behavior in office.

    Zachary Edwards was arrested Friday and charged with identity theft.

    You will recall that ACORN and other Democratic satellites organized a campaign a couple of years back to install their allies in Secretary of State offices in as many key states as possible. Such officials are responsible for enforcing – or not enforcing – state election laws.

    Being a Republican, Schultz represented an obstacle to the plan. Could that be why Edwards sought to, according to the Des Moines Register, falsify Schultz identity in an effort to implicate him in a scandal that would result in his possible removal from office or defeat in the next election?

    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/former-obama-staffer-arrested-false-id-scheme/327441

    elissa (28c05d)

  45. How many more Bob Doles and John McCains are we going to nominate before we realize that our system is consistently giving us second- or even third-rate nominees?

    You know…
    People can and do disagree with a lot of his politics, but there is no denying that Mitt Romney has a unique set of skills that demonstrate competency for an executive, beyond what many or most of our presidents have had, even pre-primary voting.

    He excelled at school. He’s run a successful business. He’s been a governor. He’s turned the corrupt winter Olympics around. It’s a great resume.

    There are not many men more qualified to lead than that. Say you don’t like his historical policies if you want, but he doesn’t fall into the “woe is me! Look what schlubs we have running for president” category.

    MayBee (081489)

  46. Jenny is a rented mule, a journo-skank.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  47. Rubin is a Romney skank in much the way Debbie Schlussel is a self-promoting skank.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  48. Beldar,

    I’m open to tweaking the system but I think MayBee’s right about Romney, and the other candidates aren’t chopped liver. The fact that people sign up to run makes it harder for them to back out when the going gets tough, or to get discouraged and quit after they are elected. Furthermore, I’d hate to select Presidential candidates the way we select, for example, federal judges. Can you imagine a President like Souter?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  49. 42. “Our system is, once again, producing a crop of candidates to choose from which doesn’t include the party’s best talent”

    Rather obviously, the party’s best talent doesn’t love their country more than their families.

    Ryan and Palin for two, one an establishment sort the other not, are virtually beyond reproach and would mop the floor with Obama in the wretched shape he’ll be in.

    If we cannot protect our people without joining in the beatdown its as much our fault as the enemy.

    Leadership begins at the top and the dirtiest, least principled players on our side started this whole cockup.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  50. he doesn’t fall into the “woe is me! Look what schlubs we have running for president” category.

    Since he was a particularly poor governor, ending a string of Republican governors, and increasing taxes enormously, as well as spending, as well as restrictions on freedoms

    Yeah, maybe schlub is the wrong word for that, but he’s not good at the job, if the job is beating democrats.

    Newt shut the government down and got the budget on track, so there are few men more qualified to lead us to do what must be done.

    It is good that he excelled at Harvard Law. So did Barack Obama. When we look at how Mitt ran Bain, one of his primary credentials, people start getting angry that a negative analysis equals a criticism of capitalism itself, which is tone deaf given what Wall Street types did to America leading to the 2008 meltdown, making most Americans poorer in their hunt for profits. Making money in a way that leads to bailouts is something conservatives should not be OK with, and that’s something Bain has done.

    The olympics issue I’ll grant is also good, but it is difficult for that to balance out $20 billion Romneycare predictably lost.

    I think Republicans should be very, very disappointed in the schlubs we’re left with. I mean, John Mccain beat Romney, and we just plain need to do better than that.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  51. Wow, $101 a month per person is a steep penalty.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  52. I’m open to tweaking the system but I think MayBee’s right about Romney, and the other candidates aren’t chopped liver.

    They are all considerably more experienced than Barack was in 2008, but John Mccain was more electable than Romney. I am disappointed in the remaining contenders.

    One reason I’m disappointed is that the GOP actually has a ton of folks who would be better candidates, but they either didn’t run or they were crushed. I think that points to something wrong with how we’re selecting candidates.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  53. I understand that guys like Rove really are talented. Yet he certainly did more to torpedo Shrub than any sin W. committed. But Rove’s influence continues because he wins some.

    OTOH, John Sununu is a disaster and an artless goon, failing at every opportunity. The GOP has got to terminate such vermin if it is to survive.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  54. Yeah, maybe schlub is the wrong word for that, but he’s not good at the job, if the job is beating democrats.

    No. The job of being president or governor is not “beating Democrats”.

    MayBee (081489)

  55. The thing is, Newt’s weaknesses paired with his strengths serve the conservative cause.

    He’s not nice and he’s not TeFlon. He’s covered in Pam though, a greased pig who will outrun your barbecue tongs.

    His bandwagoning, lack oF principle, lack oF discipline are strengths in this campaign. The electorate wants him to get out oF the establishment grasp to reign in his run.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  56. One reason I’m disappointed is that the GOP actually has a ton of folks who would be better candidates, but they either didn’t run or they were crushed. I think that points to something wrong with how we’re selecting candidates.

    It seems the very ones that are able to honestly assess themselves and their lack of desire to push on to something greater, like POTUS, are the very ones we should have running. Their practicality and humility makes me think they are realistic about themselves, which in our current crop, isn’t necessarily so. (See: Christie (he believes he isn’t ready) and Ryan/Rubio (believe they can accomplish more right where they are).

