Mitt Romney to Endorse Donald Trump

Thursday, March 3, AD 2016


Well, that will be the effect of his speech today.  The man who lost a very winnable race four years ago, will give a speech today explaining why Donald Trump, who he praised extravagantly four years ago after the Donald endorsed him, is unfit to be the Republican nominee:


The rapidly intensifying effort by the Republican establishment to dislodge Donald Trump from the top of the party’s presidential nominating race will star 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, who is preparing a speech for Thursday when he’ll lay out his case against the front-runner.

With Trump’s convincing victories on Tuesday, the single biggest day of voting in the Republican race, Romney was motivated to make a more formal case against him in hopes of keeping him from coalescing more support, according to a Republican source familiar with Romney’s plans. Romney has voiced criticism for Trump in recent months, including his attack last week on the New York businessman’s refusal to release his tax returns. 

Romney doesn’t believe Trump is the right person to lead the party, the Republican source said. A number of mainstream Republicans are falling in line with Trump, and Romney wants to speak up before more people go that route, the source said.

While making the case against Trump at the Hinckley Institute of Politics Student Forum at the University of Utah, Romney will not endorse one of his opponents, two people familiar with the former Massachusetts governor’s plans said. Romney will, however, praise Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Romney’s comments will be focused on “the state of the race,” likely echoing past criticism of Trump for failing to release his tax returns, and not decisively distancing himself from the Ku Klux Klan.

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17 Responses to Mitt Romney to Endorse Donald Trump

  • Please stop describing him as a “good man by all accounts.” The Godfather of Obamacare is is not a good man on at least one account.

  • I recall a fifties college class where the class debate was exactly about this; should we listen more to a failure, because he has had the experience, or a winner?

    These are certainly interesting times, as the system is being tested to it’s extreme parameters. One can safety assume that it will never be quite the same after this election.

  • “Tone deaf” and “stupid”; yeah, that about sums it up.

  • “Please stop describing him as a “good man by all accounts.” ”

    He is charitable, a good father, and from what I have read a good boss. That makes him a good man in my books, no matter how much I differ from him politically.

  • Unless Romney has a true bombshell to reveal, then I see no purpose to this. I think the number of people who enthusiastically supported Romney and value his insight AND who are currently Trump supporters is microscopic, and I doubt many fence sitters even will be influenced by Romney other, than as you say, run to Trump.

  • I’ve always thought the same about his personal life. But, his advocacy of statist solutions such as Romneycare and global warming tell me he is not a “good man by all accounts.” The rise of the leviathan to encompass all aspects of our lives, including even the substance we exhale, is not good. It is evil. Just ask Bart Stupak if you can make a deal with the devil. Our government is too big. It would be anathema to any of the founders. Romney’s arrogance that all it takes is just the right technocrat to make it all work disqualifies him in my book as “good by all accounts.”

  • With enemies like Romney who needs friends. Trump will have a heyday with this. The Republican Party is getting everything they deserve. They have become irrelevant. If they can’t persuade Rubio to drop out now they should just keep quiet and let the chips fall where they may. Badmouthing Trump will only alienate his supporters, discourage voting, or help Hillary. Stupid is as stupid does.

  • When I saw your headline next to the other Romney/Trump headlines I said “what?” But you’re spot on. It’s worth another 5 points in the polls at least.

  • I understand the appeal of sarcastic headlines, but this one threw me. I spent 20 minutes looking around the internet for confirmation that Romney was going to endorse Trump, and ultimately couldn’t remember where I saw the headline first, so I assumed it must be a breaking story that hadn’t reached across the internet yet.

  • I agree with Donald that notwithstanding Romneycare and Romney support of global warming hysteria, Mitt Romney is basically a good man. However, he did get along with and seek support from Donald Trump is 2012, so his disparagement of Trump now is hypocritcal. Is Mitt miffed that he didn’t get the Presidency?
    On a related note, virtually all my LDS friends on Facebook roundly condemn Trump and look forward with great anticipation to Mitt Romney’s pending speech. Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS Church, made a White Horse Prophecy in 1843 or so regarding the LDS Church and the future of the United States. Latter Day Saints would go to the Rocky Mountains to be a great and mighty people (identified figuratively with the Whie Horse in Revelation), and the US Constitution would hang like a thread, to be saved by the rider on the White Horse (which I assume LDS people thought would be Romney). I am not disparaging LDS people when I write this (as I said, I have friends who are LDS and I adrmire them greatly while I fundamentally disagree with their religion). It is just that I think it exceedingly unlikely that prophecy will come to pass (e.g., Romney takes the mantle of candidacy and defeats everyone to be President in 2016). But hope springs eternal. I also think that perhaps Romney (not unaware of the White Horse Prophecy) wanted to be that man on the white horse (or at least regarded as that man), and is vasty disappointed that did not occur (due to his own fault in his weakness in attacking the Islamic ingratiator occupying the Oval Office).

  • Lucius – Occam’s Razor. There’s no need to speculate on someone’s motivations for doing something that’s completely consistent with his stated thinking.

  • Quite true, Pinky. But the reaction of my LDS friends does seem to indicate that they feel as strongly about bringing to pass the White Horse Prophecy as Evangelicals and Pentecostals do about hastening the day of the Rapture. It is fascinating to behold. And when my Evangelical and Pentecostal friends protest for Trump and against Romney, I just point out that the LDS folk are doing for their prophecy what Evangelicals and Pentecostals have been doing for theirs all along. Of course that usually doesn’t sit very well with eithher party. Sadly I have a talent at pi$$ing everyone off equally. 😉

  • Someone made the point on MSNBC that the Romney points will be used against Trump in the Fox debate…and then there’s the Megyn Kelley vs. Trump piece of the cage fight. And that means that non-content will continue and bar brawling will continue on the Republican side….perhaps with
    Rubio holding on to the Trump orangy tanning oil point of last weekend. Only in the general election can we hope for figures on tax revenues versus outflows…maybe…maybe.

  • I’m an independent that receives GOP fund-raising requests.
    The guy is speaking. I can’t stand it. Now, I have on TV a re-run of “Life Below Zero.” It just seems appropriate.
    The conservative monarchists/royalists and professional (serial election losers) GOP elites are going nuts. You know: them conservatives that voted Obama in 2008 . . . .Some say they’ll vote for Hillary if Trump is the GOP nominee, which tells me more about the no-good rats than it does about the pathological liar and sociopathic harridan that will be in prison in 2017.

    So, I will return the next GOP fund-raising mailing (prepaid postage) with expletives written all over it.

  • Fundraising paper is acceptable in the recycle bin, TShaw.
    Looks like Hilary is eminently happy with another supporter.
    It is too bad that there exists party politics in this world. Voting in primaries requires a declaration at the entrance table at the local voting place, where irrelevance is counted.

  • I think that the operations at the DOJ would be less discriminatory, among other things, when the next President is not a Democrat, the party that fought having God as part of its ‘platform’ and then decided to use Him to keep “c”atholic votes. Donald Trump is far above such blasphemy. That is the reality.

  • . Well….Romney’s attack went unmentioned in the debate. Rubio talked too much against Trump so that you didn’t hear his own positions. Cruz did a similar thing but added democratic history as villain. Trump got hurt the most by Megyn Kelley giving detail on the huugeness of the class action lawsuit against Trump University. Kasich seemed like a person while the other three seemed like fictional roles on stage…until a Fox moderator brought up his campaign video linking Trump and Putin as in a symbiosis of sorts as to ruling tendencies. We’re in trouble.

A Psalm For Our Time

Saturday, May 4, AD 2013



Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  One of my favorite Psalms is 127.  It ends:

Lo, sons are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has
his quiver full of them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

The imagery is powerful and states an obvious truth:  that our children are precious gifts from God.  Sons as defenses from enemies at the gate has often been literally true throughout history and will likely be true again in the future.

A friend of mine recently died.  He had led a somewhat rough life, had battled personal demons, and financial success had eluded him.  However he was a hard worker and a skilled craftsmen, I hired him frequently to do work for me, and he did his best to be a good father.  He had a great sense of humor and over the years he had helped quite a few people and organizations in my town.  His extended family was big and brawling, often fighting each other, but always with an underlying love and care for each other.  He died of a massive heart attack while working.  He left a teenage daughter and debts, and that is about all.  His large extended family rallied around the daughter and arrangements were made for her care by the family.  His family completed the jobs that he had not been able to complete before his death.  His funeral Mass was the best attended I can recall in our town and the atmosphere of grief, love and good humor was a great comfort to all.  A life well led because the deceased, with all the mistakes he had made, always put his family first and did his best to help others.

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8 Responses to A Psalm For Our Time

  • From the prophet Isaiah:

    “Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.”

    Ecclesiastes Chap. 1 tells us there is nothing new under the Sun. What has been will be . . .

  • God bless Mitt for standing up and quoting a Psalm. He is not in the spotlight anymore, I don’t know where that college is, but Piers and CNN put the spotlight on him because it fits the Christian bashing and conservative bashing narrative they want to promote– the same reason they Don’t shine the spotlight on Gosnell or Andrew Weiner– which would be bad for the ends they seek.

    We are past the point know of being shocked and buzzing among ourselves about how horrible it all is. We are called to respond. An agenda and plan of action of our own. Steadfast proclamation of the goodness and dignity of life according to the Good News is the right way to go. A brilliant and faith-filled move by Romney. He may be an ex- politician now and so feels free to read a psalm at a commencement. I hope politicians and statesmen will follow his example of forthrightly proclaiming truth without apology. they might if we the people raise our voices in defense of Romney and point out the ridiculousness of Piers etal.’s response. Speak up in defense of any politician who is brave enough to be a man of faith.
    I hope Piers and his silly friends feel the weight of public opinion directed right at him and all the bought off media.
    The cartoon on another page of this website show the holocaust of babies with the famous sarcasm of the sign “work makes you free” replaced by the determination: “Never Again”.

  • I’ve run into this attitude where I work. In fact, I think the fact that I have a bunch of kids has cost me promotions. Having eight kids is looked at as very strange. I get post interview feedback that has nothing to do with what I said in the interview, rather they seem to filter it and bend it into what they think I believe. I even had an interviewer question whether I could get along with people who were not like me. What the heck is that supposed to mean? One time I met a co-worker for the first time to discuss a project. We were introduced and another co-worker mentioned to her that I had five kids (at the time). She shrieked and exclaimed “Who would want five kids?” My former supervisor was on the interview panel years later when we had eight. He had watched this and remained silent. When we had another child later he said “Better you than me.”

    I would imagine that Donald’s late friend had a quiver full at one. My sister has only had two children spaced seventeen years apart. They welcomed and loved every child God gave them. It’s a shame that we have reached the point where children have becomes a professional liability which increases the more children you have. It is not surprising at all that the people at CNN look down upon large families.

  • “I would imagine that Donald’s late friend had a quiver full at one.”

    Four actually. His three sons are grown. I have three kids, and my wife and I are fortunate to have them as we went eight years before our twins made their appearance. In regard to having eight kids my reaction would be that any man who can handle such a mob must have excellent managerial skills!

    If you haven’t seen it yet, rent the film Cheaper By the Dozen (1950). There is a scene in there you will love.

  • Yes, my wife loves that film. I’ve tried being an efficiency expert, but my wife is having none of that. I don’t think I saw the whole thing. I’m going to have to watch it again.

  • “…sexually transmitted diseases that are increasingly resistant to treatment….”

    About thirty some years ago, Richard Pryor made this same point a little more crudely when he said, “They got some VD out there that scares the shit out of penicillin.”

    “In regard to having eight kids my reaction would be that any man who can handle such a mob must have excellent managerial skills!”

    My parents had ten of us, and eight of us were boys. I can’t say I can vouch for my dad’s managerial skills, but I can say that eight boys gave him a finely tuned BS detector. As the youngest boy, I was the unfortunate beneficiary of it.

  • My favorite scene from that movie “Cheaper by the Dozen” is the look on the Planned Parenthood’s representative’s face when all the children come running down the stairs. Priceless.

  • Or the look on her face when the father, Clifton Webb, asks mom, Myrna Loy, just how many herd of children they have currently, as they have so many it is hard to keep track!

What Is To Be Done?

Wednesday, November 7, AD 2012

The narrative game has begun. One of the major memes we can expect to hear now that the GOP lost the presidential race is that “extremism” is to blame. Many of us know that it was absurd to label Mitt Romney “extreme” on anything. Even those on the other side willing to concede this point will say something like “the GOP is being held hostage by the extreme right” and “the Tea Party is to blame for the GOP defeat.” This is all, of course, complete nonsense, but many Republicans will buy it.

I honestly don’t know if it is possible to isolate and eliminate the factors that are ultimately responsible for Barack Obama’s reelection and Mitt Romney’s crushing defeat last night. What I do know is this: in 2004, President Bush was said to have won primarily because of a surge of evangelical voters who stormed the polls to defeat gay marriage initiatives in key swing states. Last night, voters approved gay marriage in three states and defeated two GOP Senate candidates because of remarks they made to the media about rape and abortion. Neither “extremism” in general or the “Tea Party” is to blame; commentators have been quick to point out that Akin was not a Tea Party choice and that perfectly moderate Republicans such as Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin went down in defeat last night.

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25 Responses to What Is To Be Done?

  • I have lived through worse electoral disasters than this: 1964, 1974, 1976 and 1992. The saving grace after each such defeat is that it tends to bring new faces and ideas to the fore and sharpens the party for future victories. That, and the Democrats always overreach, as they will this time. The party actually is in better shape at the state level across the nation than at any time during my life. Quite a bit of potential there.

    A good post Bonchamps and I will be coming up with some other practical suggestions for the way out of the political wilderness tomorrow.

  • Leadership. The country and the conservative cause is in sore need of a strong leader. Back in the Vietnam era while I was a candidate in Officer Candidate School, I’ll never forget the description of what a true leader is; “he can tell you he’s going to take you to hell and back and you look forward to the trip!” Now theologically we as Catholics, have an issue with the details of that, but here is a point to be made by the statement. In my lifetime only one President comes to mind who fills that bill.

    The demographics of the country are rapidly changing. I have never been comfortable with the Republican strident stand on immigration. I’m not advocating amnesty, but we do need to confront reality. There needs to be a documented guest worker program to start with. In a few years, Texas may well be a purple state.

