Patterico's Pontifications

3/8/2012

Supernarrative Wednesday

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 7:28 am



[Posted by Karl]

Super Tuesday was inevitably followed by the analysis of What It All Means.  The dominant narrative is captured in the NYT headline “With No Knockout Punch, a Bruising Battle Plods On.”  Or the ABC News headline “Mitt Romney Wins the Night, But Not the Momentum.” David Frum proclaimed it “A Bad Night For Romney.”  At CNN, even Ed Morrissey wrote of “A Night With No Winners.”  And so on.

Romney may have underperformed expectations a smidge, although the delegate selection process is such that we do not know for sure.  However, he remains on the “majority track,” while is rivals are all-but-mathematically incapable of winning.  Even if the Santorum-Gingrich combine blocked Romney from obtaining a majority of pledged delegates, the party would likely push him over the top.  It does not please me much to write that, but it is what it is.

The dominant narrative downplays or ignores the actual conditions of this campaign, as explained by Elaine Kamarck:

The Republican presidential nomination contest is dragging on because Mitt Romney is a weak front-runner—right? That’s the media narrative, but in fact the 2012 race was always going to be a long slog, regardless of which candidates were running. For that we can thank changes to the electoral calendar and the campaign-finance system.

***

Four years ago, a full 80% of the Republican delegates and 70% of the Democratic delegates were chosen before March. Super Tuesday was in early February and consisted of a huge number of primaries. This year, only 6% of the Democratic delegates and 13% of the Republican delegates were chosen before March—and Super Tuesday was a shadow of its former self. It held only 10 Republican contests, compared to 21 in 2008. Missing were some very big states like California, New Jersey and New York. The relatively leisurely pace of the 2012 contests—certainly in comparison to 2008—means that no Republican can actually reach the magic number of 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination until much later in the spring.

Moreover, The RNC, having noticed that the Dems’ long 2008 campaign drove registration and organization in more states, also changed the rules to promote (quasi) proportional delegate allocation in contests held before April.   The storyline that Romney is a weak candidate has some merit, but I cannot think of a candidate since Reagan that could have swept delegates in the manner so many in the media seem to expect of Romney — and not even Reagan could lock up a nomination based on the number of delegates at stake so far this year.

Christian Heinze had a balanced assessment of Romney’s current position.  It may be that Mitt Romney’s struggle at “sealing the deal” shows he is unable to beat Obama.  Or it may be that, like Obama’s weakness with women and blue-collar voters against Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primaries, Mitt’s weaknesses with conservatives and blue-collar voters may disappear — or matter less — in a general election matchup.  We really cannot know this yet.

What we do know is that the next batch of primaries includes Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and Louisiana — none of which are particularly favorable states for Romney.  Thus, it’s a fair bet that the narrative of Romney’s weakness will continue, even though we already know he is weak in these states and stronger in states holding their primaries in April (e.g., Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and New York) with rules that will also favor Romney.  The storyline will be that Romney is weak, even though this mostly will be an artifact of the primary calendar.  It will be interesting to see whether the media decides Romney is “revitalized” and gaining momentum in April, when the explanation will again be the calendar.

The current storyline likely is not the result of liberal media bias as such.  Indeed, it may not even be an anti-Romney bias from either end of the ideological spectrum.  Rather, it seems mostly a case of hype making the mediasphere go ’round.  Drama sells.  Reporting that the GOP campaign is going to drag on mostly because the RNC wanted it that way is not traffic bait.

–Karl

118 Responses to “Supernarrative Wednesday”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  2. I would also argue Romney is performing as expected with his organization and money. He isn’t the most popular candidate for conservatives and social conservatives, but he is pulling it out with the close races. Some argue that the excessive spending is a weakness, while I argue that is he is winning the nomination. A win is a win and you really can’t argue that he isn’t winning, no matter how slow it will drag on.

    MyOpinion (4ff715)

  3. Some argue that the excessive spending is a weakness, while I argue that is he is winning the nomination.

    Those are both true.

    A win is a win and you really can’t argue that he isn’t winning

    Sure. But he’s a weak candidate. Our primary system rewards weak insider candidates and punishes reformers who don’t start with tons of money. I mean, reforming outsider candidates who want to win appeal in debates and then support and donations… they don’t have a chance to do it in time to get on the ballots because of odious requirements designed to keep outsiders outside.

    But that’s not Romney’s fault, and indeed Romney is winning.

    I think it’s the fault of conservatives who failed to rally behind a conservative in a timely fashion. Even after 2010, the Tea Party didn’t get the job done.

    Romney is performing as expected with his organization and money.

    I disagree. I don’t think a governor who is next in line after the last contest, who started with far more cash and preparation and organization, should be having this much trouble beating Santorum. Honestly, that too is only partly Romney’s fault. Santorum is a much more impressive politician than I used to think he was.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  4. Rather, it seems mostly a case of hype making the mediasphere go ’round. Drama sells. Reporting that the GOP campaign is going to drag on mostly because the RNC wanted it that way is not traffic bait.

    Yes, yes and yes. I made the first two points in the Super Tuesday thread. Excellent post, Karl.

    And yes to post #2.

    Colonel Haiku (b0c693)

  5. Post #3 is just more tripe-face boogie from a guy who has still yet to grasp the changes in the 2012 landscape. Which is not surprising since every link he posts that he thinks is supportive of a contention he has made turns out to not be supportive, and – in many cases – actually says the opposite of what he thinks it says.