    Dana (4eca6e)

  57. No. The job of being president or governor is not “beating Democrats”.

    Comment by MayBee —

    I respect your opinion, Maybee, but I disagree. I very much think the #1 priority for the next president will be undoing entitlement and other spending disasters… such as Obamacare, and not with double talk about repeal that leads to a very liberal replacement. It will be very hard to do, and it will basically mean fighting democrats at every turn.

    There are other aspects, but I think Santorum, Romney, and Gingrich are largely similar on them so they are not good ways to grade them.

    I want to beat democrats on entitlement spending and the deficit.

    And insofar as Republicans have gone along with democrats and become part of the problem, as Romney’s tax and spend policies I linked above have, in my opinion, that is basically a core failure.

    Now, is it really a failure? Reasonable people disagree.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  58. When Christie was deciding whether or not he would run, lots of people were complaining that he’s not a real conservative, was too-pro amnesty and believed in global warming. Plus he was fat.

    MayBee (081489)

  59. I respect your opinion, Maybee, but I disagree

    So is Obama’s job properly defined as beating Republicans?

    MayBee (081489)

  60. Dana, I just realized I said Newt was one of the best to do the job above. That was hyperbole. It’s great that he was part of some really hard fighting that actually gained ground against the democrats. I wish the GOP was more like that.

    But I don’t sincerely think Newt is some special amazing breed of leader, to be honest.

    That’s one reason Mitt’s more sober fans are not way off base. I disagree, but I don’t really see any of these guys as particularly super, so it’s not a huge disagreement anymore.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  61. I’m in SW Florida and the smear campaign is heating up. TV is full of anti-Newt smears from a Romney Super PAC (www.Restoreourfuture.com). I was almost certainly going to vote for Romney, but not now, no way.

    From Wikipedia:

    Restore Our Future is a political action committee (PAC) created to support Mitt Romney in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election…

    Restore Our Future was founded by Romney aides in 2010. Charles Spies, the group’s treasurer and former general counsel for Romney’s 2008 campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination, described Restore Our Future as “an independent effort focused on getting Romney elected president.” The group reported raising over $12 million in the first half of 2011, in the form of large donations from approximately 90 wealthy individuals and corporations. Spies declined to discuss specific contributors to the PAC.

    As of August 2011, the largest individual contributor to Restore Our Future was John Paulson, a billionaire and hedge fund manager who is, according to Politico, “famous for [having enriched] himself by betting on the collapse of the housing industry.” An additional million dollars came from W Spann LLC, a corporation with no record of actual business activities. W Spann LLC was incorporated, donated to the PAC, and then dissolved in a matter of months, attracting concerns from election-watchdog groups and campaign-finance experts about the use of dummy corporations to shield large campaign contributions from public scrutiny.

    Several watchdog groups requested that the Justice Department and Federal Election Commission investigate donations to Restore Our Future from W Spann LLC as possible violations of campaign-finance law. Restore Our Future declined to provide additional details about the donation and asserted that it had complied with existing laws. In response to rumors, a spokesman for Bain Capital, an equity firm previously headed by Romney, stated that W Spann LLC “is not affiliated with Bain Capital or any of our employees.”

    Shortly thereafter, Edward Conard, a former top executive at Bain Capital and longtime Romney supporter, came forward to state that he had formed W Spann LLC and funded and authorized the $1 million contribution. Conard requested that Restore Our Future amend its filings to reflect that he, rather than W Spann LLC, donated the $1 million.

    ropelight (d8d97d)

  62. Bless your heart and good luck with that, MayBee. If you use a 2X4 you may have limited success.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  63. So is Obama’s job properly defined as beating Republicans?

    Comment by MayBee

    No, it’s beating democrats. Because beating democrat policies like Obamacare and enormous spending are essential to the continued existence of this country’s government.

    Democrats are wrong. If that’s not a given than much of what I’m saying won’t make sense.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  64. As of August 2011, the largest individual contributor to Restore Our Future was John Paulson, a billionaire and hedge fund manager who is, according to Politico, “famous for [having enriched] himself by betting on the collapse of the housing industry.”

    Sad, but it’s no surprise to me to see such people so interested in having a huge stake in the next presidency. They sure as hell aren’t doing this for nothing.

    On the other hand, Newt and Fannie Mae. It isn’t like when I supported Rick Perry and could feel righteous about it. :)

    Dustin (7362cd)

  65. خیره به عنوان یک قاطر، ضخیم به عنوان آجر.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  66. A less biased view of Romney’s tax and spend policies from the Club for Growth:

    Taxes:
    “When Romney was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 through 2007, he had a mixed record on taxes. During his initial 2002 campaign, Romney refused to sign an anti-tax pledge, but he pledged to balance the budget without raising taxes and touted his fulfillment of that pledge throughout his term. But the details suggest that he broke his verbal commitment. While it is true that Governor Romney did not impose any broad-based tax hikes despite pressure from liberal special interests and an inherited budget deficit, he imposed a slew of fee hikes and tax “loophole” closures, together with spending cuts, in order to eliminate the budget gap.

    The largest of these was $259 million worth of fee hikes in FY 2004, the bulk of which came from higher Registry of Deeds fees. Smaller fee hikes, including higher charges for boaters and golfers, were imposed in FY 2003 and FY 2005. Romney also sought $128 million worth of so-called tax loophole closures for FY 2004; $70 million for FY 2005; and $170 million for FY 2006, which were later reduced to $85 million due to a backlash from business leaders.

