Patterico's Pontifications

12/8/2011

Jon Huntsman: Bizarro Candidate

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 6:39 am



[Posted by Karl]

GOP fundraiser/consultant Nathan Wurtzel recently joked he wasn’t sure if I have criticized Jon Huntsman enough.  It’s true; I have largely ignored Huntsman due to his asterisk standing in most polls.  However, he’s getting a new round of buzz — not just from left-leaning establishment media, but also from conservatives.  For example, in despairing of the current Romney vs. Gingrich dynamic, George Will wrote:

Jon Huntsman inexplicably chose to debut as the Republican for people who rather dislike Republicans, but his program is the most conservative. He endorses Paul Ryan’s budget and entitlement reforms. (Gingrich denounced Ryan’s Medicare reform as “right-wing social engineering.”) Huntsman would privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Gingrich’s benefactor). Huntsman would end double taxation on investment by eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends. (Romney would eliminate them only for people earning less than $200,000, who currently pay just 9.3 percent of them.) Huntsman’s thorough opposition to corporate welfare includes farm subsidies. (Romney has justified them as national security measures — food security, somehow threatened. Gingrich says opponents of ethanol subsidies are “big-city” people hostile to farmers.) Huntsman considers No Child Left Behind, the semi-nationalization of primary and secondary education, “an unmitigated disaster.” (Romney and Gingrich support it. Gingrich has endorsed a national curriculum.) Between Ron Paul’s isolationism and the faintly variant bellicosities of the other six candidates stands Huntsman’s conservative foreign policy, skeptically nuanced about America’s need or ability to control many distant developments.

Will is likely downplaying the severity of the defense cuts Huntsman contemplates (as Will is no neocon himself these days).  Plus, Huntsman’s supposed flip on climate change is a pander (although he never shared a couch with Nancy Pelosi on the issue).  However, James Pethokoukis notes Huntsman’s conservative proposals are consistent with his record as Governor of Utah, not only on taxes and spending, but also on healthcare reform (Huntsman flirted with the idea of a mandate, but dropped it — which is certainly no worse than Romney or Gingrich).  RedState’s Erick Erickson earlier walked back his rejection of Huntsman, out of the same frustration seen in the Will piece — and anecdotally, more people are starting to agree.

And yet — as Will noted from the outset — there is Huntsman’s bizarre campaign positioning, which Ross Douthat recently described well:

Huntsman’s campaign was always destined to be hobbled by the two years he spent as President Obama’s ambassador to China. But he compounded the handicap by introducing himself to the Republican electorate with a series of symbolic jabs at the party’s base.

He picked high-profile fights on two hot-button issues — evolution and global warming — that were completely irrelevant to his candidacy’s rationale. He let his campaign manager define his candidacy as a fight to save the Republican Party from a “bunch of cranks.” And he embraced his identity as the media’s favorite Republican by letting the liberal journalist Jacob Weisberg write a fawning profile for Vogue.

This was political malpractice at its worst. Voters don’t necessarily need to like a candidate to vote for him, but they need to think that he likes them.

This is a large part of why the arguments for Huntsman are generally met with derision from the grassroots. (Note: I don’t generally assume blog commenters to be representative of any larger population, but Huntsman’s standing in most polls suggest they may be representative here.)

While I agree with Douthat about the gross political malpractice of the Huntsman campaign, I also think there was a not-completely-insane theory behind it.  The theory is the ideal GOP candidate would be a solid conservative who appeals to the mushy middle.  The successful model here would be Reagan, the seemingly non-threatening, happy warrior who could disarm Carter with a chuckle while advocating massive tax cuts and eliminating cabinet departments. 

It is Team Huntsman’s execution of this theory that is jaw-droppingly bad.  Huntsman has all the condescension and snark of Newt Gingrich, but almost always directed at the wrong targets.  Indeed, Huntsman’s campaign has tended to embrace the targets Gingrich has attacked all the way to his current front-running status (This is what happens when you hire Jon Weaver).  Consequently, Huntsman, who is as articulate as Romney or Gingrich, gives debate performances that manage to be as off-putting as those of Rick Perry at his lowest. 

Huntsman is the Bizarro candidate, a Frankenstein monster seemingly assembled out of the worst features of his major rivals.  If you squint hard enough, what he is doing is recognizable as a political campaign, just not one you would expect to see on this planet.  If the GOP grassroots were willing to go along with his charade, he might get somewhere — but he hasn’t managed that feat, and time is running out.

–Karl

94 Responses to “Jon Huntsman: Bizarro Candidate”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (e39d6b)

  2. See, this is another example that he can see reason;

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203611404577041863873047648.html

    but as you say, the defense cuts, are almost in polar opposition

    narciso (87e966)

  3. Karl, well you summed up my impression of Huntsman except for one thing: meh.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  4. This is some sick dog-whistle for tifosa, isn’t it?!