    Colonel Haiku (b0c693)

  6. the hick states prefer Santorum cause of how he walks with the lord and fights the good fight against contraception

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  7. No, attacking the pillars of the base, just has a very wearing process, and that’s because his record
    is very checkered.

    narciso (87e966)

  8. Karl… here’s an interesting take from Hugh Hewitt this morning…

    http://www.hughhewitt.com/blog/g/c5a23dae-7ec2-4937-971d-523f9fe76752

    Colonel Haiku (b0c693)

  9. the hick states prefer Santorum cause of how he walks with the lord and fights the good fight against contraception

    Comment by happyfee

    really?

    How is Santorum fighting against contraception?

    I think you’re elevating a side issue above issues Santorum is superior on (such as honesty and to some extent reform). I thought the latter issues were much more important than social issues.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  10. and another interesting take from Jay Cost on the regional/ideological trends at play…

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-ideology-isn-t-everything-gop-race_633265.html

    Colonel Haiku (b0c693)

  11. he says when he’s president he’s gonna explain to everyone how contraception is ruinous to the natural order of how things are supposed to be

    he likes to dabble in the social engineerings you know – he’s gonna start by using the tax code to redistribute money from the nasty (and not a little slutty) single childless contraception-using womens to the nice fertile married hoochies

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  12. at in play

    Colonel Haiku (b0c693)

  13. Right, as Senator Matt Fong (which was one of Steve Schmidt’s first campaigns) proves, Oh wait, never mind.

    narciso (87e966)

  14. Feets, it’s important to both note and understand the symbiotic relationship between liberal ideology and single motherhood. Santorum seems to do that and sometimes does it well.

    Colonel Haiku (b0c693)

  15. it’s also fair to note it’s none of the loser-ass whore president of the United State’s business if you’re a slutty whorish single mom or not

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  16. he likes to dabble in the social engineerings you know/blockquote>

    That is one big reason I have hesitated to support him. The other is simply his lack of executive experience.

    he’s gonna start by using the tax code to redistribute money from the nasty (and not a little slutty) single childless contraception-using womens to the nice fertile married hoochies

    We shouldn’t subsidize what we do not want. This is not very PC to say, but America is not better off for subsidizing idiotic life choices.

    But I don’t think a vote for Santorum is a vote for fighting contraception.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  17. I think a vote for Santorum is a vote for a vile and hateful religious bigot

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  18. I think it’s the fault of conservatives who failed to rally behind a conservative in a timely fashion. Even after 2010, the Tea Party didn’t get the job done.

    There is too much here. I’ll be brief.

    Conservatives initially rallied behind Bachmann, then Cain, then Gingrich, and now Santorum. You see a pattern? They all imploded. I’m sure Santorum is holding up, but it might be too late.

    The Tea Party never had a majority in the Republican House. There is a limit of the Tea Party power.

    I don’t think a governor who is next in line after the last contest, who started with far more cash and preparation and organization, should be having this much trouble beating Santorum.

    Romney is beating Santorum. The delegate numbers are telling us he is. The problem with the nominating system is it will be dragged out. The results will still be the same. The delegates are handled out proportionally, not winner take all. This means the race isn’t merely Santorum, Romney is still competing with Ron Paul and Gingrich for delegates, while they are literally out of the race in terms of competitiveness.

    MyOpinion (e8b8d6)

  19. I think opposing Santorum largely for his personal religious views that he has noted he will not make government policy is a little closer to hateful. But that’s probably not the word I would use.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  20. the tax code is for raising a bit of money to fund our pitiful little government’s necessary functions, not for telling people how to live

    Rick Santorum doesn’t understand that at all.

    The tax code is a stinging whip in his righteous hand and he’s going to beat the godless whores into submission with it.

    But he has to get elected first.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  21. Conservatives initially rallied behind Bachmann, then Cain, then Gingrich, and now Santorum. You see a pattern? They all imploded.

    Because they had another conservative to go to. Romney isn’t conservative, so this will drag on. In fact, what’s really happened as more conservatives left the race is that the conservatives have combined behind fewer candidates, and implosion is thus less likely.

    Romney is beating Santorum.

    Thank you for repeating what I said as though you’re rebutting my point.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  22. it’s also fair to note it’s none of the loser-ass whore president of the United State’s business if you’re a slutty whorish single mom or not

    Comment by happyfeet

    No one is calling them that, happy. It’s just another case of liberal policies promoting bad choices that have a profound and lasting effect on the lives of others (especially, the children) and the pocketbooks of all Americans.

    Colonel Haiku (b0c693)

  23. pardon me for saying so but I don’t think you’ve really caught the supernarrative wednesday spirit Mr. Colonel and Mr. Dustin neither

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  24. Thank you for repeating what I said as though you’re rebutting my point

    Thanks for missing the point. My original post argued that Romney isn’t winning as a weak candidate.

    The proportional delegate system isn’t a sign of weakness for Romney either.

    MyOpinion (e8b8d6)

  25. Narratives are boring, there are other reasons than those posited by the usual suspects, that are as equally valid.

    narciso (87e966)

  26. Rick Santorum doesn’t understand that at all.

    I agree. Nor does Romney, who asked Obama to use the tax code to force people into Obamacare, and then sent his staff over to help Obama make it happen. They did a great job memory holing it, but the fact remains that Romney is *far* more experienced in using the tax code to run lives.