    That said, Governor Romney’s single term contained some solid efforts to promote pro-growth tax policy. In May of 2004, Mitt Romney proposed cutting the state’s income tax rate from 5.3% to 5.0%—a measure Massachusetts voters had approved in a 2000 referendum, but was blocked by the State Legislature in 2002. The proposed tax cut would have provided $675 million in relief over a year and a half. When the Massachusetts Legislature refused to budge, Romney proposed the same tax cut in 2005 and again in 2006 with no success. Romney was more successful when he took on the State Legislature for imposing a retroactive tax on capital gains earnings. After a bloody fight, Romney succeeded in passing a bill preventing the capital gains tax from being applied retroactively, resulting in a rebate of $275 million for capital gains taxes collected in 2002. Governor Romney also signed legislation that provided property tax relief to seniors in 2005, along with a gimmicky two-day sales tax-free shopping holiday.”

    Spending:
    “Governor Romney’s record on spending must be considered within the liberal political context in which he governed. The Massachusetts Legislature was (and continues to be) dominated by Democrats more interested in raising taxes than cutting government programs. Throughout his tenure, Romney’s proposed cuts were met with opposition while the vast majority of his vetoes were relegated to the graveyard of overrides.

    On balance, his record comes out more positive than negative, especially when one considers that average spending increased only 2.22% over his four years, well below the population plus inflation benchmark of nearly 3%.

    Governor Romney receives credit for reducing actual spending unilaterally in Fiscal Year FY2003, even though he entered office halfway into the fiscal year, because of the tremendous spending cuts he forced down the Legislature’s throat in January of 2003. Facing a $650 million deficit he inherited from the previous administration, Romney convinced the unfriendly State Legislature to grant him unilateral power to make budget cuts and unveiled $343 million in cuts to cities, healthcare, and state agencies. This fiscal discipline continued in 2004, in which Romney continued to slash “nearly every part of state government” to close a $3 billion deficit.

    At the same time, Governor Romney clearly loosened the purse strings for FY 2006 and in his proposed budget for FY2007. With surpluses flowing into the state coffers, the Romney administration sought to undo some of the success it had achieved during the initial lean years. The result was a budget proposal for 2007 that was a whopping 10.12% larger than the preceding fiscal year.

    To his credit, Romney attempted to cut down on government spending by streamlining many duplicative and wasteful elements of Beacon Hill. Some of his more ambitious proposals were rejected by his über-liberal Legislature. These include: his plans to overhaul the wasteful Boston Municipal Court and close underused courthouses; merge the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority with the Highway Department; decentralize management of the University of Massachusetts; streamline the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission; and phase out the obsolete Worcester State Hospital where employees outnumber patients nearly 3 to 1.

    Governor Romney successfully consolidated the social service and public health bureaucracy and restructured the Metropolitan District Commission. Romney even eliminated half of the executive branch’s press positions, saving $1.2 million. He also used his emergency fiscal powers to make $425 million worth of cuts in 2006, taking particular aim at local earmarks, instead of allowing the Legislature to dip into the state’s $1.2 billion rainy day fund. While there is no question that Governor Romney’s initial fiscal discipline slacked off in the second half of his term, on balance, he imposed some much-needed fiscal discipline on a very liberal Massachusetts Legislature.”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  67. Dustin, you wrote: “But I don’t sincerely think Newt is some special amazing breed of leader, to be honest.”

    What I am seeing is that Newt, bless his baggage, is leading. A big part of his appeal is that he is fulfilling a longed-for void in leadership in unapologetic direction of a ferocious intellect (if not elevated principle) to the defense of American exceptionalism. He might be more of a hired gun but if he stakes the claim and makes the case, it’s better than no one doing it.

    sarahw (b0e533)

  68. “people start getting angry that a negative analysis equals a criticism of capitalism itself, which is tone deaf given what Wall Street types did to America leading to the 2008 meltdown, making most Americans poorer in their hunt for profits. Making money in a way that leads to bailouts is something conservatives should not be OK with, and that’s something Bain has done.”

    Dustin – What led to the meltdown in 2008 was a collapse of the bubble in the housing market and mortgage markets, along with their related derivative markets. I’m not aware that Bain Capital even played in those sectors, which is why trying to link the firm to that meltdown is a disingenuous ploy. If you have different information, I would love to see it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  69. Romneybots accuse others of biased?

    😯

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  70. of being biased*

    Awwwwww man.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  71. Bradley, that’s hilarious.

    The joke just goes on and on and never gets old.

    What I am seeing is that Newt, bless his baggage, is leading.

    All I mean is that my support of Newt is tempered and realistic (not saying yours isn’t). He has led successfully in the past, and his current rhetoric is showing much more leadership than I’m seeing from the other candidates.

    I just read Narciso’s link with Newt discussing the media’s failure to discuss Obama’s past. It really is like Newt is filling a void conservatives have wanted. One problem will be how well he keeps that up in the future, of course.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  72. Whoever wins this year’s nomination, the nomination system has to be changed. Indeed, there may end up being no choice but to reform it, because it’s tottering toward a potentially self-destructive catastrophe in this election cycle.