  • . There needs to be a documented guest worker program to start with. :

    Rubbish. Either allow people to settle or send them home. You import indentured servants you are asking for trouble.

  • You know, I will be quite frank about this: I am sick to death of the implications behind criticisms of the GOP’s immigration positions.

    Hispanics who are here legally ought to be in favor of upholding the nation’s immigration laws. If their position is essentially that we ought to not enforce the laws or create new laws that do nothing to address the problems associated with mass immigration, we cannot possibly endorse it. It is criminal and immoral to do so, in fact.

    We are under no obligation to endorse open borders, lax enforcement, and the cultural disintegration of our country. We have other options besides appeasing La Raza and MEChA, you know.

  • This is the kind of stuff, Bonchamps, that you’re really good at analyzing and articulating. I may not agree completely with everything in your post, but you make good sense and your facts seem correct. And since I am a nuclear engineer and not a political scientist, I will defer to your wisdom in such matters.

  • So what is the answer to selling the Conservative position to blacks and latino’s? Enlighten me. How do we get there? Or perhaps you believe it doesn’t matter?

  • I don’t know how we get there. I know what we don’t do to get wherever “there” is, though.

    Ironically, getting tougher on border issues could swing some of the black vote our way. Who do you think takes all of their jobs? Our angle could be, “vote for us – you won’t get as much welfare, but you’ll definitely have greater job opportunities as we send your main competitors packing.”

    It’s one option, anyway. But I certainly will not acquiesce to the notion that we sacrifice our cultural and territorial integrity for the sake of voters in this country who believe that the laws are meaningless and will punish the party that tries to enforce them. If that’s what this country has come to, then no election will change anything.

  • I live in Florida. I quite frankly resent the accomodations to Hispanics with language. You live here, learn the language. Music in Spanish at Mass or diocesan functions drives me nuts. Our parish as a ministry supports the mission that works with the field workers who pick the vegetables and the fruit. Americans will not do the work. They are illegal, but without them the vegetable and fruit industries are not viable. They wouldn’t be able to compete with imports from Mexico and South America. That’s what I mean by a guest worker program. Know who they are and create a record.

    As to the rest of the latino community, we best recognize that their numbers are growing legally. They are becoming an ever growing percentage of the population. They vote. They have issues that need to be respected. They are by and large Catholic and family oriented. They are conservative and should be voting with us, but they are not.

  • And what are those issues, exactly?

    Open borders and handouts. That’s what they want.

  • Family oriented voters are concerned about having enough for living expenses whether or not the funds are earnings. It seems that this concern trumps all others. From Instapundit:

    ‘ “The first day of the ‘next 4 years’ is starting in a very auspicious fashion. First, the market crashes. Then, a major blue chip company, Boeing, just announced it would cut 30% of management jobs from 2010 levels. And finally, the US Treasury just added $24 billion in debt, or enough to fund Greece for over one year, sending the total debt load (the US is now at 103% debt/GDP) ever closer to the debt ceiling breaching $16.4 trillion.”

    Posted at 10:50 pm by Glenn Reynolds

    I QUESTION THE TIMING: A reader who works at Yale emails:

    I found it interesting that this email came out today from Yale benefits:

    Dear Colleagues:

    We would like to make you aware of a significant federally mandated change which will impact Yale’s healthcare flexible spending account benefit. Effective January 1, 2013, as a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the annual contribution limit will be capped at $2,500. Currently, the maximum amount of pre-tax dollars you can set aside in a healthcare flexible spending account is $12,000.

    As a participant who contributed $2,500 or more in 2012, we encourage you to keep this in mind as you begin to plan for your 2013 out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision expenses. You will soon have an opportunity to re-enroll in the flexible spending account benefit plan during Annual Benefits Enrollment (December 3-17). As a reminder, you have until March 15, 2013 to incur expenses against your 2012 contributions, and until April 30, 2013 to submit claims those for reimbursement. We hope that this grace period is helpful for maximizing your flexible spending benefit for 2012.

    If you have any further questions, please contact an Employee Services representative.

    What interesting timing! I did know about this, as a former CPA/tax accountant, but how many did?
    Today my husband came home and told me that his boss informed him today that a layoff is planned. Small aerospace/manufacturing plant.
    We are worried. We were worried before the election that if the direction didn’t change, we’d face an ugly economic future. It may already becoming true for our family.

    I think a lot of stuff will be coming out over the next few weeks and months that was carefully kept off the radar before Election Day. ‘

  • To answer Jerry’s question I think the state Republican parties are a big part of the problem. More than a few seem indolent or dysfunctional (Bob Michel syndrome). They are often exclusionary in orientation. The VA Repubs spend most of their time fighting with the :”non approved” conservative types. Their get out the vote effort in VA this election was pathetic as far as I could tell. I asked them a couple of times since they didn’t want Tea Party types then what voters were they seeking to make up the difference? Never got an answer. I fear the only remedy is to get some disaffected Dem operatives to run the effort. At least they know what they are doing. If the state and local party is doing nothing on outreach a Presidential candidate showing an ad is not very effective. You can’t show up once every four years and expect a warm welcome.

    Obama got his toughest media questions from the Hispanic media over Fast and Furious. Good grief what a missed opportunity for Romney and Ryan. Here the Admin that so loves Hispanics is covering up the murder of many many Mexicans by ATF provided weapons. Except for the first debate I don’t think Romney made much attempt to explain how his policies would be better for voters including Hispanics than the Democrats policies. Most of his ads were just awful. In a 2 party system you always need to remember voters have a choice.

    Bush 43 got plenty of Hispanic support. He spoke some bad Spanish but the Bushes had a Hispanic wife or two in the clan I believe, That kind of acceptance speaks volumes. The Dems co-opt community leaders to vouch for them. They set up media networks to promote the Dem party indirectly. They also try to make association with the Repubs a form of betrayal. That way they neutralize a Hispanic Repub. Did you see any outcry from Hispanics when Bush43’s AG Gonzalez got in trouble?

    Repubs also don’t call enough attention to Dem’s hostility to religion (except Sharia Islam).

  • PM my thoughts and prayers are with you. I’m very sorry for you and many others. This is purely a national self inflicted wound which makes it doubly frustrating. The same post election angst is occurring in Argentina and France who also have voted foolishly.

  • “They are by and large Catholic and family oriented.”

    this means nothing, it’s like saying that well-to-do suburban Democratic family is “conservative.” Conservatives said the same things about blacks during the Bush years, they’re more religious/socially conservative, we can get them to break. it’s not really that simple.

    the GOP will not outbid the Dems on immigration. That doesn’t mean we have to outright antagonize them/that no change is necessary, but we also don’t have to embrace a position that will earn us nothing with Hispanics and lose white working-class votes in the process

  • I think you insult the citizens of this country in your article. Mob rule? Free stuff ? How about the tens of thousands injured in the wars started by presedent bush ? Are those people just wanting free stuff from the gov.? Could it be the mothers fathers sisters brothers of the fallen who just voted the republicans ‘ s out? How about majority rule, as it should be. The country is way , way better off now than 4 years ago. Employment up, home prices up, stock market up, inovative companies, false war in Iraq over, bin laden dead. extremism not to blame for losses ha ? What planet are you on? You might as well say horendous acts against women in Afghanistan are not extreme . And I wouldn’t call a few hundred dollars a month in food stamps, which is literally just barely enogh to eat now and emergency access to a telephone endless entitlment .come on. I thought Christians were supposed to feed the hungry . Lol shrinkage of the base ha ha . Your words betray your fear . Of course its possible to figure out why republicans lost, its all over the news god your in your own little world . Time to grow up , Jesus thought outside his box , maybe you could as well . Sorry excuse for an article bud .

  • With respect, there are many palatable ways to turn the immigration problem on its head, to turn it from a losing to a winning issue for Republicans. However, we can’t respond to every proposal as though what is good for aliens is bad for America. Whether you accept it or not, our future is as tied to theirs as it has ever been.

    For example: the technology non-immigrant visa is, for the most part, the H1B. It is on this visa that most of the IT workers enter the US to underbid US jobs.

    It can get complicated but, at its core, the process entails a company filing a petition for a worker and demonstrating that 1) they have tried to fill the post and couldn’t, 2) they have work for them to do, 3) the company can pay the prevailing wage, and 4) bringing in a worker won’t violate union rules. Sounds reasonable.

    The problem is that the system was established for “brick and mortar” enterprises in the old economy. The underlying assumption is that there is A job at A location, like designing medical equipment at a plant. IT doesn’t work that way and, so, the H1B system has to be twisted to fit this important sector of the economy.

    There is rampant fraud but most is subtle and disastrous for the US economy. A common scheme is for an Indian company to send a few representatives to the US to set up an US corporation. They, in turn, petition for highly skilled computer professionals from their own corporation. They then establish a servicing contract with the foreign corporation to show cash flow. The petitioned-for aliens are then installed at large US corporations to look for work that can be outsourced to the Indian company.

    On paper, everything looks legit… US corporation? Check. Cash flow? Check. Contract requiring a worker? Check. Only it isn’t legit. The worker isn’t a $62,000/year Programmer Analyst, they are a $120,000/year manager, finding work that can be outsourced.

    So, accept for a moment that I am being truthful… That little tale should make your blood boil. It does mine and that it plays out tens of thousands of times a year concerns me greatly.

    We can get mad and insist on wiping out the program altogether but that argument, right or wrong, will never garner more than fringe support. We can impotently rage against the Indians but that is mean and stupid. We can throw up our hands – as Congress does but that just gives legislative consent to the slight of hand.

    The cleverest remedy I’ve heard is also the simplest: eliminate the petition provision so that workers can work wherever they want, for whomever they want and let the market control their wages. I favor this proposal for two reasons: any rule of law that encourages deceit is a bad rule and greed is a sound foundation for market systems.

    Whatever the IT workwr’s loyalty, they know what they can get in the open market. The Indian corporations would have to compensate sufficiently to keep that worker working for them. US corporations, unable to get discounted labor from overseas would have to at least conside hiring US workers and paying them fairly and training in-house. Finally, you wipe out the economic insentive for the dummy corporations that make the fraud work.

    There are lots of changes to immigration systems that yield high economic dividends for the US economy and advance the interests of legitimate immigrants. We won’t reach them though if we on the Right react negatively to immigrants generally and immigration proposals as though they are inherently bad because they benefit immigrants.

  • Ben,

    I approved your pathetic comment just to pick it apart for fun. I wish I didn’t have so much time on my hands.

    “I think you insult the citizens of this country in your article. Mob rule? Free stuff ?”

    Yes, you know, the stuff Obama pays for from his “stash”, i.e. our tax dollars, things like free birth control for Sandra Fluke. Yes, mob rule, the people who threatened to riot and murder if Romney was elected. I know the media outlets you likely frequent don’t bring such things to your attention. Time to leave the MSM bubble perhaps. Google is your friend.

    “How about the tens of thousands injured in the wars started by presedent bush ? Are those people just wanting free stuff from the gov.?”

    Who said anything about that? Let me clue you in: as anyone who frequents TAC will tell you, I am opposed to Bush’s wars and think all troops should be brought home immediately. Sorry to burst your bubble on that one. And veterans are entitled to benefits, because national defense and related matters fall under the Constitutionally legitimate duties of the federal government. I know its hard for you to imagine a consistent political philosophy, but it does exist, I do espouse it, and you should look before you leap and make assumptions about others.

    “Could it be the mothers fathers sisters brothers of the fallen who just voted the republicans ‘ s out?”

    The military usually goes Republican. I know some soldiers. They’re all either GOP supporters or 3rd party. And they all despise Obama.

    “How about majority rule, as it should be.”

    Who said anything against it?

    “The country is way , way better off now than 4 years ago.”

    Excuse me while I finish LMAO.

    “Employment up,”

    Real unemployment is higher than it has been since FDR’s administration – 17% and rising.

    “home prices up,”

    They had nowhere to go but up, and it has nothing to do with Obummer’s policies. They would have gone up under McCain too.

    “stock market up,”

    The stock market tanked as soon as Obama’s reelection was called. So did the dollar, because the rest of the world knows that Obama will print trillions more dollars, creating imaginary money to pay for political fantasies.

    “inovative companies,”

    ::laughs hysterically::

    “false war in Iraq over,”

    Bush began the withdrawal process, and Obama is murdering innocent children with drones in Pakistan. Your president is as much a warmonger as W.

    “bin laden dead.”

    Well, I’m a crazy conspiracy theorist. I think he died in 2002 or sometime shortly thereafter, having already been on kidney dialysis well before that, and that whomever they bagged wasn’t bin Laden. We’ll never know, since Seal Team 6 was, on an entirely unrelated note, placed on a defective, outdated helicopter that blew up and killed them all.

    “extremism not to blame for losses ha ? What planet are you on?”

    No, poor discipline is to blame. Discipline is required to defeat the kind of people who mislead simple people, like yourself.

    “You might as well say horendous acts against women in Afghanistan are not extreme .”


    “And I wouldn’t call a few hundred dollars a month in food stamps, which is literally just barely enogh to eat now and emergency access to a telephone endless entitlment .”

    Its endless when it doesn’t end, when it becomes a way of life sustained by the labor of others.

    “come on. I thought Christians were supposed to feed the hungry .”

    Yeah. We’re supposed to do it as a free act of love, not because men with guns and badges will throw us in prison if we don’t.

    “Lol shrinkage of the base ha ha . Your words betray your fear . Of course its possible to figure out why republicans lost, its all over the news god your in your own little world . Time to grow up , Jesus thought outside his box , maybe you could as well . Sorry excuse for an article bud .”

    Well, given the level of basic grammar and command of the relevant political facts, I don’t think I’m going to take your criticism too poorly.

  • “home prices up,”

    “They had nowhere to go but up, and it has nothing to do with Obummer’s policies. They would have gone up under McCain too.”

    How true. Most homes around the nation during the reign of the Southside Messiah have lost 20 to 30 percent of value. I would wager that Ben does not own a home.

  • Sure he does… If by “own” you mean “borrow” and by “home” you mean “mother’s basement.”

  • Seriously though, “you can’t fix stupid” and the West is becoming increasingly stupid.