    JD (318f81)

  5. He should be a Democrat. And if Herman Cane wanted to be a politician with his dirty laundry, he should have been a Democrat.

    AZ Bob (7dbcdc)

  6. a very Charlie Rose Republican

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  7. Huntsman is the Republican candidate for people who don’t like Republicans. A very odd approach.

    Mike K (9ebddd)

  8. Hey at least Jervis Tetch Huntsman has a following.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  9. Huntsman is going to run 3rd party. John Anderson all over again. Anderson took angry Dems from Carter and Huntsman will take disaffected Rems from Obama

    Kevin M (51cfdc)

  10. um … Dems. Amazon Fire spellcheck

    Kevin M (563f77)

  11. 3rd party=Obama.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  12. Even though I agree with him about evolution and global warming, kicking off the campaign that way was tone-deaf for a Republican. That said, I’m not sure how else he could have differentiated himself. “Hey, I’m a Mormon ex-governor too” just doesn’t do it. Maybe he could have given a speech in Chinese in Chinatown or something…

    When I heard his line about “crazy comments” coming every day, I interpreted that as being a dig at Michele Bachmann, who is probably insane and / or a robot operated by college Democrats as a social experiment.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  13. He could have pivoted on what he actually saw in China,

    narciso (87e966)

  14. This is very true, Karl. Hunstman’s campaign has reminded me somewhat of Michael Steele’s leadership of the party. He makes a point of showing that he’s not one of us horrible Republicans.

    Who does this appeal to? Frum? Meghan Mccain? Oh, that’s right, it appeals to the press. Only that appeal is incredibly fleeting. And all it shows me is that Huntsman is a flake.

    Sadly, Huntsman has an OK record in many respects. Certainly, he’s better than one of the other governor candidates in performance and experience.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  15. Well, if Huntsman wins then I would assume he would hold the Republican House and bring in some GOP Senators, perhaps enough to win control of that chamber too. In that case, Huntsman’s proposed defense cuts probably won’t go anywhere anyhow.

    Of course we all know that Huntsman is this election’s McCain — the Republican that all the liberals profess to love and admire, right until the moment that he actually threatens to nudge a Democrat out of the White House. Once that becomes possible, Huntsman will become another fire-breathing out-of-touch right winger with a weird religion.

    JVW (4d72aa)

  16. Once that becomes possible, Huntsman will become another fire-breathing out-of-touch right winger with a weird religion.

    Sad but true. Probably a serial womanizer to boot.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  17. Jon Huntsman’s statements on China are unbelievable – unless hes a total fool or expects to get money from them.

    From the link provided by Narciso:

    As I heard repeatedly serving as U.S. ambassador in Beijing, “We have politics in China, too.” To be successful in Chinese politics, you have to have certain key constituencies behind you, and you’ve got to say certain things in the run-up to the Party Congress that is going to put you in office, just like politics here.

    Shades of Owen Lattimore!

    http://www.spongobongo.com/her9984.htm

    Was Owen Lattimore a spy, secret agent, dupe, fool, or victim of Joe McCarthy. For many years Owen Lattimore was America’s most visible expert on Central Asia. Lattimore was also suspected of being a Communist Agent. Most of his detractors suggested he was working for the Soviets. A good argument could be made that he was working for the Red Chinese…

    Lattimore is, however, most famous for his visit to a Soviet slave labor camp: (it was mentioned in Allexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago.)

    Prof. Lattimore visited Kolyma in the summer of 1944, as an aide to the vice president of the United States, Henry Wallace. He wrote a glowing report on the camp and on its chief warden, Commandant Nikishov, for the National Geographic. Lattimore compared Kolyma to a combination of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the TVA

    Sammy Finkelman (853752)

  18. Even the New York Time understands that China is a dictatorship, but Jon Huntsman seems to think there is politics of a sort there. Actually, there is, of course, in dictatorships – but it is a high stakes game of office politics. Huntsman seems to think there is some populist element there, and more, that the populist element accounts for anything they say or do against the United States!! When everyone knows that the United States is most popular in dictatorships.

    How does he “know” that? Because people tell him that!! If people told him that the term “running dog” means Greyhounds, would he believe them??

    He’s either a fool or a knave. The government interferes even with the small local elections they have allowed:

    Alarmed by Independent Candidates, Chinese Authorities Crack Down by Sharon LaFraniere Published: December 4, 2011

    ….But his proposals were strictly nonpolitical, such as moving a smelly garbage collection site.

    Nonetheless, before he even gathered student volunteers for a meeting, he said, his department’s party leader urged him to withdraw, telling him, “What you have said about democracy has made the authorities very angry.”

    Undeterred, he collected more than 500 signatures from faculty and students — more than 50 times the number required by law. The university responded by announcing that the university’s vice president and another university official had more signatures and would be the only names on the ballot.

    Professor Qiao then tried to mount a write-in campaign, but one by one, his student volunteers quit. Some said that school officials had telephoned their parents, warning them that their children were engaged in illegal activities.