    Beldar,

    We need to go to a balanced primary system, say with 4 primary days over 4 months, starting with perhaps 4 states in March then 8 in April, then 16 then the rest in June. Not sure how you choose the sates because neither regional primaries nor randomly chosen states appeal to me.

    But that still won’t get us the best candidates until the vetting process becomes more civilized. Everyone has skeletons, and no one wants the weird things they did in college or the stuff they did as a teenager dragged out for all to see as we do now. Whether it is Clinton’s trysts or Obama’s coke or Newt’s marriages or whatever, this politics of personal destruction has to stop. There needs to be a line, and the voters have to define it and effing bury anyone who crosses it. Even if it is done by a SuperPAC.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  73. Yes, but the press is a large part of the problem,
    from the Times to the Nutroots, and really there isn’t a whole lot of daylight between them,

    narciso (87e966)

  74. it’s so much nicer having arguments about Romney with his supporters like Maybee, who clearly has a good faith vision for what she wants from the president.

    It’s totally fine that she doesn’t think the president needs to be so ideological. I mean, Obama has been terribly ideological and it’s a problem of its own. I can understand someone wanting a humdrum competent manager, instead of a partisan, and if I thought that, maybe Romney would appeal a lot more to me.

    Not sure how you choose the sates because neither regional primaries nor randomly chosen states appeal to me.

    I like regional primaries because it’s logistically much easier, and I think anything that makes it easier to run will tend to favor grass roots and reforming outsiders who can’t afford a more difficult process. I also would like to see states with unconstitutional rules for ballot access shame those who created them, and simplify ballot access.

    I think whatever we come up with, we should just rotate the order of elections every four years. the leaders of each state need to grow up and make a deal with eachother. I know the states at the beginning right now are absolutely obnoxious about refusing to do this, and we just plain need to beat them.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  75. Something else, to consider, in 1980, there was on debate before the 1st primary, in 1988, 8, today I think the number is around 12, it’s doubtful we really got any more useful information, or even really built up organization under those conditions

    narciso (87e966)

  76. Why do I care about what a WaPo drone says, especially about who is “electable?” (Stupid term, ever since ovomit got elected. It’s obvious that term means nothing.) How about something of substance?

    Hopefulone (4f4de9)

  77. Yes, Narciso, I think it was a huge circus. It gave the left a ton of chances to define our candidates too.

    Why in the world is MSNBC moderating one of our debates, or CNN several of them?

    With such a crowded field, I don’t think one debate would do the trick, but then, I don’t think 1000 debates with so many candidates would be informative at all. I wouldn’t mind seeing more debates after the first several contests, and only for those with delegates.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  78. I think Thiessen holds the ground better than Rubin, on major issues, although she has been in the past very good on Foreign policy, otherwise,
    she’s just too adamant a Romney supporter (who dabbled with supporting Daniels and Christie)

    narciso (87e966)

  79. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting, daley. You show up every day, shovel in hand, to clean the Augean stables of the disinformation campaign manure and enlighten those who may be under the impression that this fellow isn’t one of the greatest bullsh*t artists of this blog.

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  80. I agree we shouldn’t use the Democrats’ favorite moderators for debates. I also think Jim Geraghty’s GOP primary schedule is worth a look, although I would add a couple of Southern states up front since the GOP is strong in the South.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  81. خیره به عنوان یک قاطر، ضخیم به عنوان آجر

    “Stubborn as a mule, thick as a brick”

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  82. although she has been in the past very good on Foreign policy

    Well, I don’t think Romney would be bad at foreign policy either. I also feel sorry for either Newt or Romney trying to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue at this point.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  83. He’s been pretty good on that score, criticizing New START for instance, that one of his backer,
    Lisa Murkowski (honestly she doesn’t even follow
    her father’s politics) along with Palin, and that turned out to be such a great idea, as we are now
    considering sharing our BMD technology, and in return, they are threatening to retaliate for an
    attack on Iran,

    narciso (87e966)

  84. Yeah, it’s wonderful how helpful the Russians have been to us, given the tiny little cost of our missile defense.

    Way to go, Democrats. As far as I’m concerned, Lisa Murkowski is a democrat… after all… she ran against the Republican nominee, didn’t she?

    Dustin (7362cd)

  85. Newt is an arrogant twat he reminds me of Romney.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  86. Palin endorsed START?

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  87. Of course, Noonan was saying this weekend, that the debates were getting in the way of pointing out
    the likes of the Keystone Cancellation, ‘those words she is using. . .

    narciso (87e966)

  88. I just read Narciso’s link with Newt discussing the media’s failure to discuss Obama’s past. It really is like Newt is filling a void conservatives have wanted. One problem will be how well he keeps that up in the future, of course.

    I just read it, too, and I think Dustin explains why he is surging. He has no hesitation to take on the media. He is not looking for their approval, nor afraid of their disapproval – he expects that. And there certainly has been a void and Newt is responding accordingly. Again, his own inconsistency/volatility could (and most likely, will) work against him. Self-temperance is not his strong suit.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  89. I like regional primaries because it’s logistically much easier, and I think anything that makes it easier to run will tend to favor grass roots and reforming outsiders who can’t afford a more difficult process.

    The problem is that someone will always have home flied advantage in the first round and they will likely drive everyone else out. Consider this year: if it was a Northeast primary, we’d have Romney vs Giuliani, if it was a Southern primary we’d have Gingrich vs Barbour and if it was the Southwest we’d have Perry vs Huntsman.