    Ignorance can be addressed in individuals. It tend to think of the word in a positive way, as in “I don’t know anything about that. Could you tell me something more so that I am not as ignorant?”

    Stupid strikes me as willful: as iin “I voted for Obama because Romney didn’t have an economic plan.” You see, in this statement, I betray that 1) having an economic plan is not really a requirement or I’d know that Obama didn’t present one and 2) I know that having an economic plan would be a positive thing for a candidatet but I choose to not investigate the matter.

    People are ignorant until they are informed but you can’t inform the stupid.

    The GOP can’t reach the stupid and we shouldn’t try, lest we be dragged down to their inarticulate, carping fom the sidelines of life existence. Don’s post above, forgive me for paraphrasing, calls for the GOP to inform, to correct ignorance. We simply can’t fix the Ben’s of the world; only He who let the blind man see can.

  • The analysis needs to go further. The very conversation itself here is using Liberal Democrat terms and concepts. Class designations are the tools of the left and the GOP cannot win any debate using concepts and descriptions created by the enemy.

    Republicans need to create a brand new paradigm from the ground up, standing on the principle of servant leadership, using the essences of Scriptural wisdom. No more collectivist terminology regarding race, sex, or any other demographic facet. That language must be continually attacked as dehumanizing and insulting to the sanctity of the individual person, from conception to natural death.

    The whole “War on Women” theme could have been wiped off the map, simply by saying “Our mothers, sisters and daughters are, like our fathers, brothers and sons, full and necessary participants in a society whose goals are civil prosperity, secure families and communities, and respect for every individual person regardless of station or circumstance. If all you believe women to be are mobile genitals, then you have that right, but we take a higher view.” Not just once, but time after time after time, from male and female spokespeople, and every variation on the theme should have been based on that principle.

    As well, compartmentalization of issue is a Leftist weapon. It must be recognized that all issues today, from business overregulation to gay marriage, are inter-connected and that by appealing to the commonality that all share – while pointing out the politically-motivated faux issues created by the left to maintain class warfare and societal division – the whole tone of the battle can be changed.

    The media will be the easiest target since they’re the least intellectually nimble of the bunch. All that’s needed are disciplined, principled and consistent answers to any given challenge on any given aspect of the paradigm, and the respondent silence will speak as loudly as any other potential reaction. Akin and Mourdock failed because they were politicians and not principled public servants. The GOP can turn those losses into huge gains by learning and applying the lessons. They must take the example of Edmund Burke, as posted today by Don, of service before office and the nobility of sacrifice of privilege for the sake of principle. This will be the greatest weapon, if in fact the Republicans can find enough principled people to wield it.

  • And THAT, WK Aiken is the best articulation of the issue I’ve seen in years. Thank you!

  • Bonchamps, you overgeneralize the “Hispanic” vote as badly as the Democrats. Hispanics are the single largest demographic in Texas, yet Texas voted red as blood. Ted Cruz is a Tea Party candidate and considered “extreme” right.

    Aiken is right – dump the demographic paradigm. Clinton was right – it is the economy. The GOP did not do enough on calling out the MSM on their lies about the state of the economy. I would have taken EVERY announcement of job cuts over the last four years and put that front and center.

  • Rozin @ 11:56: That comment was only an observation for the demographic discussion, meaning that it seems that living expenses are a basic concern for voters across the differing constituencies, not a personal statement about my preferences. The D campaign used the strength of that interest in a different way from the R campaign. Each side ‘scared’ the other as to income security, so I thought it might be something to look at by campaign planners. That for the good thought though.

  • You know, I will be quite frank about this: I am sick to death of the implications behind criticisms of the GOP’s immigration positions.


    Bonchamps, you overgeneralize the “Hispanic” vote as badly as the Democrats. Hispanics are the single largest demographic in Texas, yet Texas voted red as blood. Ted Cruz is a Tea Party candidate and considered “extreme” right.

    The “Hispanic” vote means that section that votes on open borders and support for the same. It doesn’t include the folks who vote conservative because that’s the world-view they have, same way that I’m not part of the “women’s vote”– abortion, birth control and single parenthood support– because I am a conservative.
    That is what the terms mean when the Dems use them, and if we talk about taking that group, we’re about the same sub-section.

    The GOP deals with what people think instead of what they were born. Buying into the Dem’s “born that way” mindset is dangerous, and seems to be getting more popular. (followed by those buying in being unable to figure out why they’re not as good at it as the guys they’re copying)

  • There was nothing wrong with Romney. We lost because of turnout – period. The democrats have a great ground game going now. The republicans are still relying on the appeal of common sense. It does not work this way. A community organizer can beat a republican time and time again.

    How do we rebound? We need to get organized and galvanized around a single carefully selected leader. We need to stop thinking of our individual causes and start thinking about whether this country will exist for our children and grandchildren.

It’s Not Cooperation with Evil If One Side is Not Evil

Sunday, November 4, AD 2012

Mark Gordon at Vox Nova explains why he is voting for neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney.

For my part, I won’t be voting for either Obama or Romney because both promise to pursue policies that violate my understanding of fundamental Catholic teaching. To invest my democratic franchise in either would, in my opinion, be an abrogation of my first responsibility, which is to to witness to the Gospel in all its dimensions. For me, there can be no disjunction between the two. To permit any other allegiance, identity, issue or ideology to trump the Gospel – even temporarily or provisionally – is, again in my opinion – a form of idolatry. Christian discipleship must be marked first of all by an unyielding evangelical integrity: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness …” (Matthew 6:6). And just as I would hope not to choose a “lesser” evil in my personal or business life, neither can I do so as a citizen. As I’ve often written here, when you choose the lesser of two evils, you still get evil. Christians shouldn’t be in the business of choosing evil.

Such is his right, and if he genuinely believes that voting for either candidate would involve cooperation with evil, then the choice is understandable and perhaps commendable. The problem with Mark’s analysis is that only one candidate affirms positions that are clearly in opposition to dogmatic Church teaching.

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25 Responses to It’s Not Cooperation with Evil If One Side is Not Evil

  • “3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    Cardinal Ratzinger

  • Thanks Don. I just put that in the main post – meant to originally then somehow managed to overlook it.

  • Thomas Kempis says always vote for the lesser of two evils in his Imitation of Christ.

  • Gordon essentially argues that “If the Pope insists that access to health care is a universal right than it logically follows that a complicated legislative initiative mandating that companies provide certain levels of insurance is something that all Catholics are morally obliged to support. ”

    The flagrant sleight of hand between universal insurance and universal healthcare really gets me mad and particularly because Repubs and even conservatives so seldom call it out. Obamacare and in fact any socialized medical system as in the Soviet Union or the Uk etc etc explicitly state that Health CARE will not be equally available. Ironically It is most true in the US which doesn’t mandate universal health insurance but does make every effort to provide Health Care even in the absence of insurance. Just read Ezekiel Emanuel or Tom Daschle (Obama’s medical gurus) about how millions of people are going to be denied health care because of age or cost or current medical condition unless euthanasia is now defined as “medical care”. Anyone who uses Insurance as a synonym for care as Mr Gordon does is not worth reading. Any insurance program is merely that “horror of horrors” to such individuals, a voucher system. If I buy insurance I merely have a promissory note and expectation that I can use my insurance voucher when I need it. If the govt is broke or feels it wants to fund something else they will start creating ex post facto conditions which will effectively negate the insurance. They will delay health care indefinitely without formally denying it. I don’t see any sentence in Mr Gordon’s specious arguments which even touches upon these health care issues which currently exist in other countries. (If he does mention it somewhere else then it doesn’t seem to bother him unduly since he doesn’t emphasize it here.)

  • Yes, I don’t really see the problem here. I believe there are other statements by Ratzinger indicating that one’s motives for voting are really what are most morally relevant.

    I think if you prioritize the issues correctly and vote rationally as a Catholic, Mitt Romney is an obvious choice:

    Obama is assaulting the Church.

    Nothing can be more important to a Catholic than the structural integrity of the Church.

    Stopping Obama’s assault ought to therefore be the number one priority.

    Electing Mitt Romney stops Obama’s assault.

    Ergo, vote for Mitt.

    A vote for some other candidate is fine if you live in a state where your presidential vote doesn’t matter. Libertarian, Green, Constitution, Socialist, whatever (some of those aren’t options for “serious” Catholics, by the way). I live in CA, so I can do that if I want and it makes no difference.

    If you live in a battleground state, though, you really do have more of a moral obligation upon you. A vote for Obama is a vote not only for taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, among other moral atrocities, but also for a continued direct assault on the Catholic Church. A vote for a third party candidate or no vote at all is sheer petulance, in my opinion, at least under those circumstances. And a vote for Romney is not necessarily an endorsement of Romney – it can be a vote of no confidence in the current regime, which I think it will be for most people anyway.

    So consider that even if you believe some of Romney’s positions are “evil”, and on foreign policy they may be in my opinion at least objectively (but NOT on economics, where I think he’s just what the country needs), consider that your reasons for voting as you do also matter.

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  • I have a question regarding which I don’t see much discussions although I remember reading this in an article by the Holy Father.

    Isn’t there a difference in voting for a candidate who has taken a position, say intrinsically evil, but voting for that person not for that cause but for other causes which are critical? In this case it is not a directly being ‘complicit’ but rather a different degree, if you will. Please explain.

  • “Now it’s interesting that Gordon uses the term “serious Catholic” because it echoes something my pastor said this morning in his homily, and it’s what inspired me to bother writing this refutation of Gordon’s post. I am paraphrasing, but he said that no morally serious Catholic would claim that any party or politician perfectly represents Church teaching. On the other hand, a morally serious Catholic should notice when one party or candidate repeatedly takes positions at odds with Church teaching.”

    Thank you for this post. When I read something that objects to a practical approach to voting in this imperfect world with veiled innuendo about what Mitt Romney may do, a little of one or the other of the seven capital sins pops out through the stated effort to be so loyal to the Gospel. Anger, pride, or envy? Unknown, but there is something that brings to mind the Beatitude:

    Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

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  • Because his vote does less than it could to prevent the largest portion of votes from possibly ending up with the candidate championing the gravest evils with the most vigor, is Mark Gordon at Vox Nova commiting a sin of omission?

  • May I recall some words of Cardinal Ratzinger, as he then was, addressed to the Catholic members of the Bundestag on 26 November 1981

    “It is of course always difficult to adopt the sober approach that does what is possible and does not cry enthusiastically after the impossible; the voice of reason is not as loud as the cry of unreason. The cry for the large-scale has the whiff of morality; in contrast limiting oneself to what is possible seems to be renouncing the passion of morality and adopting the pragmatism of the faint-hearted. But, in truth, political morality consists precisely of resisting the seductive temptation of the big words by which humanity and its opportunities are gambled away. It is not the adventurous moralism that wants itself to do God’s work that is moral, but the honesty that accepts the standards of man and in them does the work of man. It is not refusal to compromise but compromise that, in political things, is the true morality.”

  • Good Lord, the Obama administration is attacking the Catholic church & he won’t vote for Romney. Do some research on Romney as I did, a very good & moral man.

  • Henry,

    From the letter Don linked to above:

    [N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.

    In other words you can vote for a pro-choice candidate despite their position so long as there are proportionate reasons. I don’t think advocacy for single payer, for example, would be a proportionate reason.

  • “If you live in a battleground state, though, you really do have more of a moral obligation upon you… A vote for a third party candidate or no vote at all is sheer petulance, in my opinion, at least under those circumstances.”

    If you say so.

  • “Isn’t there a difference in voting for a candidate who has taken a position, say intrinsically evil, but voting for that person not for that cause but for other causes which are critical? In this case it is not a directly being ‘complicit’ but rather a different degree, if you will. Please explain.”

    As Paul point out above, this relates to the problem of cooperation. Quickly, we live in a world where it is unlikely that we would be able to do anything if we were stopped by possible evil outcomes. Moral theologians have long recognized that under many (?most) circumstances, it would be impossible for someone to do good without being involved to some extent in evil. Along with the principles of double effect, the principles of cooperation were developed in the Catholic moral tradition as a way of helping those in the world to discern how to properly avoid, limit, or distance themselves from evil (especially intrinsically evil actions) in order to avoid a worse evil or to achieve an important good.

    For example, one works in a hospital as a nurse. Abortions occur in the hospital. Does the nurse working there make her involved in evil? It depends. If she agrees with abortion and works there either to support the hospital’s mission in providing abortions (even if she is not directly invovled in abortion procedures) then she is involved in formal cooperation. This is necessarily cooperation in evil and makes here complicit in the evil.

    But what if she does not agree with the abortions. This will change the analysis from formal cooperation to what is called material cooperation. However, just because she does not agree with abortion does not get her off the hook. What if she is an OR nurse and assists with the abortion procedure. Then this is immediate material cooperation. Her assistance is directly necessary to performing the procedure and, even if she does not agree with the procedure, her actions are necessary to the procedure being performed. Immediate material cooperation is also always illicit.

    Now we get a little more complicated. What if her actions are not directly necessary to the procedure taking place. Say she is a recovery room nurse and does not agree with abortion but is called upon to take care of women after abortions. The procedure did not require her help to take place but she is indirectly helping in that if there were no post-op care the procedure could not take place. This gets to what is called mediate material cooperation – the situation where one does not agree with the intention of what was done (in this case abortion) but still assists indirectly.

    This is mediate material cooperation and the licitness of this depends on three factors (tired yet?) Mediate material cooperation is morally licit according to a proper proportionality between the goods to be protected or the evils avoided, on one hand, and the evil of the principal agent’s act, on the other. The graver the evil to which the cooperator contributes, the graver the good sought or the evil avoided must be. Second, The reason for cooperation must be proportionate to the causal proximity of the cooperator’s action and the principal agent’s action. That is, is there sufficient reason to be invovled given the evil involved.

    Mediate moral cooperation is further distinguished between proximate and remote. The distinction between proximate and remote refers respectively to mediate material cooperation that has a direct causal influence on the act of the principal agent (proximate) and that which has an indirect causal influence (remote). So in the case of the recovery room nurse she is involved in proximate mediate cooperation. The care of the woman however may justify her being involved and such care would be licit (some may disagree). An example of remote mediate cooperation would be a janitor who cleans the hospital. Clearly he is invovled in the hospital’s mission but is so far removed from the abortion acts as to have no significant complicity.