    “They even told students that they were going to ask their parents to come to the school,” said one graduate student, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was afraid of getting into trouble. “Most students thought it was so unfair.”

    Rumors swirled that Mr. Qiao was a tool of the American Embassy or the foreign media, or that he was on his way out. School officials demanded that students turn in their red bookmarks and barred Mr. Qiao from the dormitories. University officials repeatedly advised him that government and university policies and regulations carried more weight than an election law.

    In the final week before the vote, he said, his telephone calls were monitored and two security officers tailed him. Except for e-mail, his Internet tools were disabled, a situation that persists to this day. That included three microblog accounts on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, another blog with his scholarly articles, a video site with his campaign clips, and two social networking pages, where 20,000 people followed his posts…

    Is Jon Huntsman a man to take seriously???

    Sammy Finkelman (853752)

  19. Comment by carlitos — 12/8/2011 @ 9:23 am

    When I heard his line about “crazy comments” coming every day, I interpreted that as being a dig at Michele Bachmann, who is probably insane and / or a robot operated by college Democrats as a social experiment.

    What he (and Ron Paul) say doesn’t make sense except as something to shore up the Democratic vote.

    Sammy Finkelman (853752)

  20. Huntsman completes tifosa.

    Icy (c4524c)

  21. Too much of it is false, and would be seen as false by most informed people, but echoes prejudices, or heavily argued positions, especially about foreign policy, common among Democratic Party leaning intellectuals..

    Sammy Finkelman (853752)

  22. Michelle Bachmann is not a candidate I would support but she has lived up to her religious beliefs, which is more than most of her detractors could say.

    She does not deserve this:
    I interpreted that as being a dig at Michele Bachmann, who is probably insane and / or a robot operated by college Democrats as a social experiment.

    That sounds like someone trying for an audition by John Stewart.

    Mike K (9ebddd)

  23. If she were a militant Muslim, would you be similarly impressed with her “living up to her religious beliefs?”

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  24. China is not a democratic regime, it’s rather different factions of the PLA clique, as with Russia and the Siloviki, between Putin and Medvedev,
    Yes he does suffer from the same ‘reset’ nonsense that seems to have afflicted Hillary,

    narciso (87e966)

  25. Okay, carlitos, so what are the expressed religious beliefs of Michele Bachmann that you find “crazy” or troubling?

    Icy (c4524c)

  26. I didn’t bring up her religion, that was Mike K. Her stuff is wacky independent of its origins.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  27. Anyway, I don’t want to quibble. We sent a freaking “reset” button to Russia, and we’re running deficits in the kajillions. Beggars can’t be choosers.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  28. You don’t want to quibble . . . you want to punt. Welcome to imdw country, sir.

    Icy (c4524c)

  29. Sad but true. Probably a serial womanizer to boot.

    But he’s a Mormon so that’s OK.
    <grins, runs, and ducks for cover>

    Milhouse (d7842d)

  30. Mind you the Russians invaded Georgia, and now have cancelled the elections in South Ossetia, but we’re
    the problem.

    narciso (87e966)

  31. Okay, carlitos, so what are the expressed religious beliefs of Michele Bachmann that you find “crazy” or troubling?

    Who said anything about her religious beliefs? Her hysterical attack on Perry over the gardasil thing should be enough to make any serious consideration of her impossible.

    Milhouse (d7842d)

  32. Huntsman is really campaigning only in New Hampshire. Because the Saturday debate uses a national poll and a 5% threshold he won’t be in the next debate.

    He’s now saying Gingrich would be a lobbyist-in-chief, and Romney a panderer-in-chief, but what we need is a commander-in-chief (who will pull troops out of Afghanistan) and that both Romney and Gingrich are “no better” than President Obama “when it comes to breaking faith with the American people.”

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/08/huntsman-lashes-out-at-romney-gingrich/

    In his upcoming speech, revealed in advance to the New York Times, he attacks Obama for “jamming through” health care, “brazenly” ignoring deficit recommendations, and employing “crony politics” during his three years in office.

    His 7 point reform plan has 12-year term limits for either the House or the Senate, elimination of every last loophole, subsidy and carve-out” (whatever they are( from the tax code, cutting spending in “every corner of government, breaking up Wall Street banks (are they all on Wall Street?) and proposals to “systematically streamline” regulations, create a comprehensive energy strategy, and bring home troops from Afghanistan

    Huntsman is being supported by a PAC called Our Destiny PAC and they are the ones running ads for him. Cash for that PAC is being raised by Tom Loeffler, a lobbyist and former Congressman from the 21st district of Texas who has just joined Akin Gump.

    http://www.iwatchnews.org/2011/11/23/7494/lobbyist-loeffler-now-raising-cash-huntsman-super-pac

    His clients at the Loeffler Group, one of his earlier firms, included Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and the state of Hidalgo Mexico. Loeffler resigned as a volunteer from the McCain campaign in May 2008 after it established conflict-of-interest policies regarding lobbyists and foreign agents.