    Better would a changing & representative set of small to middling states, picked anew each year. Say Kansas, Mississippi, Massachusetts and Oregon or something like that. Yeah, a bit spread out but this is the big leagues. What’s important is a spread of rural/urban, lifestyle and ethnicity, so that it ain’t Iowa and New Hampshire each and every time.

    Congress can order this, down to ballot qualifications should they desire.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  90. Something else, to consider, in 1980, there was on debate before the 1st primary, in 1988, 8, today I think the number is around 12, it’s doubtful we really got any more useful information, or even really built up organization under those conditions

    We learned plenty. Gingrich got taken seriously, Perry proved unprepared (and maybe a bit dumb), Romney proved steady to a fault and Michelle proved why most Congressmen shouldn’t play. Who would have ever taken Cain seriously if not for the debates.

    Yes, maybe there were too many in 2011 and maybe the primaries should have started in March, too. But I’d rather have too many debates than too few. In debate you see what they don’t want to show, and it beats the heck out of deciding based on 20-second TV spots.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  91. Thanks, Dustin.

    Dana: I just read it, too, and I think Dustin explains why he is surging.

    I agree that’s why he’s surging, too. I just fear that isn’t a great indicator of what kind of president he’ll be.

    I just fear that we are giving up this chance to have a really accomplished, successful, smart, competent man be President because he doesn’t assuage the Republican base’s itch to tell the media to gfi.

    MayBee (081489)

  92. Powerline’s engine, Scott Johnson:

    “Can Romney win by going negative on Newt, emphasizing the old phony ethics issues that the Democrats used against him when he was Speaker? I doubt it. The nattering nabobs of Newtism failed to bring Gingrich down among the conservatives of South Carolina. Romney needs to make himself a vessel for the aspirations of “hope and change” that are driving conservatives this year. Instead he has offered weak tea.”

    Mitt has a formula and a team devoted to a strategy. Turning the ship B4 the rocks?

    Costly Concord.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  93. I’d say the underlying dynamic is Republicans have to go after the liberal media to win the election.

    Comment by DRJ — 1/22/2012 @ 2:10 pm

    If Gingrich or any Republican candidate is shown on TV night after night attacking the media the middle of the road voters will think the Republican party is a joke and I think I’d probably agree.

    Gerald A (b4fe48)

  94. I agree we shouldn’t use the Democrats’ favorite moderators for debates.

    +1. Why leave Fox? Remember how Obama vetoed Fox debates in 2008? If you do go to, say ABC, insist on center-right political spectrum since it is the effing Republican nomination we are deciding not who will pander most to the left wing causes. Why Staphlococcus and never George Will?

    Kevin M (563f77)

  95. 85. I agree, Romney would be predictable on Foreign Policy, he’s already differing from two questionable policy proposals of his team to the center.

    Not nearly enough.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  96. At HotAir Heilemann and Shaw(what am I saying?) had good takes on the situation in which Romany finds himself.

    Underdog in FL and slipping.

    Everyone expects him to go nuclear on Neut’s Ethics violations and it will suck wind with conservatives.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  97. I like Newt. No doubt about that. Of those running he was my first choice (although Perry could have changed that, but didn’t). So, I’m fairly happy by the state of affairs.

    I could support Romney and also be (somewhat less) happy about it, but he really would need to convince me that he intends to be a serious change agent in Washington, not just manage the failure well. So far he hasn’t shown me WHY he should be President (other than Obama shouldn’t be and his claim that he’s our best shot).

    There are also a few things I wish Newt would do:

    1. STFU about dismissing whole circuits of judges. I could be convinced that a few judges should be impeached for abuse of authority, but replacing the 9th Circuit with the new 12th Circuit is too cute for words.

    2. Also STFU about “7 3-hour Lincoln-Douglas style debates.” Who the heck is going to watch that? Or televise that dead air? Even C-Span would balk after the first few. You are going to get 2 or 3 debates, at most one in that format (and pot 3 hours). Try this: One on MSNBC, one on Fox, and the last one in the L-D format, two hours, 4 15-minute(x2) rounds on fixed agreed topics.

    3. Start going to that Blabbermouth Anonymous 12-step meeting again. At the very least put the STFU sign back in front of your bathroom mirror.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  98. Not 3 hours…

    Kevin M (563f77)

  99. I agree that’s why he’s surging, too. I just fear that isn’t a great indicator of what kind of president he’ll be.

    I just fear that we are giving up this chance to have a really accomplished, successful, smart, competent man be President because he doesn’t assuage the Republican base’s itch to tell the media to gfi.

    You have a good point, MayBee, and one I’ve considered. However, I admit at this point in time the stakes seem so incredibly high, that I’m moving toward the ABO crowd (anyone but Obama). It matters less to me which candidate takes it (assuming Ron Paul stands no chance). I can live with Santorum, Mitt, or Newt. Each will bring their own issues that conservatives will gag about, but hopefully those issues will not manifest in long-term consequences that take our country farther down the road of destruction.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  100. Yes those are only meant to extract information out of detainees at Gitmo, and even only under extreme
    circumstances.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/01/22/salvo-from-south-carolina-darn-voters-thinking-for-themselves-again/

    narciso (87e966)

  101. I just fear that we are giving up this chance to have a really accomplished, successful, smart, competent man be President because he doesn’t assuage the Republican base’s itch to tell the media to gfi.