    The third criteria is he danger of scandal (i.e., leading others into doing evil, leading others into error, or spreading confusion) must be avoided. Even if one can licitly cooperate, if there is a significant risk of scandal, one should avoid cooperation.

    So I’m tired now. If you have questions, I’ll try to get to them later.

  • One last thing.

    “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. ”

    This also from John Paul II regarding illegal immigration in his letter on Migration Day, 1995:

    “4. When no solution is foreseen, these same institutions should direct those they are helping, perhaps also providing them with material assistance, either to seek acceptance in other countries, or to return to their own country.”

    As the first quote shows, the state may limit immigration. As the latter quote shows, those here illegally can be compelled to leave.

  • It would probably have irked Gordon to hear my pastor explain that the only issues that truly matter in this election relate to abortion, marriage, and religious liberty.

    Your pastor is simply wrong. War, torture, assassinations are also important issues. The difficulty is that the two leading candidates are not that different on these issues. I suppose O is slightly less likely to go to war with Iran (slightly, or maybe just not as quickly).

    Also, according to the logic employed here before, isn’t Gordon really voting for Romney by voting third party? He would have likely voted for Obama, but now that he is voting 3P rather than O, he is therefore voting for Romney. Or does that logic only work when you are tagged a “likely Romney voter going 3P”?

  • I probably erred or over-stated what my pastor said (I should have asked for a written copy of the homily). But those issues are the most important, and the ones that impact us as Catholics the most.

    I’ve actually never liked the “a vote for a third party is as good as a vote for Obama” line. No, only a vote for Obama is a vote for Obama. So it doesn’t work in either direction. Now, I’ve reached the conclusion that it is unwise to vote for a third party in this election considering the stakes, but that I still think that cliche is wrong.

  • For example, one works in a hospital as a nurse. Abortions occur in the hospital. Does the nurse working there make her involved in evil? It depends.

    Something a bit closer to my heart– finding an OBGYN that doesn’t do abortion, push sterilization, and throw a fit when you won’t take a subscription for birth-control post birth. I think I’ve finally found one that at least remembers I want to have kids….

    I find that one focuses the mind wonderfully on what levels of cooperation with evil are like.

  • I think the issue of abortion, marriage and religious freedom vs war, torture and assassinations gets to what Pope Bennedict said (as cardinal) about proportionality.

    In the US, there have been 53 million abortions. The US gov’t has done far less in the last 40 years in terms of war, assassinations and torture.

    It is worth noting that NEITHER canidate or canidates party has forsworn war, assassination and torture, but one party and canidate have sworn for 100% abortion.

    With that said, we must each vote our concious.

    Foxfier – don’t know if you will be back or not, but my sister is in NC and has a Doctor practice she goes to that has a Catholic take on fertility (ie no Abortions and won’t prescrib BC pills). In fact they have said to potential new doctors at the practice ‘if you want to do these things, don’t join us here.’ I wish you luck in finding the same

  • *grin * I’m always back, though I’ve been quiet of late….

    Sadly, I live in Washington. As best I can tell, everyone has to offer at least referrals for these things, if they’re a doctor.

    Made the mistake of trying the Franciscan health group, assuming it would be Catholic friendly… first doctor kept urging me to get sterilized, and when I told him I had religious objections, he wanted to know what religion. Claimed he’d never heard of a Catholic objection to tube-tying in over 20 years…..

  • War, torture, assassinations are also important issues.

    Not in this election or in any in the last twelve years.

  • Phillip –
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    Would that I had your education and eloquence – but now I am one step further down that road – Thanks so very much for your enlightening responses to Henry Peters’ question. I had the same ignorance but not enough smarts to formulate the question… so my thanks to Henry too!

  • But the Republican platform does countenance abortion in the cases of rape and incest.

  • There are No Words!

3 Responses to Compare and Contrast

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  • Once again, Obama appeals to the worst instincts of people – vengefulness, envy, resentment. Revenge for what? Revenge because Romney dared to run against him? Revenge because Romney is rich and successful? Or are we – the people who fail to bow before the greatness that is Obama – the ones that comment is directed against?

    In the annuals of history, powerful leaders have often sought revenge against their enemies. “Kill the kulaks!” To hear a president of the United States use such language is chilling.

  • Wow what a powerful video, I hadn’t seen it… I offered up my two favorite primetime news shows for a week up till thursday… :s

Election 2012: One Last Argument for Mitt

Thursday, November 1, AD 2012

The election is almost upon us, and many of us have made up our minds as to whom we are going to vote for, or whether we will even bother to vote at all. On the slight chance that someone from the ever-shrinking pool of undecided voters in a critical county in a vital swing state stumbles upon this blog post, the even less likely chance that they are Catholic, and the even less likely chance that their Catholic faith informs their political conscience, I’ll make one last appeal for a GOP vote.

I say a GOP vote, and not a Romney vote, because a) the most important issue at stake in this election really only depends upon which party, not individual man, is in power, and b) many people on the fence probably aren’t very enthused about Romney the man. I’ll admit that even as someone who has made up his mind, I am still not enthused. Granted, Romney isn’t as awful as many of us imagined him to be before he took Obama to the woodshed in the first presidential debate, it still isn’t easy to joyfully rally to his banner. He lacks the consistency and commitment to principle of the enigmatic Ron Paul, a pretty old guy who manages to get thousands of  modern American 20-somethings to care about things other than themselves, which is nothing short of miraculous in its own right. Still, he has emerged as a capable enough candidate for the highest office in the land. But let’s return to the issues.

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18 Responses to Election 2012: One Last Argument for Mitt

  • Permit me to say:

    Contrary to what Muslim apologist Obama, the progressive liberal agenda, and their adoring media want you to believe America is still a Christian nation in spite of all their ill begotten and somewhat successful efforts to lead us away from the God we proclaimed in our founding documents and in whom we have placed our trust for two hundred and fifty years making us the most generous defender of freedom and champion of peace in the history of the world.

    It has taken an electorate, deceived by media hype and the slick talk of a community organizer with a snake oil political platform built on the sand of Marxist social justice and constructed with inverted racism packaged as hope and change for a better future, four years to realize their tragic mistake but we are there now and the curtain of corruption has been lifted revealing the true and obvious nature of the beast of bureaucratic socialism set to use the next four years to finish the destruction of our country by virtual dictatorship of the most anti-Christian regime ever to occupy the White House. It must not happen.

    Over the years we have gone to every corner of the globe giving every ounce of blood sweat and tears it took to rid the world of tyrants in the name of freedom. Many of those were by all means monsters of madness which sprang up on distant shores but the one we face today has had the audacity to raise its ugly head from within our own house by cleverly deceiving the trust and compassion of, yes¸ the Christian majority of the nation wanting to show the world how tolerant and unbiased we had become. We were foolishly betrayed. That will not happen again this November, we have learned our lesson Christians.

    Bill Sr.

  • Watching the movie “The Hope and the Change” last night gives me some comfort in knowing that those who thought they were voting for a messiah have taken off their rose-colored glasses and faced reality. Let it be Lord, that with the wake up call of Sandy and Benghazi we may vote our consciences, informed and conformed, by the Truth.

  • Bill Sr.

    You Are Permitted!
    Awaken the sleepers.
    Blow a trumpet.
    Defend our freedoms.
    By God let the poles resound with a cry; “In this Nation we serve God by living the ten commandments and giving testimony that Jesus Christ is King!”
    It is and will always be…Our Father who art in Heaven / Not our father who art in Washington.
    We have reached the precipice.
    We will change direction and repent. Or we will fall.
    Lord have Mercy.

  • I disagree about the missile shield comment. We have a right to defend ourselves. That being said, I have no objection to sharing missile defense technology with the Russians. After all, it’s not an offensive weapon system. Why can’t we work together to defend our individual countries against rouge states like Iran? Hey, if we’re not supposed to engage in wars of adventurism in lands of Islamic fascism for access to mineral slime (otherwise known as oil), then why can’t we defend ourselves from the weapons that these mad men will eventually and inevitably get?

    BTW, want to stop wars in the Mid-East? Go nuclear and stop buying their accursed oil! Stop financing them! We can generate plenty of our own liquid fuels from our own American coal using the heat of nuclear energy from our own uranium and thorium, or alternatively switch over to cleaner hydrogen from nuclear energy. Stop the corporate socialism! Stop financing Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Gulf and all the rest! Treat all energy companies the same: just like nuclear, you don’t get to dump your trash into the environment, and just like nuclear, you get to finance your own self in the free market. This is simple: no more govt loans for anything. No more govt protection for anything. Just common sense regulation applied equally to everyone to protect the public. OK – enough of my diatribe. I am waaaayyyyy off track.

    Overall, good post, Bonchamps, even though I disagree about a few things.

  • “We have a right to defend ourselves”

    The missile shield doesn’t defend us. It eliminates Russia’s first strike capability, which puts it in a weaker geopolitical position and increases the potential for a conflict with NATO. Really it is time to dismantle NATO.

    Even with oil out of the equation, there are still self-righteous imperials who believe that the majority of Muslims harbor a secret wish to live in a Western-style democracy and eat at McDonalds, and that it is our duty to ensure that they are able to do so.

    “Go nuclear and stop buying their accursed oil!”

    After Fukushima, the after-effects of which still threaten all life on Earth, I’m a little less enthusiastic about the prospect of building more nuclear power plants. However, I think Palin had it right when she said “drill baby drill.” Drill it all up, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Fukushima happened because the plants were built next to the shore line without sea wall protection for the air intakes to the emergency diesel generators. So after the tsunami struck, the diesel intakes were flooded and AC electricity was lost. The plants were on the batteries that last only 8 hours. When the batteries died, the power to the governor controls for the steam inlet valves to the High Pressure Coolant Injection was lost. Those valves went shut. The HPCI steam turbines stopped, making their pumps stop. That resulted in a loss of core cooling. Eventually core heatup resulted in a zinc water reaction that produced the hydrogen gas which subsequently detonated. In spite of ALL of this, only SIX people died outright from Fukushima, and they were plant employee volunteers. NO MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC DIED FROM FUKUSHIMA. But a nearby town of 17000 people was completed flooded by a failure of the hydro-electric dam that cracked and crumbled from the Sendai Earthquake that caused the tsunami. And the natural gas and oil refinery tanks in the Chiba Prefecture burned for TEN DAYS, spewing their never ever to decay away toxic carcinogens into the environment. Tens if not hundreds of thousands of people died, but NOT from nuclear. Additionally, the NEW Westinghouse AP1000 and GE ESBWR passive safety designs obviate this ENTIRE failure scenario. These designs have 72 hour submarine type batteries and do NOT require electricity for emergency core cooling. Additionally, their spent fuel pools are located BELOW grade unlike the Mark 1 BWR containments at the Fukushima plants. I personally KNOW this because I worked on ESBWR and at a BWR and at a PWR for 30 plus years. One last thing: the safety upgrades that US plants did in the 1980s were offered to the Japanese, but they decided not to implement them. Now they got Fukushima, and your suggestion is no nukes, making them MORE reliable on dangerous fossil fuel failures like one that happened in the Chiba Prefecture. Kindly stick to Ron Paulism. it’s what you’re good at. I am a nuclear engineer and know what I am talking about. The Japenese screwed up – period. God help them. And donate to the nuclear workers at Fukushima instead of complaining.

  • Sorry for the spelling / grammar errors. Hate this I- Pad. Neverthless, I know what I am talking about. 30 years of training and experience. I am not lying. I am not misrepresenting the facts. I am a nuclear professional. AndI will defend the safest and cleanest form of energy God gave man with the same vigor that Inapply to other topics here at TAC or anywhere else for that matter.

  • Folks,

    Now that I have calmed down – there is very good information on the response of the US commercial nuclear industry to Fukushima here:

    Please click on the various daughter links to learn more.

    For the passive safety features of the new GE-Hitachi ESBWR design, please go here and use the media gallery to view an interactive video:

    For the passive safety features of the new Westinghouse AP-1000 design, please go here and use the on-screen instructions to view the various animations:

    A Fukushima event in the US is very, very, very unlikely, but failures from hydro-electric dams that can threaten millions are likely, as are explosions of natural gas pipelines. We should also note that 30,000 people die annually in the US from fossil fuel pollution due to particulate emissions from coal-fired power plant plants and other fossil fuel emitters.

    I can provide more information on spent fuel if need be, but the answer is the same: it’s safe – use spent fuel in fast neutron burner reactors like the GE-Hitachi PRISM or the Carlo Rubbia Energy Amplifier to consume the long lived actinides and leave only short lived ash residue. But waste from fossil fuel – including oil and natural gas – kills.

  • One last thing, Folks:

    Ash and other residue from coal fired power plants that supply 50% of US electricity releases more radioactivity into the environment in the form of naturally occurring uranium, thorium and radium than any US nuclear power plant does.

    But in spite of that, the amount of radiation released to the public does NOT constitute a danger. What does constitute a danger are the carginogens that burning coal, natural gas and oil release, but Bonchamps motto is, “Drill, baby, drill.” My motto is: “Recycle the spent nuclear fuel and stop dumping your fossil fuel excrement in the air that I breath.”

  • You don’t have the right to insult me on my own blog, so your offensive comment was deleted.

    Look, I’ve read what I’ve read about Fukushima. I’m sure your expertise is extensive and your opinions educated and valid. There are others who are equally if not more experienced and educated who disagree. My positions on energy aren’t set in stone and final – its not really a moral issue like abortion – and I am able and willing to change my views as new information comes to my attention.

    Now that you know this, kindly refrain from insults, hysterical CAPITAL LETTERS, and multiple postings on posts of mind that mention energy in passing.