    In early September, when the Huntsman campaign announced that Loeffler was becoming chairman, it was seen as a coup, since the lobbyist had previously been a major donor for Texas governor Rick Perry.

    Which reminds me. I don’t exactly like the Rick Perry campaign either. It has all the looks of something run by cynical lobbyists who have a pliable candidate. Now that Loeffler switched to the PAC, he’s had to cut all ties to the Huntsman campaign but things can be co-ordinated through intermediaries or benefactors.

    Yes, I suppose Huntsman may make a bid for a 3rd party. There’s already a movement to get on the ballot on all 50 states.

    They say they want the public to vote among finalists in an online convention next June and the nominees for President and Vice President must come from different parties.

    http://www.americanselect.org/about

    Ron Paul, of course, in the meantime is running an anti-Gingrich ad in Iowa.

    Sammy Finkelman (853752)

  33. Sadly, Huntsman has an OK record in many respects. Certainly, he’s better than one of the other governor candidates in performance and experience.

    So what are some serious reasons not to back him? If it’s down to Gingrich, Romney, or Huntsman, why doesn’t Huntsman become the clear choice?

    Milhouse (d7842d)

  34. Well I was saying, he showed momentary glimpse of sanity, but that was a phase.

    narciso (87e966)

  35. That’s not an argument, it’s an assertion. What serious reasons are there not to back him?

    Milhouse (d7842d)

  36. Of course Haiku and friends, who have somehow convinced themselves that I’ve got something against Mormons (because why else would I oppose Romney?), must be scratching their heads and wondering whether I could possibly be unaware that Huntsman is one too. Because the idea of acting entirely on principles is foreign to them.

    Milhouse (d7842d)

  37. Comment by narciso — 12/8/2011 @ 12:06 pm

    China is not a democratic regime, it’s rather different factions of the PLA clique, as with Russia and the Siloviki, between Putin and Medvedev,

    Or Hua Kuo Feng and Teng Hsiao-p’ing,
    Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei, Stalin and Trotsky, Beria and the others, Khrushchev and Brezhnev. That’s office politics.

    It’s not wrong taht he=Huntsman said there was a form of politics, what’s wrong is that he said

    1) That any of it reflected popular opinion, and, even worse

    2) What was anti-American reflected popular opinion (but was only politics)

    #

    China is not a democratic regime, it’s rather different factions of the PLA clique, as with Russia and the Siloviki, between Putin and Medvedev,
    Yes he does suffer from the same ‘reset’ nonsense that seems to have afflicted Hillary,

    Yes he does suffer from the same ‘reset’ nonsense that seems to have afflicted Hillary,

    Sammy Finkelman (853752)

  38. Putin is now complaining that the demonstrations in Russia complaining about election fraid, were started by Hillary.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2011/12/putin-blames-hillary-clinton-for-election-unrest

    December 8, 2011 2:56 PM

    Putin Blames Hillary Clinton For Election Unrest

    BY Celeste Katz

    Russia’s prime minister is blaming Secretary of State Clinton for encouraging violent protests in his country.

    Vladimir Putin blasted Clinton Thursday, saying her criticism of Sunday’s parliamentary election spurred demonstrators to take to the streets in Moscow and St. Petersburg for three straight nights.

    The protesters vented their outrage over reports of widespread ballot-box stuffing, manipulation of voter lists and other troubling practices.

    “They heard this signal and with the support of the U.S. State Department began their active work,” Putin said in televised remarks.

    Moscow has responded by ordering 50,000 police and 2,000 paramilitary troops into the streets, where at least 250 people were detained.

    The remarks by the Russian leader come as his popularity plummets after nearly 12 years in office.

    Clinton had previously voiced “serious concerns about the conduct of the elections” in a speech in Lithuania on Tuesday.

    The secretary added she was concerned that independent political parties were denied the right to register, as well as by reports that independent Russian election observers were harassed and had cyber attacks on their Websites.

    Clinton defended her remarks Thursday: Speaking at a news conference at NATO headquarters in Belgium, Clinton said her concerns were “well-founded,” Reuters reported.

    She also sought to tamp down tensions with Moscow. “I think it’s important to recognize that we value our relations with Russia,” she said in Brussels, where she also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov….

    Sammy Finkelman (853752)

  39. China is a dictatorship, but public opinion still matters. The first goal of the governing powers is to prevent a revolution. To do this they must both crack down harshly on any sign of defiance that could turn into a “Chinese spring”; and keep the bulk of people from actively hating them. And Huntsman is completely right that most Chinese people take pride in China’s military prowess and see America as a rival. Thus standing up to America plays well with the public, and makes them more willing to put up with the regime.

    Milhouse (d7842d)

  40. Oh, and Chinese politics is far more than mere “office politics”. The PLA is how many people again? And they’re armed. No government can survive without their support.