    But he’s got more executive experience. I worry how Santorum would handle his first crisis as President. Romney I have many doubts about, but he’s run many things and I think he’s more prepared.

    Newt would obviously be superior, but like the other more conservative candidates, the GOP is not biting. I think there are a lot of interesting reasons for that, and conservatives will need to consider that for our primary challenge to Romney in 2016 (whether he wins the general election or not).

    I think one key is getting more reform minded leaders in state offices and party apparatus so our primaries are run in a way that welcomes outsiders.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  27. yes I will grant you that Romney has his deficiencies in his understandings

    but Romney is very yardsticky and goal-oriented – he’ll want to make his numbers more than he’ll be concerned about molding the tax code to conform to an ideology that is pleasing to God

    that’s very attractive right now, given how ideologically-distorted America’s economy is at the moment, and we’ll just have to hope we have a congress that is at least a wee bit eager to curb Mr. President Romney’s more rambunctiously pragmatic/statist urges

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  28. When I say Newt is superior, I mean in his understanding of the role of government. And this is merely relative to the other three.

    The fight is not really productive anymore, though. I want all 50 states to have their say, and I would be happy to see Newt or Santorum endorse the other. I think it’s already too late for the Tea Party to salvage much credibility as a national movement, though of course that will be denied for GOTV purposes.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  29. the Tea Party slammed into a wall of fail right about the same time Sarah Palin was on the cable tv extolling the virtues of Orrin Hatch

    but that might could just be a coincidence

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  30. When the alternative was Mitten’s man, Chaffetz, beggars can’t be chosers.

    narciso (87e966)

  31. “Perfect is the enemy of Good”

    un-bunch the undergarments and focus on sending Obama packing.

    Colonel Haiku (b0c693)

  32. GALLUP: UNEMPLOYMENT 9.1%…

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/153161/Unemployment-February.aspx

    Colonel Haiku (b0c693)

  33. Chaffetz is a Tea party guy, narciso… said to be a big fave.

    Colonel Haiku (b0c693)

  34. One thing Newt noted was that Pelosi was mistaken. We didn’t have to pass Obamacare to see what’s in it. We could have seen that in practice, it costs a lot of money in MA.

    And no surprise, apparently the claims it would reduce the deficit were put to rest today. But to anyone with good sense, it was clearly the case.

    One thing Romney said in USA Today, when asking Obama to have a federal mandate, was that it wouldn’t “cost government a penny”. The devil is in the details. In both MA and the USA, it’s unrealistic to expect democrats to enact a federal mandate that isn’t horribly expensive. Republicans who open that door and then act shocked that it did cost a lot… they will make that same ‘mistake’ again and again.

    It’s a shame that the GOP didn’t produce a better candidate. It’s a particular shame on those candidates who are conservative governors but didn’t even run. Perry sucked… a total dud who didn’t do his homework (such as on this USA Today column). But at least he ran and failed. I respect that more than I do those who didn’t run at all.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  35. speaking of Sarah Palin here is how National Soros Radio reports on some of the latest Sarah Palin news

    But Game Change — HBO’s new take on the John McCain-Sarah Palin campaign — is entertaining, and commendable, precisely because it stays so close to the facts, not because it strays from them.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  36. HBO doesn’t have a very good track record. Nor does NPR. Amazing times we live in. I wonder what they will say about is 50 years from now.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  37. Game Change .. it stays so close to the facts, not because it strays from them.

    Hmmm.. maybe it is entertaining because you enjoy watching your own distortions. “Fake, but accurate.”

    MyOpinion (ea4bfa)

  38. No doubt everyone is content, comfortable and resigned to the godfather of obamacare as the nominee.

    Isn’t this great? The process works.

    The Romney money-smear machine is triumphant. The media selling the lie of inevitability appears to work.

    God have mercy on all our souls.

    Vote your conscience and do not despair of a convention resolution. Vote Newt who is the only proven answer to what ails this republic.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  39. WASHPOST: More than half of top Obama donors given plum jobs…

    pay for no-show work? Crapitalism’s finest hour.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-influence-industry-obama-gives-administration-jobs-to-some-big-fundraisers/2012/03/06/gIQA9y3txR_story.html?hpid=z2

    Colonel Haiku (b0c693)

  40. happy,

    Why do you bother to share your thoughts? Perverse pleasure in being controversial? I suggest constructing a thoughtful premise in your beliefs, request feedback and have an open mind with the response.

    BTW, in reflection of your previous so-called thoughts…you’re a vile douche. Don’t forget to be receptive to honest feedback.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  41. pickles!

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  42. The Tea Party’s biggest problem is being thought of as a political party, when it was, in fact, supposed to be a protest against high taxes and high spending. Perhaps NOT coincidentally, that was also when the tea-parties were the most effective.

    But back to the original topic, I’ve been light on commenting because of the stupid in-party fighting we’ve had since the beginning of this primary. It’s escalated to the silly level of calling each other names and questioning each other’s loyalty/ intelligence/ sanity/ d*ck size. It’s time to quit getting all pissy with Mitt/ Newt/ Santorum supporters and start fighting the real enemy.

    I remember during the last election, Dem-bots sent out a bazillion trolls onto comment forums, simply to stir up trouble and grumbling between the supporters of the different primary candidates. It’s not been mentioned much this time around, but I can’t help but wonder if they are doing the same thing again.