  • Fine, Bonchamps, but when something is said wrong about Fukushima or the US nuclear industry, I will correct it. Kindly read the link to NEI that I provided. One goes to a brain surgeon for brain surgery and to a rocket scientist for a rocket. One should go to the nuclear engineers at NEI and the NRC for Fukushima and not the news media or the anti-nuke kooks (didn’t say you did). To get back to the topic of this post, Mitt Romney is a viable candidate in part because he does support a sane energy policy that includes nuclear as well as fossil energy. Nuclear is best. Fossil is better than no energy, but not nearly as good as nuclear. Mitt Romney is sane about these things. Obama and his support for useless wind and solar energy is not. And yes, energy policy can be a moral issue when tens of thousands die from fossil fuel pollution every year and those deaths can be prevented or minimized by increasing the percentage of nuclear used in the energy mix, which Romney will do. It is one of many reasons why I support Romney, which is the topic of this post. But wheverever nuclear is mentioned, people cite Fukushima, Chernobyl and TMI, and the explanations on these are complex and involved and difficult to understand to a person who knows nothing about radiation, nuclear engineering and related sciences. Too often the people making the initial comments don’t know anything about what they are commenting on – not their fault, they just haven’t been trained in science properly, thanks to our school system (a different topic for a different day). That said, Romney for President!

  • PS, I should not have used the word ignorant in a previous comment, Bonchamps. I apologize sincerely. It would have been better to have said misinformed instead of using emotionally charged terminology that is now regretted.

  • I’d say anything that can defensively eliminate Russia’s first strike capability, or any other nation’s with which we do not have aligned interests, is in the best interest of the US and its citizens.

    But as to the thrust of the post, Amen.

  • As a former nuclear submarine reactor operator, I agree with Paul D. Defense against aggression is always moral. I recommend Dr. Jerry Pournelle’s “The Strategy of Technology.” He was Ronald Reagan’s science advisor on the Strategic Defense Initiative. And Romney’s support for SDI is another reason to vote for Romney. He won’t sell out to the Russians.

  • One thing that can be said about Mitt Romney is that he will almost certainly and hopefully immediately eradicate these policies.

    Almost and hopefully. How reassuring. That said, I suppose it’s better than the persecution full steam ahead by the O.

    I am almost as PaulBot as one can be, but I agree w/ Paul on the nukes. France is what, 70-80% nuke, and I don’t recall hearing anything about them. Why look to Japan rather than France as the model, particularly given that the US has far more geographical choice about placing the plants than Japan does?

  • and by the second Paul, I meant Paul Primavera, obviously.

  • Thank you, C Matt. The new French socialist President is against nukes – no surprise there. He wants to de-nuke France to 50%. Foolish. I will write about this whole thing on my blog and post the link here to that discussion, but that’s not the topic of Bonchamps post and we should respect that. However, the statement Bonchamps made – “After Fukushima, the after-effects of which still threaten all life on Earth…” – is an example of anti-nuclear propaganda (no offense against Bonchamps intended) and unsubstantiated by web links to reputable nuclear engineering resources. As a nuclear engineerof 30+ years and a former submarine reactor operator, I know the statement to be demonstrably incorrect. I posted web links to reputable sources. Science is science and not open to public opinion. Not Bonchamps fault. He isn’t a nuclear engineer. We can’t expect an expert in one area to be an expert in all. And I should respect him and not use terms like “ignorant.” Confession time for me. But I can’t discuss more here since it’s not on topic. Romney for President and a sane energy policy that embraces nuclear power! OK, gotta go to Neutrons ‘R Us and keep your lights on and your refridgerators running!

Numbers Look Grim for President Obama

Tuesday, October 30, AD 2012

Superstorm Sandy has largely passed my area by, and Pepco has been spared another round of calamitous outages. Luckily for you that means I get to write a post digging deep into presidential election statistics.

Though the election polls have produced differing results, a general consensus has seemingly emerged. Mitt Romney is, at worst, tied with President Obama, and has upwards of a five-point lead. The Real Clear average of polls puts Romney up by less than a point. On the other hand, RCP has Obama up 201-191 in the electoral college, with a 290-248 edge in the “no toss-up” scenario. Obama has held a consistent edge in the battleground state of Ohio, though Rasmussen’s most recent poll now has Romney up by two.

In general, I agree with Jim Geraghty that it appears almost certain that Mitt Romney will win the popular vote. It takes polls with rather generous Democrat advantages (in the range of D+7 and up) to even get Obama tied. I trust Gallup’s likely voter screen more than other polls, and Gallup has had Romney with a steady advantage of three-to-five points.

It’s certainly possible that Mitt Romney could win the popular vote and lose the electoral college. It has happened to several presidential candidates in our history, and we are all familiar with what took place in 2000. What is fairly unlikely, however, is for Mitt Romney to win the popular vote by a substantial margin and still lose the electoral college. If Mitt Romney wins the popular vote by more than even just a percentage point, than he will be the next President of the United States. Of course we can never be certain in politics, but it seems like a safe bet that the electoral and popular vote winner will the the same person.

One of the reasons that an Obama electoral college victory in the face of a popular vote defeat is unlikely is that massive swings in national vote totals are reflected in all states. President Obama won the popular vote by seven percent over John McCain in 2008. Assume for the moment that Mitt Romney wins by just one percent – that would signify an eight point swing in favor of the Republicans. Such a huge shift in the electorate is not going to be limited to a small number of states. And as history has shown, when the incumbent party loses support, it loses support everywhere.

I have taken a look at each presidential election since 1976. Since that election, the incumbent has lost twice, the incumbent party has lost two additional times, the incumbent has won three times, and one time the incumbent party has won once. In all but two of the elections since 1980 there has been a net shift of at least eight percent. Let’s take a closer look:

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46 Responses to Numbers Look Grim for President Obama

  • The University of Colorado electoral model that came out in August is looking very very prescient at the moment.

  • It seems like one of the big problems with just about all models is that presidential elections are fairly infrequent and so for any given comparison there are very few like situations.

    Right now, what I’m moderately confident in is that short of some big surprise in the near future Romney should manage a popular vote win, though possibly a narrow one. The big question is how this plays out in the electoral college. The general rule is that the two don’t split. But on the other hand, there also aren’t a whole lot of really close modern elections to go from.

    I fear that the basic structure of the map and votes are better for Obama than for Romney, since Romney needs to win Ohio plus one other state that isn’t already a moderately clear win for him (I’m counting FL, VA and NC as fairly clear wins, though it’s possible I’m being over-optimistic about VA.) There are several solid possibilities, but it means that Obama just has to play defense and hope that Romney doesn’t break through, while Romney needs enough of a wave of support that several states fall his way. Romney does indeed seem to be riding a wave, but at this rate it seems like we won’t know till election night if it’s big enough.

  • I disagree with one aspect of your comment, Darwin. There seems to be the perception that Romney must win Ohio while Obama can afford to lose it and still win. I think that the reality is quite the opposite. The president is playing defense, and Ohio is his last line of defense. If that goes, he is done. While it would be difficult for Romney to lose Ohio and win the 270+ he needs, it is actually plausible that he can pick off enough states like Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Hampshire in lieu of Ohio (assuming other states like Florida, Virginia and Colorado come home).

  • That’s because in American history it’s only happened twice (excluding FDR’s third and fourth terms): James Madison in 1812

    Umm. I do not think there was any popular balloting for electors prior to 1824.

    Re a disjunction between the popular vote and the electoral vote. It has happened 4x and in a fifth case (1960) the Democratic vote in two states was cast for an “uncommitted” slate rather than one bearing the Democratic candidate’s name, so there is some opacity about how to tabulate the popular vote.

    1. In one case you had a multiparty contest and six states held no popular balloting, having the state legislatures select the electors.

    2. In another case you had jagged state-to-state variations in the relative dimensions of the electorate and widespread fraud and (down South) intimidation (topped off with a finicky legal dispute over the decisive electoral vote, an elector having been disqualified because a federal employee).

    3. In a third case, you had some of the above and a popular vote margin under 1%.

    4. In the other two cases, the popular vote plurality was under 0.6%.

    If Obama wins the electoral college while losing by two or three million popular votes in a clean contest, it will be something without precedent (but, then again, a great many weird things have happened in recent years).

  • is it assumed that Mitt has CO in the bag? If he wins OH but only takes back the South + IN (that one isn’t in doubt obviously,) he’d still narrowly lose.

  • Colorado had looked pretty good for Romney for a while, although now I think it is back in the toss-up column.

    Umm. I do not think there was any popular balloting for electors prior to 1824.

    The system was complicated, and I’ll have to look back at my books, but I don’t believe that is totally correct. IIRC, most states allotted their electoral votes based on popular votes by this time, though not exactly through the winner-take-all allotment practiced in 48 states.

  • * Since Republican states were traditionally designated with the color blue prior to 2000, technically Vermont has always been a blue state.

    And I thought I was the only one to remember that!

  • Why’d it switch?

  • G-Veg,
    It was never official, but blue for GOP had been the more predominant practice on TV network maps until Bush v Gore. I don’t recall what the networks did that evening, but the next day USA Today published a national map color-coded by county, which captivated American attention since it showed how how pockets of Dem support had overwhelmed a sea of GOP, and that map happened to use red for GOP and blue for Dem. After that, the colors became part of our national consciousness. Unfortunate if you ask me. Red is more appropriate for the Dems. That at least is my recollection.

  • Darwin,

    My comment was simply that the Colorado model stated in August what many people at the time said was fanciful – Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would all go for Romney. Minnesota and PA were viewed as solid Obama. Yet here we are a week before and both campaigns have moved to those states. I don’t know any pollster or analyst who made a similar call.

  • JDP,

    If Romney takes Ohio (assuming the South plus IN), then all he needs is any one of NV, CO, IA, WI, PA, or NH. While Obama could lose Ohio and still run the table in those states, it is not very likely.

    On the other hand, if Obama takes Ohio, Romney could still win if he takes (i) PA and any other state, (ii) WI and CO and any other state, (iii) WI and NV and any other state (except NH unless it brings along a single vote from ME), or (iv) various other combinations. While not easy, it is a better route than Obama’s.

    It is easy to see why both sides have to regard OH as key, but at the margin it is even more essential for Obama than Romney.

  • I guess the reason I’d see Obama as having the easier time at the moment is that if he just wins all the states that he’s currently ahead in the polling in, he wins.

    I’d say that Romney has a fairly good path to 248 and Obama only has a fairly good path to 237, but of the remaining states (NV, CO, IA, WI, OH, NH) they’re all ties or moderately good “leans Obama” cases.

    My big hope is that the national polling (which is much more frequent and statistically rigorous) actually gives a far better impression of where the states are trending, and that VA is thus a lock and OH is tipping into Romney’s column right now (as the last couple state polls do actually suggest). If that’s the case, with one week’s runway left we could be popping corks early on election night. But right now I’m still worried.

  • Back in the day, when broadcast networks were A) the only game in town and B) still more-or-less journalistically reliable, the colors actually were designed to switch every election. The incumbent was red and the challenger was blue one cycle, then vice-versa. This was originated in 1976 when NBC used a back-lit big board. But the scheme wasn;t close to nailed down yet – Republicans were usually blue because of the incumbancy-challenger cycle between 1980 and 1996. In 1980, the country looked, in the words of David Brinkley “like a suburban swimming pool.” CBS was reversed from the other two major nets, so even at that there was no real conformity.

    Eventually it settled into what it is now, for no real discernable reason, probably with the advent of CNN as a major player (GOP = red always) and because in 2000 the map was up for more than just election night as folks waited for the SCOTUS call. The two largest speculations are that Red and Republican both start with “R,” and that, in the eyes of liberal media types, blue is a peaceful and sophisticated color while red is angry and violent. Neither theory has been proven and both remain popular in various circles, depending.

  • Darwin,
    I certainly agree that cork popping is very premature. But the most recent reports from the best poll unpackers in the business (Barone and Cost) are very favorable to Romney. Assuming nothing, I’m going to be content with my optimism till proven otherwise next week.
    More specifically, I think Romney will take the southeast, and he is ahead in OH and CO once the polls and their imbedded assumptions are understood. If he takes Ohio, we win. But if he falls short in OH, I think he has still has a decent shot given the other combinations.
    But you are right, the race is tight, and optimism is not money in the bank.

  • Everyone, you might remember my post (linked below) earlier this month that stated why I believe the demographics point to a Romney victory in Ohio. I kept hearing from people in the know that everything was looking good and then the other day on CBS, the Ohio GOP chairman talked about the Ohio Groundgame being superior to the President’s, and the Democrats know it. As a matter of fact even Mark Halperin, no friend of the GOP, made a statement that his Democratic sources had never seen the Ohio Conservatives so organized.

    The Gallup early voting sample points to this as well. I believe Rush Limbaugh said something to the effect that this is what scares the Left the most. Below is also a link to a story of mine featured in the National Review, in which I talk about seven Ohio swing counties to watch on Election Night.

  • WK,
    Thank you for your clarification of pre-1980 practices. Seems spot on right to me. I still think the USA Today map is the explanation post-1980.

  • In terms of an electoral college/popular vote split, it’s worth noting that as of now several million people lack power due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, and it’s not clear how far recovery efforts will progress before next Tuesday. Since the damage seems to be concentrated in blue states like New York and New Jersey, it’s possible that depressed voter turnout in these states due to the storms could help Romney secure a popular vote majority even if he fails in the electoral college (at the very least, I expect this to be cited as an explanation for the Romney popular vote win if the split does occur).

  • Blackladder,
    That may be right, but unless there is some difficulty with the NOVA vote, do you agree that there would be no electoral college effect? If delayed metro-Philly returns are key to determining PA, it seems to me Romney has won.

  • Disenfranchisement!M!

    Damn Neocons! Hurricane Sandy is a conspiracy I tell ya! We should delay the vote by a month so everyone has a chance to vote.

  • BA says “It’s possible that depressed voter turnout in these states due to the storms could help Romney secure a popular vote majority even if he fails in the electoral college ”

    The only practical argument would be if Romney Won NY or NJ because of low turnout hurting the Dems And one or both of the states were critical to an Electoral College victory. That is not possible.

    Mike P There is no problem from Sandy in North or South VA affecting turnout. I don’t think it will have any significant impact in PA either. We are still a week away from the vote so I would only see parts of NYC and the Jersey coast being definitely impacted next week. I don’t think Obama will carry VA anyway.

  • I think BA’s point is simply that lingering storm effects could impact vote turnout in New Jersey and New York so that while neither state will turn into Romney states, the overall impact would be to push the popular vote towards Romney even as the electoral college goes to Obama. I don’t think that the storm’s aftermath is likely to impact the vote that significantly – assuming 40% of that vote is going for Romney, there would have to be well over a million people who can’t get to vote in order to ignite that much of a shift.