    Milhouse (d7842d)

  41. awfully long, considering the subject

    koam @wittier (777b2f)

  42. If she were a militant Muslim, would you be similarly impressed with her “living up to her religious beliefs?”

    You mean like Keith Ellison ? What beliefs do you think are “wacky” other than her religion ? Balanced budget ?

    Mike K (9ebddd)

  43. How about that a gardasil injection is capable of causing mental retardation in an adolescent?

    Milhouse (d7842d)

  44. Huntsman has some (but not a complete set) of conservative instincts, but he’d be as badly in over his head as POTUS as Obama is now.

    Not that that matters, because Obama would annihilate Huntsman in the general election.

    Beldar (65378a)

  45. Anti-vaccine paranoia.
    Anti-census paranoia.
    Global currency paranoia.

    Michael Steele – “you be da man!” 🙂
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-DQANalAe0

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  46. 🙄

    9-11 truther paranoia

    Anti-israeli paranoia

    gorebull warming paranoia

    whoever leads the DNC you be da man! 🙄

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  47. If it’s down to Gingrich, Romney, or Huntsman, why doesn’t Huntsman become the clear choice?

    Comment by Milhouse — 12/8/2011 @ 12:32 pm

    Not a bad argument, Milhouse. But the guy had too favorable an opinion of Obama. I guess you could say the same of Newt’s opinions… some of them have been batty. And Huntsman has executive experience, whereas Newt really doesn’t.

    I do think Huntsman is underappreciated even though I don’t appreciate him either. This political problem would probably follow him into the general election.

    I will say it amazes me that Romney gets more support than Huntsman. Both are moderate establishment republicans, but one of them was fairly successful and the other was the biggest disaster of any GOP governor in the past fifty years.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  48. My stuff at 44 was attempting to answer Mike K @ 42, and referring to Bachmann. I meant to quote/respond to Mike K’s “What beliefs” question, but lost it somehow.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  49. You know what Charles Johnson your penis pump isn’t working.

    So you attack Patterico like the b*tch you are.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  50. I don’t see anything at LGF mentioning Patterico. Granted, I don’t actually read that blog, ever, but I scanned over it and didn’t catch anything.

    He does appear to hate Perry the most. That’s got to count for something, right? He also hates Gingrich and Romney, though.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  51. Dohbiden’s non-sequiturs are annoying. It almost looks lie he’s replying to me.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  52. It seems it’s a reference to the ‘dislikes’ in the Perry ad, it’s really ‘crossing the streams’ absurdity with Jonhson, now

    narciso (87e966)

  53. I know, Narciso. That’s what Charles Johnson is concerning himself with. Repeated posts counting the number of dislikes on Perry’s youtube.

    And of course, they don’t realize they are proving Perry right. There are people who are disproportionately intolerant of the culture Perry is promoting. Not that the tally has any more credibility than a Ron Paul poll, but apparently a lot of people do want to prove how much they dislike this man’s opinion.

    it’s nice to check in on Charles once in a while, though, to see what there is to see.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  54. Hunstman’s campaign has reminded me somewhat of Michael Steele’s leadership of the party. He makes a point of showing that he’s not one of us horrible Republicans.

    Who does this appeal to? Frum? Meghan Mccain? Oh, that’s right, it appeals to the press. Only that appeal is incredibly fleeting. And all it shows me is that Huntsman is a flake.

    Sadly, Huntsman has an OK record in many respects. Certainly, he’s better than one of the other governor candidates in performance and experience.

    Comment by Dustin — 12/8/2011 @ 9:44 am

    Precisely. Like McCain, Huntsman is one of those Republicans adored by people who believe gridlock only goes from right to left.

    The MSM likes blondes, and McCain thought he’d get by with a blonde wig. So does Huntsman. But given a choice, the true believers will always select the one ready & willing to prove the carpet matches the drapes, IYKWIMAITYD.

    L.N. Smithee (dfcddb)

  55. ^ wow. Damn.

    Thanks for the laugh.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  56. He does appear to hate Perry the most. That’s got to count for something, right?

    He’ll take what he can get anywhere he can find it.

    Colonel Haiku (687f10)

  57. Sadly, Huntsman has an OK record in many respects. Certainly, he’s better than one of the other governor candidates in performance and experience.

    Yes, Huntsman’s record does shine when compared to Rick Perry’s… and he never sold access to the highest bidder, which is a plus in my estimation.

    Colonel Haiku (687f10)

  58. Huntsman at this point is the only candidate I could vote for without feeling that there was something seriously wrong with him. I know of nothing wrong about him.

    His statements about evolution, etc. may infuriate the vocal element, but I think they were meant to appeal to the part of the GOP base that doesn’t holler and shout, and thinks that a lot of the vocal element is either crazy or stupid (see Bachmann, M.) or possibly both. There are, after all, Republicans who believe in the reality of evolution (Allahpundit, I presume…). And it would make him utterly plausible to independents and disaffected Dems. And being a sort of anti-neocon can only help.