    Book (5b3f1d)

  43. Book,

    No, the real problem are those that find small solace in candidates like Romney and Santorum…two politicos that have no problem with big govt xpending solutions and selling their souls (and our future) to big labor.

    What integrity can we have when the reasonable “answer” is the godfather of a healthcare mandate we despise?

    We are being played as fools in a twilight zone nightmare. Bring on the convention. What other option is there that allows some form of self respect?

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  44. Mr. Feets – I found a homely by a silly and anachronistic priest from last month what talks about the lies told by greasy azzed socialist Obama rapers and their war on religion what you will find interesting and knock your silly argument out of the park again.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  45. pickle biters!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  46. “The Romney money-smear machine is triumphant.”

    Pieter – People call it vetting when Romney gets smeared, and smearing when other candidates get attacked. Hmmmm.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  47. Oh, ok, Pieter. You’ve convinced me. From now on I’ll done my battle gear and attack the nearest Republican daring to support either Romney or Santorum. I’m sure the Newt and Paul supporters are relieved to be spared.

    ::dons cardboard helmet::

    GRARG! Mitt-bots! Santo…bots! Stupid heads! I’m gonna vote against you and even if I don’t get my way, I’ll hate you forever! AND vote for Obama in the general election! Because I. Am. The. True. Conservative.

    And that’s how True Conservatives roll.

    ::cue dramatic fighting music::

    Book (5b3f1d)

  48. i join Father Sammie in the hope that in future the government of the United States will not be in the business of custom-designing health care plans for the peoples of our once-free little country

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  49. daleyrocks,

    Vetting? What center of gravity does your integrity swirl?

    IA and FL are clear evidence of Romney’s willingness to sell whatever measure of his character to a singular expedient goal.

    He and his PACs are liars. Will you not admit that he exceeded bounds? Is this acceptable in you opinion?

    Some like myself would sooner rely on the Congress to be a check on a second Obama presidency then fail that particular gut check for honesty.

    Hypocrites consider Romney’s behavior reasonable. Under no instance do I approve of Obama’s actions, no doubt you do if Romney can be rationalized.

    Have some faith that the previous Romney success is an honest mistake and hope for moment of truth at the convention.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  50. Book,

    Funny.

    Perhaps you live in your skin without freaking out at the potential of a Romney presidency…some consider it a challenge nearly as difficult as the one we currently have. I wonder if the 2012 congress is up to the challenge?

    Some of us believe a Romney presidency is a continuation of a despicable status quo. Romney is not the answer for our grandchildren but only serves his rich collaborators. It’s BS that someone of that ilk deserves our confidence.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  51. Some like myself would sooner rely on the Congress to be a check on a second Obama presidency then fail that particular gut check for honesty.

    So you trust congress that much, huh? Because they did such a great job of stopping Obama so far?

    Book (5b3f1d)

  52. Book,

    True. What will be the check on a Romney presidency? His core convictions? Principles? His conservative values that include repudiation of Ronald Reagan?

    It certainly won’t be his strong character when it comes to integrity.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  53. Perhaps you live in your skin without freaking out at the potential of a Romney presidency…some consider it a challenge nearly as difficult as the one we currently have. I wonder if the 2012 congress is up to the challenge?

    So, wait, let me get this straight. You think we can rely on congress- who has done such a stellar job of keeping Obama in check so far- to be there to stop Obama during his second term.

    But you don’t trust the same congress to keep Romney in check?

    Book (5b3f1d)

  54. “IA and FL are clear evidence of Romney’s willingness to sell whatever measure of his character to a singular expedient goal.”

    Pieter – Sure they are Pieter. You are entitled to your opinions.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  55. True. What will be the check on a Romney presidency?

    Hopefully a GOP House and Senate. Unfortunately, I don’t have tremendous faith in either for the reforms that are mandatory to turn this country around from disaster.

    I think some aren’t accepting just how serious our problems are, or are hoping to cash in on their entitlements and die before we pay for them.

    This country has cancer, and the current GOP is like prescribing Rolaids to cure it.

    But Obama would be like chain smoking lead lined cigarettes.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  56. I’m asking an honest question…do you trust Romney? What will keep him within expectations? Newt has made clear what he would do if sworn in, what has your candidate promised?

    Remember the Contract with America? It’s called precedence.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  57. president romney you have a telephone call

    hallo?

    Hi president Romeny it’s me happyfeet I’m concerned that your core convictions will do little to serve as a useful check on your presidency…

    who?

    happyfeet!

    oh hi happyfeet

    hi Mr. President Romney how are you?

    I’m doing well, been settling into the presidency, mostly.

    Ok well let me know if I can help.

    Sure will, happy.

    OK BYE

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  58. “Vetting? What center of gravity does your integrity swirl?”

    Pieter – All you have to do is read the dishonest attacks on Romney here which are called “vetting”, while attacks on other candidates are called smears.

    Was something about my comment unclear?

    What is your native language?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  59. There are absolutely no standards in media, one can consider this weekends offering of Agitprop only slightly less toxic, than last fall’s, where the fact that the story was unvettable by a law firm
    was no bar to publication,

    narciso (87e966)

  60. Pieter – I can see you’re very good at persuading hypocrites. It’s your soft touch.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  61. But Obama would be like chain smoking lead lined cigarettes.