  • The loss of thousands of military absentee ballots doesn’t seem to bother the MSM a whit. However, the disenfranchisement of active duty military is deeply troubling, both because it seems immoral that we can’t seem to guarantee that privilege to those guaranteeing the privilege to us and because this could significantly affect states in play like PA.

  • I believe the polls unless I have a reason not to.

    I don’t trust Gallup – Their screen is too tight. They had Obama +11 in 2008, which was farther off than anyone. Currently, their Romney +5 is an outlier and I believe for the same reason.

    The reason for the “skewed polls” is Republican leaning Independents. Polls that treat them as Independents show Romney crushing Obama among independents, but a D+8 electorate. Polls that treat them as Republicans show an even race among independents with even turnout from each party. Either way, this leads to a narrow Romney win in the popular vote. The “unskewed polls” are probably double-counting Republicans.

    I believe Rasmussen tracking is bouncing between R+3 and R+1. I would put it at R+2. His national polls are dead on, but his state polls are less accurate.

    R+2 is slightly less than Bush’s margin in 2004. Although Bush easily won the popular vote the second time around, the election was in doubt until the next morning because of the close race in Ohio.

    Right now, the polls show exactly that happening. Romney wins the popular vote by slightly less than Bush, but barely loses Ohio and the election.

    The difference is that Obama is focusing all his efforts on the swing states (like Kerry in 2004) and ignoring the safe states. Expect Romney to close the gap in the blue states and run up the score in the red states, due to GOP enthusiasm, but he’s still not polling at over 270EV.

    An Obama win without a majority vote would arguably be a “worst case scenario”.

  • G Veg “However, the disenfranchisement of active duty military is deeply troubling, both because it seems immoral that we can’t seem to guarantee that privilege to those guaranteeing the privilege to us and because this could significantly affect states in play like PA.”

    Since the Repubs can’t be bothered to fight for it very much, I guess it’s not important to either party however immoral it is. This has been going on for many months and even goes back in some sense to Florida in 2000. Hardly a peep from Boehner McConnell and Romney.

  • Thanks, Rozin. I figured Sandy would have no effect, but good to know.

    Paul, Blackladder, and Jim,
    I don’t see why the popular vote matters. It is not the system we have or the way the campaign is conducted. If Romney falls short, he falls short. I don’t think he will, but if he does his winning the popular vote would be irrelevant except to the extent it deprives Obama of any claim to a mandate.

  • I take it as a given that Romney starts with a base of 257 electoral votes. This includes Colorado where the Republicans have the advantage in early voting.

    With that as a given Romney has the following paths to 270:

    1. Ohio-18 electoral votes.
    2. Pennsylvania-20 electoral votes.
    3. Michigan -16 electoral votes
    4. Wisconsin-10 electoral votes with New Hampshire -4 electoral votes
    5. Minnesota-10 electoral votes with New Hampshire-4 electoral votes
    6. Iowa-6 electoral votes-New Hampshire-4 electoral votes-Nevada-6-electoral votes

    New Hampshire I think is close to being a given for Romney. If Romney wins Ohio, Pennsylvania or Michigan he wins with no further states needed. With New Hampshire, Wisconsin or Minnesota can be Kingmaker states. If Romney loses all of the above states except New Hampshire, he still has a path to victory with Iowa and Nevada.

  • Oh, and if there is any doubt as to who has the upper hand in this race, I doubt if the Obama campaign strategists, in their wildest nightmares, imagined they would be buying TV ad space in Detroit a week before the election:

  • Another reason for the reversal of red and blue in political symbolism could be that red lost its association with communism and leftism in general after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, while the wealthy, well-educated elites or “blue bloods” that used to be the backbone of the GOP became much more liberal in their leanings.


    CBS used blue for GOP and red for Dem in 1980 even though Reagan ws the challenger.

  • Don is exactly right. Both candidates really need Ohio, but at least Romney has options if he loses Ohio. I don’t think Obama does.

  • Mike, I agree that the popular vote doesn’t matter in the end. My point is simply that I don’t expect Romney to win the popular vote by more than a scant margin AND lose the electoral college. So the national polls do provide meaningful insight.

  • NBC also had the blue = Reagan and red = Carter color scheme in 1980 as well (with Carter’s Georgia the only “red” state in the bunch shown here):

    Notice John Chancellor calling Reagan the winner at 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time (7:15 Central Time), which was somewhat controversial at the time since polls in some Western states hadn’t closed yet.

    Although I think Romney will ultimately win and by a larger margin than the media have led us to believe, I doubt the suspense will end quite as fast as it did that year.

  • Mike P: [Romney] winning the popular vote would be irrelevant except to the extent it deprives Obama of any claim to a mandate.

    Wishful thinking I’m afraid. The media will talk endlessly of all the vote suppression by those evil Republicans that silenced the voices of so many.

  • Paul, understood and agreed.

    Rozin, yeah they might try that but no one will take it seriously outside their echo chamber.

  • “With New Hampshire, Wisconsin or Minnesota can be Kingmaker states.”

    Wisconsin maybe, but Minnesota? Really? As Paul said a couple of weeks ago, it’s like the flip side or mirror image of Arizona — a state that “should” be red but remains stubbornly blue/liberal. I know there are some polls showing it could be in play but I’m not getting my hopes up. And, wasn’t the unexpected Romney TV ad buy in Minnesota really intended to target western Wisconsin voters?

  • The most recent poll we have from Minnesota Elaine shows it 47-44.

    Two things about this poll. First it is a Star-Tribune poll and they have a notorious history of greatly exaggerating Democrat numbers in their polls.

    Second, for an incumbent Democrat President to be at 47 a week out from the election in Minnesota is a definite warning sign that Obama is in trouble in this state. Minnesota hasn’t gone Republican at the Presidential level since Nixon in 1972. The Minnesota ad buy could do double duty. I doubt that the Romney campaign thought that Minnesota was really in play until they saw this poll.

  • D McC I doubt that the Romney campaign thought that Minnesota was really in play until they saw this poll.

    Then they didn’t take the University of Colorado model seriously either. I have trouble believing that they would do this based simply on some media poll, no matter the results, when they have been notoriously inaccurate and volatile this cycle. I’m inclined to view it as following the same logic that Obama had in advertising in VA late in 2008.

    Mike P: I hope so but an Obama win would mean that their echo chamber is pretty large. Although at bottom Obama doesn’t care whether he has a mandate or not to do what he wants.

  • A bit to my point, here’s a Rasmussen poll in Massachusetts that has Obama up by 19. He defeated McCain there by 26. There might be a bit of a home-state bias for Romney, but considering where his favorables were when he left office, maybe not so much. So there’s obviously no way Obama is losing, but if those numbers are accurate it shows how the overall tide is shifting. Those numbers are basically in line with what you’d expect from a 7-8 point swing in the electorate.

  • Okay, trivia time. We’ve already covered Minnesota being the one state that has voted Democrat every election since 1976. Can anyone name the nine states that voted Republican in each of those elections? No cheating.

  • Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Alaska?

  • You got 6/9 Don. South Carolina went for Carter in 1976, Montana for Clinton in 1992 and Arizona for Clinton in 1996.

  • Let’s try Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

  • Almost there. Arkansas went for Carter in 1976 and then for Clinton both times. Think states sharing an initial with yours.

  • Of course, Idaho, probably the most Republican state in the Union! I am surprised I overlooked it.

  • Good ol’ Idaho.

Enough is Enough: Rape Babies Don’t Deserve Death

Sunday, October 28, AD 2012

Thank the Good Lord I am not a politician. If I were running for office, what I am about to write would undoubtedly cause me to plummet in the polls and induce a heart attack for my campaign manager. It is up to us – bloggers, polemicists, wags, editorialists, etc. – to say plainly and boldly what politicians cannot say. By now hundreds if not thousands of us on the pro-life side of the spectrum have weighed in on the mountain that the Obama campaign and the leftist media have made out of the molehill of the “rape exception” that many self-identified pro-lifers hold. FYI: it is a molehill not because rape is no big deal, but because less than 1% of abortions are performed on rape babies. I don’t know if what I have to say will be different from what you have read, but I’m about to douse this issue in gasoline and light a match, so check yourselves now.

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17 Responses to Enough is Enough: Rape Babies Don’t Deserve Death

  • ” … I believe penalties for rape should be severe enough to serve as a real deterrent, which they never will as long as left-wing lawyers and judges dominate the judicial system. I believe radical pro-choice outfits should stop harassing pro-life pregnancy centers and other organizations that are out there providing millions of women with financial, social and emotional support. …”

    Add on severe penalties for life-threatening criminal activity in general, and watch them think before acting.

    Harassment is becoming something dangerous, as this election season is revealing it. We have leaders so irresponsible as to incite their base, rather than to caution about right and wrong or to give them credit for brains.

    The Richter Scale has numbers that apply exponentially to damage potential. The law does not. Killing children, and using Roe v. Wade for political gain and division of citizens, is not high-minded or related to peace.

  • Ditto, Bonchamps! – “Well, how about this: I support the second amendment rights of women, so that they can obtain weapons and defend themselves. I support laws that allow them to do so with lethal force and without fear of juridical reprisal. I believe penalties for rape should be severe enough to serve as a real deterrent, which they never will as long as left-wing lawyers and judges dominate the judicial system. I believe radical pro-choice outfits should stop harassing pro-life pregnancy centers and other organizations that are out there providing millions of women with financial, social and emotional support. And at the end of the day, I don’t believe that women who actually go through with an abortion under such circumstances should be thrown in prison, but I do believe that the medical frauds who kill babies for a living should be tossed into a dungeon and the keys jettisoned into outer space.”

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  • I’ve got a rather scathing response about my knowledge of basic biology meaning that I recognize an embryo is human from conception, and likewise is alive, and that if I were going to kill someone involved in a rape it would be the rapist, not someone who has the horrible luck to be genetically related to him.

  • Not doubting your 1% statistic but wondering where it comes from? I have heard it often but have never seen a source.

  • The less than 1% result keeps showing up, even in pro-abortion studies.

    Victims suggest that 1) a lot of rapes resulting in pregnancy aren’t reported, and 2) abortion makes it worse for the victim. (Shocker, women aren’t stupid just because they were raped.)

  • Great post. I agree with your statement that the vast majority of people are morally inconsistent. You’re also correct that people who make policy statements in public don’t have the excuse of not having thought the matter through.
    For this reason, I believe that politicians who claim to be pro-life, yet condone killing babies conceived during rape (like Mourdoch’s opponent) are not sincerely pro-life.
    The logical distance between acknowledging that life begins at conception and its protection no matter how it came to be is so short that the smallest amount of contemplation should be sufficient to make the jump. I think the pro-life movement would be well served by an information campaign to push this.
    Inconsistent politicians have no logical excuse. I believe that politicians who hold “semi” pro-life positions do so for purely political reasons (coughRomneycough).

  • What is to be said to those who have bought into the entire lie that pro-abortion advocates claim is the reason for safe and legal abortion? Those who have been decieved and brain washed are so misguided by those they believe that the words of those who wish to give them the correct information and guidance are regarded as extremist who are waging a war against women. The information that is presented to them shows them the truth but they do not recognize the truth. All they see is what there are told. I have relatives who are very close to me who I have had “discussions” with about abortion who listen and at that moment hear the truth and recognize it and agree with what they are being shown yet afterwards they still vote for the party that continues to lie to them. So once again.
    What is to be said to those who have bought into the entire lie that pro-abortion advocates claim is the reason for safe and legal abortion?

  • Richard,

    If the people you are speaking to “hear the truth and recognize it and agree with what they are being shown”, as you put it, and yet remain obstinate in their pro-abortion beliefs, there is nothing more you can say. Such people believe that ignoring the truth has no consequences and so they wallow in their indifference.

    But I believe God will punish indifference with more severity than outright evil.

  • First Person Account: A devout Catholic young woman was raped by a hired hand on her father’s farm in the 1930’s. Imagine the disgrace. A devout Catholic man met her and realized the severity of the situation and that he also had loved this young woman for some time. He asked her to marry him! He told her he would adopt the child as his own. Imagine the disgrace for him. Stories flew for years and years with the gossips of the small community. Many people thought they “had to get married”. You know you just did not talk about such things in those days. “They” had a baby girl which they named after the woman who “wiped” the face of Jesus. This couple went on to have 12 more children. This couple was married for 60 years. They both died the most beautiful deaths I have ever witnessed. On his deathbed his last words were, “eye has not seen, ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love Him”. “Their” little girl went on to have a wonderful family of 9 children and her husband has been a champion for the Right to Life”. She has passed now, and her husband is dying of cancer. They have 30 grandchildren many of whom are adopted. Most of who are practising Catholic or members of fundamental churches. Her life was inportant just as the woman who “wiped” the face of Jesus. And we have always thought we had our “own” St. Joseph example in our lives. Pity the world.

  • Very moving Jeanne. No rapes in my family history that I am aware of, but my mother was born out of wedlock in 1936. My grandmother rolled up her sleeves, went to work, and my mom was raised by her grandmother while her mom worked during the day. Money was often tight, the big treat each week was on Saturday night when my mom and my grandmother would each have a cookie and a glass of milk, but love was in abundance. Love usually finds a way to triumph over all adversities.

  • People make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes are sexual ones (anyone here not make a sexual mistake?), and sometimes those sexual mistakes have consequences, like an unintended pregnancy. The liberal left doesn’t want consequences, either sexual ones or economic ones. The liberal left wants complete license to do what it wants whenever it wants regardless of circumstance or consequence, and someone else is supposed to pay the price, whether that be the tax payer for free health care or an unborn baby who will be sacrificed for mere covenience’s sake. Therefore, I like what Donald wrote: ” No rapes in my family history that I am aware of, but my mother was born out of wedlock in 1936.  My grandmother rolled up her sleeves, went to work, and my mom was raised by her grandmother while her mom worked during the day.  Money was often tight, but love was in abundance.  Love usually finds a way to triumph over all adversities.”

    Love covers a multitude of sins. Isn’t that somewhere in the Bible? 😉

  • Has anyone else noticed the Planned Parenthood ad on this site?

  • Wow, Jeanne. Thanks for posting that.