    In fact:Not that that matters, because Obama would annihilate Huntsman in the general election. is the very opposite of my opinion, because I think Huntsman, if he were the GOP candidate, would have the best shot at defeating Obama, and I’m curious why Beldar thinks Obama would make minced meat of him.

    JBS (1b86f1)

  59. Well I think the fact, that he can’t adapt to the audience, indicates he doesn’t have a clue, an Esquire endorsement, the folks who fell head over
    heels, for Obama, is virtual posion

    narciso (87e966)

  60. Narciso–point taken, but perhaps he thinks it’s wrong to adapt to the audience, unlike his fellow Mormon candidate (IYKWIMAITYD).

    The Esquire endorsement doesn’t count as much for me. For one thing, I pay so little attention to Esquire that i didn’t even know about it until you mentioned it now–so perhaps you’re overrating the political importance of the magazine. And Esquire goes for the glamor/fad content far more than for any substance (which is why I don’t pay attention to Esquire)–they’ll go for a hip Republican over a uncool Democrat any day. Especially if the Democrat is so 2008 like a certain occupant of the White House is.

    JBS (7a87da)

  61. If she were a militant Muslim, would you be similarly impressed with her “living up to her religious beliefs?”
    Comment by carlitos — 12/8/2011 @ 12:00 pm

    Anti-vaccine paranoia.
    Anti-census paranoia.
    Global currency paranoia.

    — And those are her religious beliefs?

    Icy (c4524c)

  62. But can she be bought? If challenged on grounds of influence peddling, would she be offended that the amount it was suggested that she sold her influence for was a mere $5,000?

    Colonel Haiku (687f10)

  63. Dohbiden’s non-sequiturs are annoying. It almost looks lie he’s replying to me.
    Comment by carlitos — 12/8/2011 @ 4:32 pm

    — DohBiden is replying to the talking heads he listens to on MSNBC . . .

    Sometimes he even has the tv on when he hears them.

    Icy (c4524c)

  64. ______________________________________________

    I interpreted that as being a dig at Michele Bachmann, who is probably insane and / or a robot operated by college Democrats as a social experiment.

    No worse or more insane than all the idiotic liberals in California government who recently mandated that textbooks in public schools — from grade K to 12 — include information on famous figures who were or are “GLBT” (ie, “gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered”). So expect passages along the lines of the following to be discussed in classrooms full of children in the future:

    “John Doe, inventor of XYZ in 1907, and noted researcher and activist, had a longtime relationship with his friend, Gary Smith. Sadly, because of the unkind nature of the early 20th century, Mr. Doe wasn’t able to marry Mr. Smith. However, the two managed to lead a secretive yet heroic and wonderful life together.”

    Mark (411533)

  65. ______________________________________________

    Jon Huntsman inexplicably chose to debut as the Republican for people who rather dislike Republicans, but his program is the most conservative

    That merely illustrates just how much squish can be found among all the candidates. It also reveals how much ultra-liberalism will have to infuse the mind of any voter who believes President “Goddamn America” is ideologically acceptable, or that the Republicans, by contrast, are far too conservative.

    Mark (411533)

  66. I got the sport wrong, but here are some of the reasons I dislike Powell;

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2005/04/colinoscopy_examining_colin_po.html

    narciso (87e966)

  67. – And those are her religious beliefs?

    Comment by Icy — 12/8/2011 @ 7:36 pm

    No, exactly the opposite. Please read again for comprehension.

    What beliefs do you think are “wacky” other than her religion ? Balanced budget ?

    Comment by Mike K — 12/8/2011 @ 2:38 pm

    My stuff at 44 was attempting to answer Mike K @ 42, and referring to Bachmann. I meant to quote/respond to Mike K’s “What beliefs” question, but lost it somehow.

    Comment by carlitos — 12/8/2011 @ 3:07 pm

    While I find her religious beliefs disturbing, I did not bring them up here. That was you and Mike K.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  68. the antivaccine thing was the least defensible, but
    the issue about the census, was about gathering a full inventory of a person, beyond the constitutional requirement of the count, and when the Tax dodgingTreasury Secretary muses twice, that
    the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency
    is negotiable, who’s being crazy again,

    narciso (87e966)

  69. No worse or more insane than all the idiotic liberals in California government who recently mandated that textbooks in public schools — from grade K to 12 — include information on famous figures who were or are “GLBT” (ie, “gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered”). So expect passages along the lines of the following to be discussed in classrooms full of children in the future:

    “John Doe, inventor of XYZ in 1907, and noted researcher and activist, had a longtime relationship with his friend, Gary Smith. Sadly, because of the unkind nature of the early 20th century, Mr. Doe wasn’t able to marry Mr. Smith. However, the two managed to lead a secretive yet heroic and wonderful life together.”