    Comment by Dustin — 3/8/2012 @ 10:39 am

    EXACTLY. The “ideal” candidate chose not to run this time around. It’s disappointing, but you work with what you have, because Obama- who is our REAL opposition here- is a bazillion times a gajillion times worse.

    It would be good if people could remember that.

    Book (5b3f1d)

  62. Happyfeet… that was… rather strange. Was that supposed to be your version of the 3am commercial? Heh.

    Book (5b3f1d)

  63. Our political process is based on acceptable expediency and nominees decided by the establishment. As a product of the 70s punk era, this is wildly unacceptable.

    Romney is an empty suit. Santorum would sell his political future to big labor over our grandchildren’s.

    You. You are challenged to have some modicum of principle rather than rationalize what seems practicable.

    Romney is certainly not the answer. His nomination is madness. Does anyone really believe that the godfather of a healthcare mandate we despise be the representative a counter to the status quo?

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  64. You gotta admit though, if a chain smoker has cancer and the doctor only offers rolaids, that chain smoker might just say ‘to hell with it’ and keep smoking. Especially if the cigarettes are addictive and feel good in the short term, and there are some liars saying it’s not going to cause any problems.

    What the GOP should offer the center, the independents, etc etc, is a serious cure for the problem. It won’t. As it doesn’t, many will pull their hair out wondering why we didn’t elect Mccain, Dole, etc in place of obviously worse democrats.

    Anyway, I sure hope the GOP wins the general election, but I think we would be more successful with the center if we were less centrist.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  65. “You are challenged to have some modicum of principle rather than rationalize what seems practicable.”

    Pieter – Was that your man Newt smearing Mitt over his work at Bain Capital, offshore accounts and investments or was that somebody else? Singleness of purpose – slash and burn. Absolutely.

    Look in the mirror nimrod.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  66. Too late this year.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  67. I voted for Newt knowing he had only a slight chance in TN. Why? Regardless of his chances I considered him the most proven and worthy candidate.

    When you pulled the lever what were you thinking? This primary has gone on too long? Good enough? Not as bad as Obama? Better than Paul? His character flaws can be rationalized? I believe in his vision for America that has no basis in his past record?

    Good Lord, what were you thinking?

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  68. “When you pulled the lever what were you thinking?”

    Pieter – When my primary comes I will be thinking of voting for the candidate who has the best chance of defeating Obama.

    Don’t worry, you can always vote libertarian in the general election and throw your vote away then as well.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  69. I’m voting for Newt as well, Pieter. Assuming the situation hasn’t changed by May when I get to vote (which I do not assume).

    Because he’s the best candidate for conservatives. He’s inconsistent. He’s got baggage. I accept it.

    I also accept Newt won’t be the nominee unless all conservatives do the same.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  70. Considering Romney’s campaign against Obamacare, and the massive unpopularity of the program (not to mention the lesson the electorate gave in 2010) I find it very hard to believe that Romney is going to become president then be all “you know what! Never mind. I’m not gonna repeal it or issue exemptions like I promised. Instead, Imma gonna just sit back and laugh at all these rubes who just made me prez-dint. Then maybe I’ll legalize infanticide, raise taxes on dog owners, and make “The Handmaid’s Tale” required reading in the school systems of all 57 states!”

    It’s not like I’m up for re-election again in four years! Hee hee!”

    Book (5b3f1d)

  71. Romney supporters…

    Affluent. Educated without meaningful result. Sans strong character. Self centered. Short sighted in every regard. Big labor. Big government. Unblinkingly support the godfather of the healthcare mandate. Absolutely useless to the viable future of the republic.

    The ends justify the means. Orwellian.

    Gee, sound reminiscently like Obama voters.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  72. Dustin,

    Thanks. I was disappointed with my fellow Tennesseans but have some hope that the balance of the southern states will see reason and fight the establishment.

    I don’t want to vote for the lesser of evils this general election. Perhaps if it weren’t such a small difference it would be easier.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  73. “The ends justify the means. Orwellian.”

    Pieter – Sounds exactly like a description of both Newt’s private and public lives.

    Since Patterico does not want rancor escalating on these threads, I’ll leave it to turd droppers like Pieter.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  74. Considering Romney’s campaign against Obamacare, and the massive unpopularity of the program (not to mention the lesson the electorate gave in 2010) I find it very hard to believe that Romney is going to become president then be all “you know what! Never mind.

    That is a very misguided assumption.

    Think about it: in 2009 Romney actually laid Obamacare and urged Obama to take it up instead of Obama’s prior position. He laid out how a federal mandate wouldn’t cost the government a penny (just like Romneycare… which of course is untrue) and how we can penalize via the tax code to force people to buy insurance.

    Then he says “ya know what?” and reverses very passionately. Romney changes course so passionately that he looks so sincere. And then he changes again. The over the top campaign against Obamacare is meant to dare us to think he’s lying.

    In fact, “never mind” is EXACTLY what Romney intends to do. The fight to repeal Obamacare would be ugly and politically costly, and Romney would instead negotiate some kind of BS that amounts to “never mind”.

    If you’re serious that repealing Obamacare is important, you shouldn’t support Romney in the primary. His support of Obamacare was very thorough and material. His harsh criticism of Perry for mentioning Romney’s record on a national mandate was dishonest. That’s just a proven fact now.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  75. Romney supporters…

    Holy carp on a big-wheel. That was truly arrogant. You’re assuming quite a bit, right there.