Barbed Laughs

Thursday, October 18, AD 2012

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney appeared tonight at the Al Smith Dinner and gave the usual humorous speeches.  A few observations:

1.  Romney the Standup Comic-I was surprised at how well Romney did.  Comedy and Mitt Romney would seem to be mutually exclusive concepts, but he had good timing and delivered an effective series of jokes.  Funniest joke:  A reference to the Cardinal, because of Obama’s troubles with the Church, turning Obama’s wine into water.

2.  Flat Obama-Four years ago I praised Obama’s speech at the Al Smith dinner as being hilarious.  Not this year.  Most of his jokes fell flat and he seemed to be going through the motions.  Funniest joke:  He said at one point that for the third debate he was going to train as he did for the first debate.  Pause.  He then said that he was just kidding, that he only wanted to make Axelrod sweat.

3.  These Guys Really Hate Each Other-Both Romney and Obama at the end of their speeches gave unfelt praise to the other.  Their other comments dripped venom for their opponent, especially Romney’s comments.  No love lost here at all.

4.  Romney on the Attack-The usual humor at an Al Smith dinner is self-depracatory.  Romney had a bit of this but most of his humorous comments were fairly hard hitting attacks against Obama.

5.  The War on the Church-Romney was not shy in mentioning Obama’s attacks on the Church.  He joked that Obama has found a way to soften the attitude of the Church to the HHS Mandate:  the rules will be in Latin.

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59 Responses to Barbed Laughs

  • my pick for funniest joke was about O looking around at the dinner guests and thinking — “so little time so much to redistribute”

    my husband liked :”better off than you were 4 weeks ago”
    no I think my favorite was advice to B16 if he has troubles to blame it on JP2

  • Governor Romney had me laughing out loud through most of his speech. He was REALLY good. Someone wrote him an excellent speech and he delivered it just perfectly. I wonder how Obama felt sitting through all that. I confess that I didn’t watch Obama’s. I really can’t stomach watching/hearing him at all. I’m sure I didn’t miss anything.

  • Thanks for the update. I feel good about what I read so far.

  • The President’s remarks are brought to you by the letter O and the number 16,000,000,000,000.

    Priceless. 🙂

  • I feel even better, now, having listen to both of their speeches.

  • Great post Don, I particularly liked the Romney line about St. Peter facing an early doubter who kept saying, “You didn’t build that Church.”

    You know in each campaign there are moments that same to have no relevancy to the campaign, but later end up being some sort of indicator. In 2008 in an awkward moment John McCain was labeled as being old because he was fumbling around with his cell phone (which we many of us who are over 40 probably do on a regular basis.) Tonight it seemed President Obama didn’t want to be there (now in his defense I am sure a lot of candidates would rather be out on the trail 19 days before the election. ) However, as Don pointed out it seemed then Senator Obama really enjoyed himself in 2008.

  • ” … Rules of fairness have to be enforced, and what other safeguard do we have besides the press … My job is to lay out a positive vision for the country, and their job is to make sure no one finds out about it. ”

    ” Let’s just say that some in the media have a certain way of looking at things.
    … I’ve already seen early headlines about tonight … Obama embraced by Catholics, Romney dies with rich people. “

  • From day one Obama always sounded angry to me. He sounded angry here too. I’m confounded how more people cannot recognize this.

  • Watched the speaches on Hannity. I think Romney was better than Barry O’Bummer, even though his jokes were more pointed politically ( may have generated a little sympathy for Barry)
    I score it Romney 7 – “Hussein” 3 🙂

  • Pingback: Barbed Laughs | The American Catholic | Church News from Christian Web Watch
  • “3.  These Guys Really Hate Each Other-Both Romney and Obama at the end of their speeches gave unfelt praise to the other.  Their other comments dripped venom for their opponent, especially Romney’s comments.  No love lost here at all.”

    Maybe that’s good. Romney (unlike McCain in 2008) really wants to win. He is motivated as McCain never was. Obama, needs to face an opponent who won’t back down in front of him. He needs to sweat as does every liberal progressive Democrat.

  • So maybe Cdl. Dolan’s decision to go ahead and invite both candidates to the dinner wasn’t such a bad one after all? Just a couple of months ago there was all kinds of hand wringing and despair on the St. Blogs about how Obama was going to use this event as “proof” that he was “Catholic friendly” and win back the Catholic vote. Sounds to me like Romney was the one who benefited.

  • I never joined in the handwringing Elaine because I thought that shrewd fox Cardinal Dolan expected something like this to occur.

  • It might have been hard for O to be required to party with rich people, Catholics, and a rep of the Hierarchy– He did look angry. he obviously did not think his “joke ” about his middle name was funny. It is ok with me if he uses his middle name. I thought that him even saying that was a bid for sympathy pointing out the anti-multi-cultural bullies.

    he might have liked it better if Cardinal Dolan had not invited him– then he could appear morally superior to the church

  • I just watched both links above. I though BO was funny. I didn’t see too much anger in his humor… I thought Romney should have kept in the spirit of the 4th point listed above and not been on the attack in this forum. But it wasn’t over the top either. I just would ave felt better if the focus was more off BO for a bit.

  • Romney was definitely more barbed. As for Crdinal Dolan’s invite, I still think he gave Obama the impression that he has nothing to fear from the bishops…and he doesn’t!

  • And until Cardinal Dolan apologizes to the state of Arizona and begs forgiveness for the his libelous attack on SB 1070, he will still be a disgrace and and embarassment.I also believe he owes the same to Catholics in America that he would sully the Church by using his position in such a disgraceful manner.

  • PM

    isn’t that suppose to be “dines with rich people?”

  • Stilbelieve, yes. The missing ‘n’ is another reason I should avoid the below ‘post comment’ button.

  • I watched both speeches. Romney was terrific. On a side note, I don’t see how you can make a statement like this “these guys really hate each other”. Hate is a very strong word and I don’t think it’s something we as Christians should toss around lightly.

  • there has been plenty of Romney deprecating humor in the air–

  • “and I don’t think it’s something we as Christians should toss around lightly.”

    I call ’em like I see “em Mary.

  • Rallies against the HHS mandate will take place in more than 140 cities around the country tomorrow, Saturday, October 20.

    Let’s all make our voices heard!

  • That Mitt Romney was able to bring up the subject of Fairness, with no interruption, reminds me of David and Goliath story.

    “Obamateurism of the Day
    posted at 8:01 am on October 19, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

    There is almost nothing worse in politics than the zinger that ends up as backfire. Barack Obama thought he’d scored a big point on Mitt Romney Tuesday night by attacking his wealth, and specifically his investments and pensions:

    Ha ha! That’s great — Obama got to tell Romney that his pension isn’t as big as Romney’s, reminding everyone that Romney’s rich. Unfortunately for Obama, not only did Romney turn out to be right about Obama’s investments in China and the Caymans, for which Obama has hammered Romney for months, Obama has far more lucrative pensions than Romney does (via Carol Platt Liebau):

    As president, he will receive $191,300 annually for life — win or lose in next month’s election — and receives a travel allotment as well as mailing privileges. Should Obama lose, his presidential pension kicks in immediately after leaving office.

    Given that the president enjoys a normal life span, the pension allotment would be worth upwards of $6 million.

    The federal budget spends about $3 million annually for the four living ex-presidents. Obama also will get Secret Service protection.

    In addition, Obama may be due a nice pension for the eight years he served in the Illinois Legislature as a state senator.

    Illinois is infamous for its lavish pension plan for former lawmakers. A Freedom of Information Act request for Obama’s pension amount submitted Wednesday to the General Assembly Retirement System of Illinois was not immediately answered, nor was a call to the Obama campaign.

    But what about Romney? He must be getting some fat-cat pensions based on golden parachutes made out of the skin of workers sacrificed to the gods of Bain and Capitalism, right? Nope. In fact, Romney has no pensions at all, and only has the money he’s saved on his own (worth a considerable amount, of course):

    His Individual Retirement Account could be worth in the neighborhood of $87 million, as documented in an extensive report from the Washington Post.

    But as for a strictly public pension? Zip, zero.

    Romney only served one term as governor of the Bay State and did not take a salary, so he is eligible for nothing.

    So while Romney appears headed for a happier retirement financially, he’ll be footing his own bill — unless, of course, he wins next month. In that case, his nest egg will be even that much bigger than Obama’s.

    You think that a man who runs the most powerful nation on Earth might know something about his own portfolio before trying out that attack. Then again, Obama has rung up four straight trillion-dollar deficits, so clearly fiscal management isn’t one of his strong suits.”

  • I agree with Greg Mockeridge. I thought that Cardinal Dolan should never have given public recognition at a Catholic event to an abortionist and advocate of sodomy. The Cardinal, like most Roman clerics, is too enamored with the false gospel of social justice and the common good. But having Obama at a public forum hear with his own ears the disdain he has inspired in his opponent is something he needs. I am happy that his liberal, sanctimoniously open-minded, tolerate and diversity-supporting nose has been rubbed in that disdain. All liberals need to understand exactly how close-minded, intolerant and divisive they really are. Romney was barbed? Good! I hope some of those barbs went beneath the skin of Barack Hussein Obama and causes him to realize what a wreck he has made of this country both economically and morally, and how he just may fall in defeat on November 6th after all.

  • “Let’s all make our voices heard!”


  • Sorry, it was still a very bad idea despite Romney “winning” it. When all the analysis is over and done with most people will see Obama, Romney and Cardinal Dolan laughing it up together.

    Michael Voris says it best:

  • Nope, it was a very good idea. Too many Catholics are clear about the innocence of doves in Christ’s admonition and forget about the wiliness of serpents. I would hate to play chess against Cardinal Dolan.

  • Donald,

    Maybe you are correct. After all, Cardinal Dolan is a consecrated successor to the Apostles, having received the seal of Holy Orders (is that the right term?). As such, maybe it is the Holy Spirit who has inspired him to invite both candidates to the Al Smith dinner. I never thought inviting Obama to any Catholic function was right, but I am not in Apostolic succession as Cardinal Dolan is. Maybe I should trust that the Holy Spirit knows what He is doing.

  • Dolan probably depended mainly upon his native shrewdness Paul, but perhaps the Holy Spirit gave a nudge or two. I think the night turned out badly for Obama and I think Dolan expected it to. He had met both Romney and Obama on several prior occasions and I think he had the measure of each man.

  • Cardinal Dolan, in my very humble opinion, has out classed, out smarted and allowed humility to trump the arrogance of Chicago city organizer. Much of the public is aware of the violation of 1st Amendment rights to freedom of religion in relationship to the HHS mandate, despite the MSM blackouts.
    My hope is that tomorrow’s national rally for freedom of conscience will in some miraculous way help the undecided to vote for protecting our right to support the unborn.
    Cardinal Dolan took the high road, not the easier predictable road of “eye for an eye.”

    I pray it works.

  • “Illinois is infamous for its lavish pension plan for former lawmakers.”

    After the last election, one newly elected Republican lawmaker chose not to enroll in the General Assembly Retirement System — the first legislator that anyone can remember declining the pension. He only got one chance to enroll so his decision will stick. Now there are a growing number of Republican and even a few Democratic candidates for legislative seats promising voters that they won’t take the GARS pension, and it seems to be a popular move with voters. Giving up the GARS pension (which kicks in after only 8 years of service) is probably the easiest, most popular and most relatively painless form of Illinois pension reform out there right now since most legislators have other employment to fall back on. I would not be surprised to see the GARS system closed to further enrollment within the next few years.

  • Thank you for the video Jasper

    I think immediately of John the Baptist and King Herod

  • So Michael Voris would have us to believe that the Master would so no mercy. Better to bring on the persecution huh.
    I can’t buy it.
    The money changers and Dolan hobnobbing together for WHAT gain Darth Vortex?
    I see it now. So he is popular with the Catholic Dems. What next Mike? Having us to believe that Dolan is on the take. I see it now….the jet, the private estate, the scandal of it all.

    Thank God that He, God is our Judge, and not man.

    Please give Dolan the benefit of the doubt, and pray more…slander less.

  • I believe we are at minute 16 and counting with Mr. Voris.

  • “I believe we are at minute 16 and counting with Mr. Voris.”


  • To Paul Z and Donald M,

    What does the reference to minute 16 mean? Sorry. I really don’t know.

    To Jasper and Chris P.,

    I did not agree with Cardinal Dolan’s invitation for Obama to attend the Al Smith dinner. I thought it was like John the Baptist acquiescing to King Herod. But Cardinal Dolan is a successor of the Apostles, having been consecrated as a Bishop in Holy Orders. I do not therefore believe that Obama’s embarrassment and discomfort at the Al Smith dinner occurred without influence of the Holy Spirit on Cardinal Dolan’s decision to invite him (though Donald says that that is more likely attributed to Cardinal Dolan’s own craftiness). Indeed, while I am a big fan of Michael Voris, I think here in this video he comes dangerously close to laying his hands on the Lord’s servant, and even David would not do that to his enemy, King Saul. Of course, that means I have been guilty of the same,

    The other issue Michael Voris raised of all those rich people who fund the Al Smith dinner and are also contributors to pro-abortion, pro-homosexual politicians should be dealt with. but surely there are ways of communicating this to Cardinal Dolan without the kind of criticism we see here in Voris’s video. Again, my own similar sins come to mind.

    All this being said, the best thing that came out of the Al Smith dinner is Obama having to sit in the hot seat and publicly display facial signs of discomfort or anger. His real side is showing more and more this election season and the voters are seeing that. So while I had thought that Cardinal Dolan erred in the invitation, maybe I am the one who is in error. God’s will will be done. I hope that does not involve persecution of the Church as Voris advocated in his video, but Romans chapter 11 comes to mind. Would Voris himself remain true to his bravado in the actual face of such persecution, or would it be Cardinal Dolan who remains true?

  • Paul, it’s a reference to “15 minutes of fame.” I believe it was Warhol who suggested that all people are famous for 15 minutes. The implication is that Mr. Voris has reached the zenith of his popularity.

  • Thank you, Paul Z.

    Cardinal Dolan, in having valid Apostolic succession, does not need the 15 minutes of fame as those without such succession apparently crave when they speak with the authority reserved for someone in such valid succession.

    My sins of self-righteous criticism come to mind.