    Comment by Mark — 12/8/2011 @ 8:58 pm

    I think that’s a great idea. Do you seriously think that it’s better to pretend that folks weren’t gay than to tell kids the truth? That’s Orwellian to me.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  70. the antivaccine thing was the least indefensible

    Fixed.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  71. the antivaccine thing was the least indefensible

    Fixed.

    Comment by carlitos

    Since I haven’t paid much attention to her, I don’t know what you are referring to here. I haven’t seen anything about her beliefs on vaccines.

    Mike K (9ebddd)

  72. Since I haven’t paid much attention to her, I don’t know what you are referring to here.

    Maybe we’re talking past each other here. I made a joke about Ms. Bachmann. You said that she “didn’t deserve” that, because she’s “lived up to her religious beliefs.” I ask you would you think the same if she was a Muslim, in order to check why you would say such a thing – are religious beliefs some type of insualation against my jokes? You reply with something about Keith Ellison, and ask what *other* non-religious beliefs of hers that I have a problem with. I list 3. Now you say that you aren’t paying much attention.

    Honestly, what’s your point?

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  73. Mike K.:
    There seem to be three components, as best I can tell.:
    1)Her initial complaints about gardasil and how it was imposed in Texas, which may be incorrect but were certainly rational.
    2)Her expansion of that to all vaccines, and her phrasing which seemed to suggest that vaccines might be bad for kids.
    3)Her walking back of what she said in 2), which suggest either she wasn’t really informed about the subject, or was more sympathetic to the anti-vaccine side than (in the light of medical knowledge) rational people are [the least likely alternative in my opinion], or that she simply was exhibiting another reason why she needs to be vaccinated against foot-in-mouth disease.

    JBS (2d88a8)

  74. Honestly, what’s your point?

    Comment by carlitos

    My point is that saying she is “insane” is joining the crazy left which attacks any religious conservative for being religious. Her vaccine comments apparently refer to the HPV argument which is a political issue. I would not support involuntary HPV immunization any more than I would support “day after” birth control, or abortion, for 10 year olds without parental permission.

    I don’t support Bachmann and do not follow her closely but object to loose talk about “insane” GOP candidates. Mostly that talk is in lefty blogs. I was surprised to see it here.

    Mike K (9ebddd)

  75. The fact that you connect unrelated things like “abortions for 10 year olds without permission” with the HPV vaccine is just as illogical as Bachmann’s nonsense. Maybe you should join the campaign.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  76. SAdly, that is not such a crazy notion, to some;

    http://www.turtlebayandbeyond.org/2011/abortion
    /unicef-10-year-olds-have-a-right-to-safe-abortion

    narciso (87e966)

  77. That whole Tardasil thing was nutty.

    JD (554e77)

  78. It was not a hill, I would have chosen to hold, because of thee potential of avalanche.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2011/12/romneys-strategy-of-crazy/

    narciso (87e966)

  79. The fact that you connect unrelated things like “abortions for 10 year olds without permission” with the HPV vaccine is just as illogical as Bachmann’s nonsense. Maybe you should join the campaign.

    Comment by carlitos

    I suggest you do some reading. I am tired of this exchange. My point was made and I’m done. It was medical treatment without permission. I’ve seen 10 year olds who’ve had abortions. It’s presently an issue. Read the paper.

    Mike K (9ebddd)

  80. Yeah, the tardasil stuff was very trashy.

    A lot of people have family that they’ve lost to a related form of cancer. I think the paranoia about vaccines, ramping it up as though it’s a license to have sex, was very trashy. I think Bachmann was insincere, especially about this child victim retard story, and went from thinking she had performed surprisingly well to being certain I would never vote for her.

    There are legitimate ways to criticize the gardasil issue, but because Perry had already acknowledged the merit of those points, Bachmann had to go farther.

    Perry remains the most successful governor running. He’s made a few mistakes, but they are at least understandable and they represent such a tiny fraction of his accomplished record.

    Bachmann also went nuts trying to prove that Perry was bribed, for example with normal levels of money that went to the Republican Governor’s Association from companies that develop medicine.

    It’s no surprise to me that those who actually CREATE something for healthcare support Perry for his tort reform triumph, an accomplishment that alone outshines Romney or Huntsman or Gingrich in difficulty and value. Perry’s allowing people to prosper and create. This is philosophically opposite from those who try to control our purchases so they can provide ‘free’ healthcare via Romneycare. That just tampers with supply and demand, creating predictable disaster.

    Bachmann’s hysterics failed, but you still hear these stories repeated (often the person saying them is just a troll).

    Dustin (cb3719)

  81. I suggest you do some reading. I am tired of this exchange. My point was made and I’m done. It was medical treatment without permission. I’ve seen 10 year olds who’ve had abortions. It’s presently an issue. Read the paper.

    Comment by Mike K — 12/9/2011 @ 9:06 am

    There are a lot of problems with the approach.