    Dustin- I just moved right across the border from TN in NC- just registered to vote yesterday- although I have to check the law to see if I’ll be able to vote in the primaries. You should see the hoopla they’ve got going on over here with the Dem convention being in Charlotte. It’s a sloppy mess.

    Book (5b3f1d)

  76. That said, if the GOP Senate and GOP House somehow managed to force through a repeal of Obamacare, Romney is more likely to sign it than Obama.

    General election, there is no contest. I’ll support even the remote chance of reform over no chance of reform.

    But primary? It makes no sense for an Obamacare opponent to trust Romney.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  77. Dustin- I just moved right across the border from TN in NC- just registered to vote yesterday- although I have to check the law to see if I’ll be able to vote in the primaries. You should see the hoopla they’ve got going on over here with the Dem convention being in Charlotte. It’s a sloppy mess.

    Comment by Book

    hahaha

    I hope it’s a disaster and the Occupy movement can’t be shut down. My guess is they will do what they are told, though.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  78. Book,

    Your support of Romney is premised on not what your candidate has done but what you believe the other has? Really?

    Perhaps the Bain is not the model of venture capitalism. Is this you expectation of a future president to act in this capacity? Is this a grass roots blue collar candidate in your estimation?

    I think you make a lot more than I do as an E8 active military service member. My understanding of commerce differs significantly than yours.

    Romney’s view of small business is entirely predatory.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  79. Romney is the best answer for what ails this country…other than not being not Obama, why?

    I have some certainty that any answer is not premised in anything meaningful.

    My bad, he’s good enough and appointed by our betters.

    Does is not bother anyone that he lost to McCain and yet considered the best hope for our republic?

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  80. Even after 2010, the Tea Party didn’t get the job done.

    The Tea Party has spent the past two years getting organized and learning how to elect candidates. They had trouble in 2010 with Sharon Angle and the witch from Rhode Island, a sign of inexperience. I suspect they will be a lot more powerful this fall.

    Romney’s geniality is a big asset that he should cultivate. He should practice saying “There you go again, Mr President.” He is also a turnaround artist with good experience. Bain, Inc was in big trouble some years after he retired. The senior partners, especially Bill Bain, had gotten the company into debt trouble by borrowing money to cash themselves out. An example.

    The remaining partners asked Mitt to come back and fix the mess. He did and made Bill Bain pay back about half the loans. It solved the problem and the company, Bain Capital, is doing better than ever. A guy who is a turn-around artists knows that debt is a killer. I can’t see him ignoring our debt problem and the entitlements when he has Paul Ryan there to help him.

    Romney is more liberal, perhaps, than I am. He also has a track record of doing the right thing when it counts. Obama has a track record of absolute failure. Gingrich says some good things and would probably be a good spokesman but he was disliked by his party when he was Speaker and Bob Novak’s book is extremely critical. He has zero executive experience, as does Santorum.

    By the way, he is personable and friendly in person. My wife thinks he is gorgeous. That counts for something after Obama’s arrogance.

    Mike K (326cba)

  81. Yea, ok, well, since I can’t prove a future event, I’m going to just say that I think that the other candidates accusations against Romney’s sincerity about overturning Obamacare are a might bit suspect. What with them trying to win the nomination and all.

    That said, I’ve always thought that if Newt won the nomination, it would make for one helluva hilarious general election. Even if he was an awful candidate, the debate shenanigans alone might be worth it. I mean, if we’re going to lose, might as well go down laughing. 😀

    Book (5b3f1d)

  82. Book,

    That’s the spirit. God bless.

    During our American revolution we had no assurance of success, but we fought anyway.

    Our fight does not have to be desperate or unprincipled. Pick the guy who pissed off a sitting republican president over taxes.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  83. Comment by Dustin — 3/8/2012 @ 11:19 am

    The occupy-people are in the bag for Obama, though they’re not really sure why. The biggest challenge to the DNC, I think, might be that NC is a target for the labor unions, there are Dem calls to truck in union workers from out of town to run the convention instead of locals. Kind of runs counter to the Democrat hope that having the convention here will convince NC to turn permanently blue.

    Book (5b3f1d)

  84. He also has a track record of doing the right thing when it counts. Obama has a track record of absolute failure. Gingrich says some good things and would probably be a good spokesman but he was disliked by his party when he was Speaker and Bob Novak’s book is extremely critical. He has zero executive experience, as does Santorum.

    I don’t think Romney has a good track record as governor. I think he nominated liberals and has no excuse. I think he proposed a ten percent increase the state budget and has no excuse. I think he claimed Romneycare wouldn’t cost the state a dime, and then claimed the fed mandate wouldn’t cost the USA a dime, which shows stunning stupidity of how democrats operate. The ‘democrats wanted more than me’ excuse doesn’t justify bending over 90% to what they wanted. I also find the gun tax repellent.

    I think the reason Newt was disliked in his party is because he wanted to gut spending. They are fundamentally unserious, and when Newt showed he was serious they realized he was a threat to their business.

    he is personable and friendly in person. My wife thinks he is gorgeous.

    This sounds so much like what Obama’s worshipers would say.

    the other candidates accusations against Romney’s sincerity about overturning Obamacare are a might bit suspect.