    That may be. If you think a lot of Romney, it must be very frustrating to see that dismissed because he doesn’t appeal to the base or their need for something that will fight (for more than an election victory).

    Just as it was really frustrating seeing people act like Perry’s debate crap mattered. Why did that matter? He’s a really good governor, he’s really conservative… who cares that he looked like an idiot sometimes? Of course, it matters very much. Whether it should matter is not even relevant. It matters.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  102. Obama and his knee padders deserve to wallow in the misery he will heap upon them.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  103. Dana- I am firmly in the ABO crowd. Not all Anybodies are created equal for me, but I agree Newt will be better than O.

    MayBee (081489)

  104. MayBee, Ross Douthat speaks to the very issue in today’s column. It’s an excellent read.

    He discusses why a good candidate is so hard too find and surmises that there are 3 necessary gifts a solid candidate must have.

    When a politician somehow hits the manager-persuader-demagogue trifecta, he can seem unstoppable. (See Roosevelt, Franklin, and his four terms in office.) But just going two for three is usually enough to create an immensely formidable candidate.

    The losers of our presidential history, on the other hand, usually have only one gift out of three. They’re good managers, more often than not, whose organizations outlast demagogues and persuaders in the primaries but who can neither rally the base nor inspire the center in the general election.

    And with regard to Mitt,

    This is the path that Mitt Romney, managerial to his core, seems to be treading in 2012. The question is what kind of opponent he’ll find waiting in November. In 2008, Barack Obama seemed to have almost F.D.R.-like gifts: He out-managed, out-inspired and out-demagogued both Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  105. Ill definitely agree with the last criteria, and the media covered the second, but the first is dubious;

    narciso (87e966)

  106. Maybee said:

    He excelled at school. He’s run a successful business. He’s been a governor. He’s turned the corrupt winter Olympics around. It’s a great resume.

    Swap Naval Officer for the Winter Olympics experience and you have a pretty good resume for Jimmy Carter (though he was only 59th of 820 at the Academy). Both have impeccable marriage fidelity credentials, too. Carter showed that the resume isn’t everything…

    roy in nipomo (d31d1e)

  107. Can the Lizard ever cast off the neocon label?

    What’s a Neoconservative?

    http://chasvoice.blogspot.com/2012/01/whats-neoconservative.html

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    Charleston Voice (8e4601)

  108. Maybee, the overarching difficulty with Romney is that having him exhibit competence, quiet or otherwise, at enacting his view of competent government, is a bad thing.

    I do not wish him to be good at persuading Americans a federal mandate to purchase anything, let alone insurance is acceptable.

    sarahw (b0e533)

  109. 113. “having him exhibit competence, quiet or otherwise, at enacting his view of competent government, is a bad thing.”

    Seminal.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  110. I really don’t want a predident who is “open” to (wants) a VAT to get some kind of income inequality or to hand government more power to scoop lard out of people, who thinks for a moment that’s a good idea, and can “git ‘er done”.

    His strengths are weakness.

    His resume is also thinner than generally represented. He’s had a lot of bad results, and I’ve seen that Olympics myth ripped to shreds more than once.

    And his judgement – I think it’s bad. I don’t think he is a wise man and he is unwise in a way that really bothers me – it’s a kind of disconnect with the ordinary priorities of human beings. Putting the dog on the roof instead of the luggage is big, giant belt buckly warning sign.

    Gingrich is not heavily touted for his wisdom but he is unwise in ways I like; among those ways calling out the narrative-building rather than currying favor with it.

    sarahw (b0e533)

  111. Did I understand this article correctly? This woman just did what the entire “conservative” media did except replace the candidate’s names and now she’s an asshole? So “anti-Newt” is bad but “anti-Romney” is good? Pointing out weaknesses in Romney is perfectly acceptable but to do it to Newt is off limits?
    She was right. Newt is a ticking timebomb that could never be elected in the general election and she was right to question us on why the hell we would even consider him as our nominee.

    Dave B (982f20)

  112. Talk about not getting the point,Dave, Karl is giving Rubin her due, remember he doesn’t have a dog in this fight, this is more of a socratic exercise.

    narciso (87e966)

  113. Down 3% in 3 hours:

    http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/contract/?contractId=652757

    Well, UT and ID are safely in his column.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  114. I tend to discount the Intrade folks, they are the sort that just figured that European debt isn’t a good long term strategy.

    narciso (87e966)

  115. 119. Oh, I agree, day traders risking the kitchen money:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/docs/2012/InsiderAdvantage_FL_0122.pdf

    After NV they’ll be all in for Willard again.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  116. Dave, Mitt’s biggest strength has always been his weakness.

    That is to say, in a time a huge, election swinging swath of Obama voters are just disappointed, disillusioned, embarassed, distressed, secretly or even publicly admitting his flaws, or bored to death with him, they would just like back and let it go for the likes of Romney. He wouldn’t excite them to action. They’d think (and I hear them say it for reals) that he wouldn’t be so bad.

    Those with remaning stupid zeal peel off to that other guy that makes them part of a tingly moment in time – this go round that’s Dr. Kook.