    But personally, I think a working vaccine against this virus directed at both boys and girls is a defensible concept.

    You could reduce some major cancers by 70%. Gardasil has been administered millions of times by now, and the ‘side effects’ seem to be related to the needles rather than anything else.

    Personally, I don’t think the government has a right to do this, since normal HPV transmission is not something that goes along with attending public school. But despite this, I do understand the tremendous merit of the idea.

    I think some have tried to make this about kids having sex, but the whole point is to administered the vaccine at an age too early to normally have sex. I think that’s very reasonable. I also think it’s silly to suggest anyone would start sleeping around because they have this one vaccine, but that’s just me.

    But all that aside: Bachmann trafficked in paranoia about vaccines harming people and screwing up kids and it turned out her story was untrue. A lot of people get famous screaming about how unsafe vaccines are, and this does real damage to society. This kind of screaming is selfish, and I went from liking Bachmann to having zero interest in her, and this is permanent.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  82. 12,000 women a year contract cervical cancer. Two-thirds of cases could be prevented with the 3 HPV shots. Anti-science idiots are against it because they can’t understand that the age of effective vaccination has nothing to do with the age at which a virus is contracted. This anti-vaccine nonsense is why, today in 2011, we have a freaking whooping cough outbreak in the Chicago suburbs. “Medical care without permission” is how we build herd immunity which protects even the non-vaccinated.

    None of the above even remotely has anything to do with abortion at any age.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  83. Mike, I get where you’re coming from finding the term ‘insane’ to be unserious bashing.

    In this case, Bachmann really crossed the line.

    She was suggesting Perry took bribes to administer a drug that made kids retarded. Her ‘evidence’ turned out to be a ridiculous story… one that any college educated adult would know is untrue, and some crap about taking donations from pharma (which Bachmann personally accepts!).

    I found it shameless. It takes a lot for a Republican to sink to the level of the insults the left likes to toss out. In this instance, by mere coincidence, I think Bachmann did that.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  84. Yes, Huntsman’s record does shine when compared to Rick Perry’s… and he never sold access to the highest bidder, which is a plus in my estimation.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku — 12/8/2011 @ 5:59 pm

    Link to Perry selling access to the highest bidder?

    Last time I asked for this, you had a link showing that Texas provides its governor with a nice residence and that a lot of conservative organizations pay for air traveler for speakers at their events.

    I think this came from Jen Rubin and also that truther you like to link.

    9/11 was an inside job because of Rick Perry the corrupt bilderberger and his evil gardasil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Dustin (cb3719)

  85. This anti-vaccine nonsense is why, today in 2011, we have a freaking whooping cough outbreak in the Chicago suburbs. “Medical care without permission” is how we build herd immunity which protects even the non-vaccinated.

    Oh well. “Herd immunity” is enough to justify the government overriding parental concerns. OK. I understand. Sorry, I still like freedom. If you can’t see the connection between the HPV and taking away parental rights, you have the problem, not me.

    Mike K (9ebddd)

  86. ______________________________________________

    Do you seriously think that it’s better to pretend that folks weren’t gay than to tell kids the truth?

    Yep, because public school textbooks also have no business saying that Historic Figure A, B or C was an adulterer, practiced polygamy, or, for that matter, suffered from major bouts of diarrhea or severe bad breath.

    Mark (411533)

  87. I agree with Mike K. Herd immunity is a good thing but so is patient/parental education and informed consent. I think it’s possible and perhaps even likely that the establishment’s willingness to vaccinate children without permission contributed to parental fear of vaccines.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  88. don’t get ill get gardasil!!

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  89. also the boys should get vaccinated too

    you can’t go wrong if you shield your dong … with gardasil!

    yay!

    bachmann is just spreading rumors gardasil will stop those tumors!

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  90. The Austin American-Statesman has more details, including this:

    The legal issue at the high court is whether the temporary maps [drawn by 3 San Antonio federal district court judges] should have used the state-approved plans as a starting point. The case so far does not appear to raise the broader issue of whether Texas and other states should still be subject to the voting rights law.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  91. would be a solid conservative who appeals to the mushy middle. The successful model here would be Reagan, the seemingly non-threatening, happy warrior who could disarm Carter with a chuckle while advocating massive tax cuts and eliminating cabinet departments.

    WTF 1980 election campaign were YOU present at?

    Not the one taking place here in the USA on this planet Earth, with the press decrying “voodoo economics” and pretty much everyone claiming he’d bring us to war with Russia when that was at least a reasonably likely possible thing to do.

    Reagan appealed because everyone was sick of liberal sh** from idiots like Carter, and tired of lying and stupid politicos like Nixon and Ford. Reagan wasn’t about the “me decade”, he was “post-me”, that is, the adult decade.

    Smock Puppet, Winner of the Jeane Dixon Award (aacc3d)

  92. Faux Climate Change AKA Gorebull Warming is not manmade and won’t wipe us all in 2012.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)


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