    That’s an ad hom. The fact is Romney proposed, to Obama, a federal mandate. His staff helped create it. He then did a great job memory holing it. I think his insincerity is simply a proven fact.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  85. Mike K,

    He’s pretty and supports big business? Um, I’d sooner vote for Santorum (then drink until insensate and wake up a week later if my health allows).

    If it’s Santorum, my alcoholism will be needed.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  86. Karl… here’s an interesting take from Hugh Hewitt this morning

    — Hugh Hewitt said something interesting?

    I don’t believe it.

    Icy (76598a)

  87. Comment by Mike K — 3/8/2012 @ 11:27 am

    I agree. Well, not about Mitt being gorgeous- he’s not my type. (I’m into short and hairy, myself. Robin Williams, don’t know his politics but… meow!) Romney is a good guy and I won’t be disappointed with him as the nominee. I like his personal integrity and his business smarts.

    Of course, I won’t be too disappointed with any of these guys, but anyway.

    Book (5b3f1d)

  88. Well, ok, except Ron Paul. Gramps is just a might bit kooky. If he was the nominee, I’d join Pieter in voting Obama.

    Book (5b3f1d)

  89. I like his personal integrity

    I don’t understand this. We’ve seen nasty dishonest claims that Newt was fined and disgraced for something he was exonorated, that Perry wants to Kill social security, and a record of shameless and obviously dishonest flip flops.

    It always bothered me how democrats would blissfully pretend Obama had personal integrity for no apparent reason when we all know every promise he makes has an expiration date.

    his business smarts.

    I don’t even see how this has been shown. His presence at Bain is not necessary, since they are doing super well without him. They never lay out specifically what he did. I know Romney explained his ability to negotiate a bailout from FDIC, one of the years the treasury had to fund FDIC (IE, the taxpayers) as something he saw as a big accomplishment. I don’t think that kind of thing speaks well to a mission of reform.

    I think Newt’s got much more wisdom about how to get reform through congress. I guess if I needed someone to liquidate my assets Romney would be more appropriate.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  90. “I like his personal integrity and his business smarts.”

    Just because you put it in your mouth doesn’t mean you swallow. Good Lord, what are you reading that leads you to believe what you said is true?

    I want to believe what you do (even if I have to put something in my mouth)…fact to fiction, I don’t think I have to end up as DADT as you, though.

    Romney does not possess the character (integrity) or accomplishment (Romneycare) necessary to be a republican nominee.

    Some argue that there is no difference between the parties…Romney is proof.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  91. Well, Bain was very successful, Pieter. And he did turn the Olympics around, but he rarely takes credit (which is very odd).

    I think Romney at least has executive experience and has met payrolls. I think it’s silly to pretend Romney is a business genius without some specifics. For all we know, he simply brought in donors via connections he was born with and let the smart guys handle the business. Or perhaps he was up to his shoulders in details and ran the whole thing (though Bain is doing great without him).

    I think the outsourcing issue with Bain will be a liability with the rust belt. We’ll see.

    But what business experience do Newt and Santorum have? nothing. At least Romney has the possibility of some. I’ll give him that, but we need to keep our feet grounded in reality. This is a very fake guy.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  92. Bain was predatory in the worst form of capitalism…not an expected precursor to the representative of the everyman.

    The Olympics financial success was entirely premised off mooching off the taxpayer through federal grants.

    Romney is a lie.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  93. I’ll be very happy with Mr. President Romney in office instead of rapey.

    it’ll be like christmas and my birfday and pancakes all rolled up together

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  94. happy,

    No doubt. You obviously have a considerable portfolio and no children.

    Congratulations on your approaching retirement and painful shortsightedness.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  95. They had trouble in 2010 with Sharon Angle and the witch from Rhode Island, a sign of inexperience.

    — 2010 Rhode Island Secretary of State candidate Catherine Taylor is a witch? Nobody tells me (or happyfeet) anything! Quick, tie her up and ship her off to Salem to stand trial!

    Icy (76598a)

  96. The Olympics financial success was entirely premised off mooching off the taxpayer through federal grants.

    What I’ve heard is that it was corrupt. Romney was brought in to run things clean after corruption was discovered because he would have some discretion (not because Romney was corrupt).

    I don’t think Romney is corrupt, btw. That’s one of the reasons I’d vote for him over Obama.

    I’ll be very happy with Mr. President Romney

    I would be very happy with Obama out of office. But Romney will kick the can down the road. Urgent problems will go unsolved. The way he handled Perry’s social security points has reenergized the third rail, and I think it’s sad.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  97. No doubt. You obviously have a considerable portfolio and no children.

    Congratulations on your approaching retirement and painful shortsightedness.

    Comment by Pieter

    Actually, Happyfeet spent a lot of time mocking “Wall Street Romney”.

    I believe his position is mostly opposition to Santorum and he believes Romney is the only real alternative.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  98. Pieter, didn’t your momma ever tell you that if you overharp the meme you’ll go blind?

    Icy (76598a)

  99. Yes, yes, there’s been a lot of mud-slinging. And I suppose this is where we prop up one guy’s crap over another. Here, the bottom line:

    I like Newt’s debate skills.

    I like Santorum’s position on social issues.

    I like Romney’s leadership/ business skills.

    And Paul has a nifty neck-tie collection.

    In the end, I will vote for one of these guys. But I will not, under any circumstances, vote for Obama. I will not be throwing temper tantrums, I will not start a write-in campaign, I will not be questioning another conservative’s integrity or intelligence or whether or not he wears lacy underwear to bed.