    Mitt’s hella blander than, say, Sarah Palin, who would incite the former O base to trembling action and fever-pitch opposition. Mitt is less a call to action figure. In fact, with an aura of quiet competence in comparison to the stumbling Boy-king, the sadder but wise of O voters would be far more likely to resign themselves to his inevitability. Depressing the base I guess is what that’s called, and if not that something like it.

    That’s Mitt’s big selling point. That’s his electability right there – the central casting shape and face, his mythology of competence and business acumen, his sympathy to O-flavored ideas.

    GOP establishment knows that. They counted on it. He was the last best safety net for their own hides and career and interests, in their view.

    But my intuition is good, and my intuition tells me you are WRONG, flat, dead wrong about Newt’s electability. It’s based on different characteristics; different strengths, and better ones, more appealing ones in the long run I think.

    Newt has something right for the times. The [spontaneous] narrative I see building around him demonstrates that appeal; I talked about him filling a void – he fills it on the other side, too, or at least in the middle. The boredom of Obama leaves everybody wanting keeness, energy, god help me, entertainment – A ferocious intellect ferociously in the service of American greatness is the high blown description – “won’t put up with bullshit” is the low… and yet

    That hypocrisy, the human failings make him the NOT PRUDE Republican. He will have some sympathy for desire and for failure. He picks himself up, he’a a plugger, he is relentless; he doesn’t know he can’t so he does. PEOPLE LOVE THAT.

    That legacy of couch-sitting and bandwagoninng gives the other side hope he will play ball. The hope he will make mistakes and not get his way lives and breaths in his opponents. He’s NOT Sarah Palin. He’s just not.

    I think because he has what’s been missing he’s got as fair a chance of winning as Romney.

    I don’t want Romney, so here I am though I don’t think much of Gingrich and never did. I only have hope, not belief, that because he must be on our bandwagon to defeat Romney, that he will stay on it and defend it and make it his legacy.

    I just think he’s the man who has something wanted. I think that’s apparent. Nobody with his baggage would succeed without having what’s wanted right now.

    [note: released from moderation. –Stashiu]

    sarahw (b0e533)

  117. “…Gingrich has never been a traditional conservative on any axis and his voting record is more moderate than both Boehner and Hastert.” – Daleyrocks

    How did Hastert work out for ya?
    How has Boehner worked out for ya?

    Gingrich did more for conservatism than any living member of the GOP while in office. Since these yahoos dissing him now “kicked him out” the GOP led Congress and POTUS became the biggest spending one ever. Your arguments against Gingrich’s leadership and record in the House are unfair and just freaking wrong.

    Denny Hastert (ced8b3)

  118. I know a lot of Republicans would like to be loyal and support their leadership,

    kinda like the Costa Concordians, watching Cap’n Sh*ttino motor to shore.

    You are so hosed.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  119. “Your arguments against Gingrich’s leadership and record in the House are unfair and just freaking wrong.”

    Denny – Those are Karl’s argument’s, not mine. Take it up with him.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  120. Obama’s Romney’s economic advisor Greg Mankiw in the New York Times says driving is a bad thing that should be taxed more heavily:

    “Driving your car is associated with various adverse side effects, which economists call externalities. These include traffic congestion, accidents, local pollution and global climate change. If the tax on gasoline were higher, people would alter their behavior to drive less. They would be more likely to take public transportation, use car pools or live closer to work. The incentives they face when deciding how much to drive would more closely match the true social costs and benefits.

    “Economists who have added up all the externalities associated with driving conclude that a tax exceeding $2 a gallon makes sense. That would provide substantial revenue that could be used to reduce other taxes. By taxing bad things more, we could tax good things less.”

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (bbd214)

  121. Did I understand this article correctly? This woman just did what the entire “conservative” media did except replace the candidate’s names and now she’s an asshole? So “anti-Newt” is bad but “anti-Romney” is good? Pointing out weaknesses in Romney is perfectly acceptable but to do it to Newt is off limits?
    She was right. Newt is a ticking timebomb that could never be elected in the general election and she was right to question us on why the hell we would even consider him as our nominee.

    Comment by Dave B

    No, I don’t think that’s what the post is trying to say.

    Newt and Romney both have many issues that deserve criticism. That’s healthy. Some columnists are amusingly reliable in their bias. Bias is natural. Some act as though they are objective, however, giving everyone a fair shake, when the entire time they have one favorite and they will harshly target all others.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  122. Romneyroids are complaining about moderates?

    Spare me the faux outrage.

    DohBiden (ef98f0)

  123. DohBiden – You have a dizzying intellect.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  124. It still kinda blows my mind how much venom we’ve seen from Romney’s fans about Perry. I think Perry was the perfect compromise between those on Romney’s side and those on Newt’s. A conservative who has managed and led successfully…

    But he was crushed. Largely over the TX Dream Act, but also over concerns about Gardasil. Well, the two guys vying for the win now are inferior on both freedom over health decisions and immigration.

    So way to go, rejecting the good in search of the perfect.

    Dustin (7362cd)

  125. What planetoid does Mankiw live on, seriously, does know he much damage a two dollar tax on gas will do.

    narciso (87e966)

  126. Perry was unable to instill confidence. He’s lost a lot of cachet.

    Texas needs a new governor what can take the success story of Texas out to America and hold it up as worthy of emulation, what can tell the tale of EPA’s vicious rape of the foundations of the state’s success.

    The impression people have of Perry being a half-wit boob is enduring I think.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  127. You live in a place, crafted out of the dystopias of George Lucas, with ‘Eight Track’ Brown, pikachu,

    narciso (87e966)

  128. yes i do

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  129. The comment above about higher gas taxes, and driving versus using public transportation raises an interesting point. The metro area where I live has had decent public transportation (if somewhat decaying infrastructure). Recent necessary budget cuts have resulted in service cuts, route and hours of operation reductions, and proposed higher fares for the remaining trains and buses. Before pols and academics social engineer the elimination of the driving option for a lot of people we better make sure public transportation is still viable and available. Even in Obama’s America a few people still do need to get to work and back home safely at all hours of the day and night. They can’t all live “closer to work” and “car pool”.

    elissa (28c05d)

  130. Rick Perry’s campaign failed of its own accord, not due to mysterious outside forces or the influence of Romney fans. Some bitter Perry fans remaining in denial need to remind themselves of the daily venom and bile directed at other candidates such as Romney and ask themselves whether they have any legitimate cause for complaint or whether they are just wrapped too tightly.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  131. #126

    Accidents, congestion and air pollution can be reduced by expanding or adding highways and improving the connections between them. For example the Maryland Intercounty Connector was first proposed in the 60’s. The first section was opened last year. Who knows when it’ll be finished.

    Gerald A (b4fe48)

  132. Three polls out this AM from yesterday’s sampling in FL, average Neut by a dozen.

    Really, all Mitt needs to do is connect with the voter, the young, the old, women, men, those with incomes under $200K.

    It’s in the bag.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  133. Gingrich/Perry ’12? With Perry (61) following Gingrich (68) in 4 or 8 years?

    Kevin M (563f77)

  134. Rasmussen says:

    The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Florida Republican Primary Voters, taken Sunday evening, finds Gingrich earning 41% of the vote with Romney in second at 32%. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum runs third with 11%, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul attracts support from eight percent (8%). Nine percent (9%) remain undecided.

    Florida allows early voting, and Romney leads among those voters by 11 points. Gingrich leads by 12 among those who have not yet voted. Fourteen percent (14%) have already cast their vote.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  135. Perry’s self-immolation as a presidential candidate also destroyed any chance he had at being anyone’s (including Newt’s) Veep nominee.

    Folks, I know it’s unfair and unfortunate, and I still can’t account for just how dreadful he’s been in this campaign compared to all his others. But when Rick Perry brandished three fingers and announced that he was going to eliminate three cabinet departments — but could only name two — that was an event that destroyed his chances in this election cycle.

    He is not electable nationally, not this year, not in any position. That’s just the reality, and you do yourselves (nor Gov. Perry, for that matter) any favors by pretending otherwise. He might be done forever, even in Texas, and he’s damned lucky he doesn’t have to run for reelection to his current job for another two years. Dream about him for 2016 if you insist. But on a national basis for this year, he is simply unelectable right now.

    And while Texas has lots of electoral votes, they are not (despite Perry’s crack-up, and whoever else becomes the GOP nominee) in play. There is no strategic electoral benefit to putting Perry on the ticket, even assuming he’d do better in Texas than someone from out of state (which is now, frankly, quite doubtful).

    Beldar (88eab4)

  136. 139. Perry had back problems, experimental surgery and no doubt some sort of analgesics as the background to some of his really bad performances.

    Still, Gingrich, if he emerges, will likely look outside the South for a running mate.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  137. Perry’s self-immolation as a presidential candidate also destroyed any chance he had at being anyone’s (including Newt’s) Veep nominee.

    Probably true.

    Ace has an interesting post discussing this. They talk about a lot of excuses, such as sleep and surgery, but they also talk about a lack of normal preparation, such as debate prep. I think Perry’s improvement in performance may suggest he was either highly trainable, or this medical issue was actually kinda potent.

    But fair has nothing to do with it. He’s damaged his brand so much.

    Anyway, why dream of Perry in 2020 (I’m an optimist)? We’ll have even more Tea Party leaders. Scott Walker, for example. Perhaps Mitch Daniels, if he sees what I see about what hasn’t worked on Newt.

    Perry is a great governor, but if he decides to try this again, he had better be damn well prepared.

    [note: released from moderation. –Stashiu]

    Dustin (7362cd)

  138. Perry’s self-immolation as a presidential candidate also destroyed any chance he had at being anyone’s (including Newt’s) Veep nominee.

    Sigh. Yes. If Gingrich is the nominee, though, he needs a Mr Steady Competence as Veep. Sadly that is not Gov Perry any longer. Probably has to be a Governor. It could be Romney if the hatchets don’t bite too deep, although they probably will. Someone who could pick up the Presidency in 4 or 8 years, or potentially earlier (Newt is 68 and not in tip-top shape). And not someone from the South.

    Mitch Daniels? swing state in 2008 iirc.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  139. If Gingrich is the nominee, though, he needs a Mr Steady Competence as Veep. Sadly that is not Gov Perry any longer.

    Santorum is a not unlikely possibility.

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  140. I’d be shocked shocked shocked if massachusetts romney picked pennsylvania santorum

    also, kinda disgusted

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  141. I would be disgusted if you were taken seriously happyhemorrhoid.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)


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