    I WILL vote in November and I will, wholeheartedly, support the best candidate for the job.

    This is what I know for sure: the opposition is NOT one of these guys. The people we are up against wear HOPE-on-a-rope shirts and like to teach masturbation techniques to 5th graders. I just checked, and none of these candidates, including Mitt Romney, meet that description.

    So we can keep attacking one candidate and his supporters, or we could start looking to the future and get our priorities straight.

    Book (5b3f1d)

  100. Romney’s rivals are all-but-mathematically incapable of winning.

    On the first ballot.

    Sammy Finkelman (a1f34f)

  101. President Romney.

    We delayed the inevitable fiscal crisis!

    Consensus and leadership are hard…working on that answer. What do you think?

    I’m not Obama. Still trying to fix the problems of my predecessor (sound familiar).

    Yes, my big big business-big government cronies are getting their fill from the government teat, what can I do?

    Oh, my bad, you wanted a fundamental change in government…perhaps you should have been more principled and courageous in your vote for the nominee.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  102. And Paul has a nifty neck-tie collection.

    heh

    So we can keep attacking one candidate and his supporters,

    I think you’re right that attacks on Romney’s supporters do no good. If by some miracle we nominate someone else, we need Romney’s supporters not to go Ann Coulter on us (she said she would vote for Hillary if we nominated Mccain, and I’ve heard many similar claims from Romney supporters this year).

    e could start looking to the future and get our priorities straight.

    What are our priorities? I don’t really care about the GOP getting all the lobbying cash and trips and power via our deficit spending and by preserving entitlements.

    When Romney says he will preserve entitlements, that is exactly the opposite of my priority, which is to get a true balanced budget (by which I mean to include entitlement spending).

    I just can’t support that when there are alternatives that are better.

    To some, the real injustice in America is that a democrat has the white house. To me, the problem is that we’re spending too much. Those are only somewhat related. The GOP is a big part of the problem.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  103. My apologies to happyfeet. No doubt he is principled in his support for the best candidate.

    Thanks to Dustin for his support to a friend and comrade. It does mean something when we speak for one another.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  104. Even if the Santorum-Gingrich combine blocked Romney from obtaining a majority of pledged delegates, the party would likely push him over the top.

    That’s how we got Carter, and Clinton, and Nixon winning re-election by a landslide because McGovern was the Democratic nominee. Anybody with power to do something to stop something similar from happening, should attempt to do it.

    If Santorum+Gingrich+uncommitted is over 55% of the delegates, I think Romney can be stopped. Or to put it another way Romney+Paul has to be less than 45% preferably below 40% of the delegates.

    So far Romney actually has a majority of the delegates won by a candidate (a lot of caucus states don’t count, and he may have some party official endorssements)

    Sammy Finkelman (a1f34f)

  105. Robin Williams, don’t know his politics but… meow!)

    — Book, Mr Williams has contributed money to the campaigns of Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Dick Gephardt, Hillary Clinton, Al Franken and Bill Clinton, as well as giving money to Democratic SuperPACs. He’s a San Francisco liberal thru-and-thru. He also does a lot of charitable work, and is a strong supporter of the troops.

    And, he used to be funny.

    Icy (whose body is so hairy there wasn't enough left over to put on top of his head) (76598a)

  106. TMI:

    Comment by Icy (whose body is so hairy there wasn’t enough left over to put on top of his head)

    Somehow, I’m just not hungry anymore.

    The Dana washing his brain out with bleach (3e4784)

  107. Sorry, Dana.

    The Icy who has been mistaken for Sasquatch (76598a)

  108. it’s ok Mr. Pieter honestly I’m just really keen on replacing Obama

    I’ll tolerate Romney right up til the day after he gets elected then I’ll be all like who elected this loser

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  109. and thank you Mr. Dustin

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  110. I should have mentioned your motivation to be rid of Obama, Happyfeet. I take that for granted, frankly.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  111. Read an interesting post at biggovernment this morning;

    Palin states she was countered by the McCain handlers toward pursuing Obama’s radical ties.

    Gingrich is the only voice this election cycle who aggressively pushes the Alinsky radical POV. Why is that? Will Romney do similarly in the general election?

    If the general election lasts 60 days, it is imperative that the ideological motivations (and impact of such) of the president are made perfectly clear.

    Pieter (6dbcc2)

  112. No, Pieter, his man, Murphy, was the one who complained of the ‘Ice Age’ that the GOP, would
    inevitably go into, because Obama was so popular.

    narciso (87e966)

  113. Trende does the math:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/03/09/romney_really_might_not_have_the_delegates_by_june.html

    An optimistic count for Romney leaves him short until late June when the unassigned delegates from earlier primaries are apportioned–86 to be exact.

    Trende assumes he will get up to half leaving the RNC delegates to put him over the top.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  114. Oh, that results in a ‘contested’ convention, not brokered if he doesn’t get the first ballot nod.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  115. And again:

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/mitt-romney-santorum-gingrich/2012/03/08/id/431848

    Not saying he won’t get it, but if the GOP actually wants to win, they will get their chance.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  116. OTOH reports of the Baggers’ demise are greatly exaggerated:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/08/hoyer-predicts-democrats-win-back-house-if-economic-upswing-continues/

    +/- 4 more like it.

    gary gulrud (d88477)


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