  • A problem other people named Paul struggle with sometime as well. 😉

  • Paul P,
    I agree with much of your post, especially this:

    I am a big fan of Michael Voris, I think here in this video he comes dangerously close to laying his hands on the Lord’s servant

    All I can say is this, I spent 45 minutes in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, then brought my young daughter with me for 5-10 minutes (about as much as she will behave) to spend with our Lord. As I reflect on this my time spent in Adoration, as her father I cannot imagine doing anything that would give the possibility of scandal to her.

    This whole affair just doesn’t sit right with me.

    Also, regarding John the Baptist and King Herrod, I was implying he did not acquiesce; He did not dialogue, he condemed Herrod.

  • I too have enjoyed the vortex, and I have been hard on Mike in this post. I lived near Milwaukee when Bishop Dolan, appointed by JP II, flew in to a post Wakeland Catholicism.
    I met Dolan at Holy Hill at an ordination mass on July 16th for a Carmelite deacon. To many, Bishop Dolan was and is the warm Spring breeze during a very long and cold winter.
    I’m biased, yes.
    I feel that Mike was unfair with his assault on our Cardinal.
    Please accept my apology for my harsh rebuttal to Mikes video.

  • While I have my share of problems with Voris, his video on this is pretty measured compared to other things he has said on other subjects. I don’t think it was a good idea that Dolan invited Obama. I think Mr. McClarey’s wishful thinking about the leadership of our bishops vis-a-vis the HHS mandate is in overdrive. I don’t see the shwredness in this decision at all. Obama didn’t come away from this looking any worse. In fact, he may have looked a little better. After the two debates he cames away looking like the thinskinned Messiah complexed ideologue that he is. His presentation at the dinner made him look like someone who could at least have a sense of self-deprecating humor. Whereas it was Romney looked like more of the attack dog at the dinner. Of course, I don’t have a problem with that. But Obama looked no worse for the wear.

    But I think reasonable people can disagree as to whether or not it was a good idea. Even though I have a very low opinion of Cardinal Dolan for the very serious reasons I state in a previous post on this thread, I think some of the King Herod comparisons regarding the invite were over the top. I just think he just reaffirmed in Obama’s mind that he has nothing to fear from the Catholic bishops in this country. Voris does raise a valid point about how he is going to deal with the self-professed legally married to her lesbian lover who is likely to be the next mayor (at least according to Voris I haven’t followed NYC politics close enough to know of her electoral chances). I’m not quite I embrace Voris’ view on that, but, like I said, it’s a valid point.

  • Greg.
    ..nothing to fear from the Catholic bishops…

    Let Obama think that. I hope he does. It should be the sheep that Obama fears.
    We will see if the Sheppards united effort this past year will be fruitful. I read that 52% eligible Catholics voted for Obama in 08.

    With the help of our Bishops this could be 20% or less come the 6th. Okay….I can dream.

  • Letting a bully think the object of bullying is weak will only increase the bullying. Tell me how do you figure any shift in the Catholic vote will be due to the efforts of the USCCB?

    I would suspect that if a Republican president had tried something like this HHS madate, the invective from the bishops would be signiifcantly more fierce than it has been toward Obama. The same USCCB joined forces with the Obama Admistration against AZ’s SB 1070, a just law that is clearly consistent with Catholic morality, in thier Amicus brief to the Supreme Court. They had the nerve to (get this) say it was aviolation of religious liberty. Did the USCCB file an Amicus against Obamacare when it went up to the Supreme Court, even though it had funding for abortion? Nooooo!!!

    As I point out in an above post, Cardinal himself launched what I believe is clearly a libelous attack against SB 1070

    Look up the text of SB 1070 and explain to me how an honest reading of the law warrants anything that remotely justifies Cardinal Dolan’s equating it the the KKK.

    Cardinal Dolan never dared levelling anything near that kind of invective at Obama.
    What kind of moral cerdibility does a Prince of the Church have when he engages in such behavior? Quite frankly, how anyone who calls himself an orthodox Catholic can read what Cardinal Dolan said about SB 1070 and not be outrage is itself an outrage.

  • ” I don’t see the shwredness in this decision at all. Obama didn’t come away from this looking any worse. In fact, he may have looked a little better.”

    That is a funnier comment than anything Obama said at the Al Smith Dinner Greg. I defy anyone to compare and contrast Obama and Romney at the Dinner and think that Obama came off looking the better for it. You have an axe to grind against Dolan because he does not share your support for the Arizona law and it colors your perception of what I think was a clear defeat for the South Side Messiah.

  • Donald I have “an axe to grind” against Dolan BECUASE HE SLANDERED THAT LAW, NOT MERELY BECAUSE HE OPPOSED IT!!!!!AND YOU KNOW IT!!!!!! I have provided clear divdence of it. It is a serious scandal!!! THis is something all poeple of goodwill, especially Catholics, ought to be outraged about, whether they agree with the law or not. Llike I said, the fact that anyone who calls himself an orthodox Cathoilic and not be outraged by Dolan’s conduct is itslef an outrage. Donald, tell me how an honest reading of the Arizona Law (you can find it online, it’s only 15 or 16 pages) justifies Dolan’s equating it with the what KKK did in the South.

  • Chill out Greg. Typing in caps makes your tirade against Dolan no more convincing to me. I think Dolan is wrong on the Arizona law and dead right on inviting Obama to the Al Smith Dinner.

  • Okay, chilled. But Dolan was not just wrong, but scandalously so. You do not find it to be a serious problem when the most influential bishop, with a huge reputation for orthodoxy, engages in the same kind of calumnious race baiting Obama and the rest of the left does?

    As far as the Al Smith Dinner goes, I think it was a bad idea on Dolan’s part yes. But I also pointed out that reasonable can disagree. I thought Romney looked a little oetty in his obvious attack mode, although I liked the digs and Obama looked less like the thinnedskinned ideologue he really is. I even said I thought, despite my utter contempt for Cdl. Dolan, I thought the Herod comparisons were over the top.

    Donald, for bishops moral credibility is everything, particularly now. You may not want to come to terms with this, but the bishops don’t have any, all the fawning notwithstanding. They are a big reason why Obama thought he could get away with the this HHS Mandate. And they have supported policies that enabled this. And until they acknowledge their responsibility in helping cause this, all their posturing will amount to nothing bu a dog and pony show.

    Chill enough for you?

  • P.S. Donald I used caps in the previous post, to make my indignation over your mischaracterization of my problem with Dolan as being merely his not sharing my view on the AZ when you know that was not the case. A retraction on your part is in order I think.

  • I personally think Greg that bishops should rarely speak out on any political issue, with the exceptions being where there is a clear violation of Catholic teaching of the magnitude of abortion. In regard to immigration my preference would be for the bishops not to take any side at all on the issue, since it doesn’t rise to the level of abortion, and reasonable people can disagree, as opposed to abortion. I have actually been quite heartened by the reaction of the bishops to the HHS Mandate led by Cardinal Dolan. Dolan’s benediction at the Democrat convention was of a piece with inviting Obama to the AL Smith Dinner. I believe he is playing a very clever game in regard to Obama, and I think it will show when one of the factors leading to Obama being defeated is his losing the Catholic vote decisively in the swing states.

  • “A retraction on your part is in order I think.”

    NO! 🙂

  • Greg-
    Letting a bully…

    Read the accounts of St. Maximilian Kolbe, and the conversions that followed. St. Steven. Gondi. Countless heroic acts of Faith in the face of bullies have brought about deep and lasting change. It has a soul piercing effect that moves mountains and this is why I believe it works, even in this case with the naked emperor.

    As I mentioned before, my HOPE and prayer is that a miracle takes place. Today the third stand up rally takes to our public streets. The third this year. More priests are openly speaking from the ambo to Catholics everywhere of the fight that the administration brought to us. We did not pick the fight, however we will not walk away from it. This message from our Bishops has permeated to local churches, and my prayer and hope is for a miraculous catch. Say 32% swing.
    Let down your nets for a catch.

    I’m trusting, hoping, praying and physically on the street to bring attention that this current emperor is naked. That we Shall Never submit to Laws that trample our consciences regarding the protection of the unborn
    If Christ is with us who can be against us? The bully is toast.

  • Well, Donald, that you have no problem with mischaracterizing the positions of another, and allowing it to stand,s speaks a very unflattering truth about you. But that’s my problem it’s yours.

  • I think I will put you on moderation Greg until you grow a sense of humor and perspective.

  • I also disagree with Dolan on the Arizona law. However, I am startled by people who seem to expect that Dolan should refuse to have anything to do with the President of the United States, and the leading NY pols. I’ve always enjoyed my visits to NYC. However, it’s a deep blue, very liberal city with a very high abortion rate and its’ elected officals reflect that. So…what is the Cardinal supposed to do? Hole up in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, shunning all the terrible sinners out there? Or does he go break bread with the sinners and engage with the world? The Cardinal of NY, the most high profile Catholic in the nation, cannot be a monk, turning his back on the sinful world. He has to go out there and engage people, powerful, worldy people, including those who hate the Church and all that it stands for.

    Believe me, secular leftists would like nothing more than for Dolan to do what purer-than-pure Catholics seem to want him to do – disengage from politics and refuse to meet with or entertain politicans who are less than pure (by definition, that’s just about every pol out there).

  • While I disagree with Cardinal Dolan’s position on illegal immigration, he is NOT the enemy. We should remember that Satan is the enemy and the Democratic Party operatives his foot-soldiers. Yes, the words Cardinal Dolan used in criticizing the politicians in Arizona who enacted the immigration reform laws that he does not like were harsh, but certainly no harsher than words which I have used to criticize Democratic Party operatives among the clergy. There is a world of difference between Cardinal Dolan who clearly has his heart in the right place, and Bishop Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany who authorized the distribution of needles to heroin addicts in his city, and who gave Holy Communion to pro-abortion, pro-sodomy Andy Cuomo and his live-in mistress Sandra Dee at the Gubernatorial Inaugural Mass, praising Cuomo for ushering in a new age of the gospel of social justice in NY State. Ezekiel 34:1-10 clearly applies in the case of the latter, whereas in Cardinal Dolan’s case, what we should do is write him letters, explaining with reason and dispassionate analysis why his position on illegal immigration is wrong. I get the impression that unlike clerics such as Bishop Hubbard, Cardinal Dolan is amenable to logic and not beholden to partisan politics. True, he has a streak of social justice in him, but I attribute that to the indoctrination which most Catholic clerics received in Seminary in the post-Vatican II environment. And no, there is nothing wrong with Vatican II per se, but rather its interpretation and implementation in liberal Western societies, but that is a topic for a different discussion.

    Suffice it to say that I can disagree with Cardinal Dolan on issues like illegal immigration, but I do think he is a hero when it comes to making Obama feel the discomfort of the influence of the Holy Spirit convicting his soul. I think that has something to do with why Obama launches into Planned Parenthod advertisements right after the Al Smith dinner. He doesn’t like a prince of the Church putting him on the hot seat, so he ups the support for what the Church opposes as though to say, to use a Battlestar Galatica term, “Frack all you Catholics.” I say praise the Lord for Cardinal Dolan (but I still will oppose all that social justice nonsense tooth and nail).

  • I think some of the King Herod comparisons regarding the invite were over the top.

    In hindsight I shouldn’t have said that. My passions get the best of me quiet often. I think the best thing to say is I think it was a bad decision to invite Obama and leave it at that. Bad analogy, I apologize.

  • The comments have been an interesting conversation.

    I watched both videos more than once–this was a national broadcast that matters alot, I think! I watched it from my home in South Puget Sound, WA state, which assuredly will go to Obama thanks to the People’s Republic of Seattle. I loved loved LOVED Romney’s remarks; he may have benefited from a low bar–he is not known for being a great wit. I loved the attacks on Obama, thought they were all wickedly funny; Obama had some funny lines too, but he was not warm and graceful like Romney. Maybe he is dealing with his upcoming election loss, but he has also oft been described as having a “cool” temperament and maybe this has served him poorly. He might have been a better president had he been lampooned this effectively more often in public and the MSM. Finally, I have thought for a while that he has crummy speechwriters; who remembers anything great from his speeches? I sure don’t; what he will be remembered for is that silly line about the oceans rising, etc at the time of his nomination, and his gaffes.

Scoring the Debate

Wednesday, October 17, AD 2012

I was a little disappointed to see some mainstream conservative pundits declare Obama the victory of the debate “on points.”

Obama, to his credit, performed much better this time around. He kept pace with Romney and landed a number of critical blows. He came out ahead on the Benghazi exchange, though as other pundits noted, the story tomorrow may not look so good for him. But I don’t think Obama can be declared the winner of the debate.

Each issue ranks differently on the list of importance for voters. I think many of us would agree that the economy is by far the most important issue for most voters, including the undecided voters who were present at the debate and in the post-debate focus groups. Given this, it follows that winning an exchange during the debate on the economy ought to be weighted more heavily than winning an exchange over other issues. Of course almost all issues can be related back to the economy, but some are more “purely” economic than others.

On those issues, I thought Romney emerged the clear victor. I think he presented himself as someone with a superior working knowledge of business and economics, and probably inspired more confidence in his ability to handle the nation’s economic problems than the President.  Double Romney’s points for every answer that created the impression that he knows more about economics than Obama, and he becomes the clear winner of the debate.

I may just sleep through the foreign policy debate, though. My regular readers know why. I’m a Paulbot anti-American isolationist! No one represents my views. Oh well.

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17 Responses to Scoring the Debate

  • Last time Romney won because Obama didn’t show up, this time Obama lost it, with his PP rant. After the Komen debacle everyone knows they don’t do mammograms, but Obama’s been shilling for them so long he couldn’t help himself. I sensed a shift in the political ether the moment he told the lie and lying about the Libya attack didn’t help him either.

  • about “Paulbots…” i don’t have a problem with an alternative to the neoconservative mentality that dominated the Bush term, and Obama’s current soft-power strategy that seems to give democratically-elected Islamic parties the benefit of the doubt. my probably with Paul/the paleoconosphere in general, and i have no idea if this is true of you, is that they seem defined much more by what they’re against than what they’re for.

    for example, obviously no one wants to invade Iran. does that mean a nuclear Iran’s acceptable though, in terms of the amount of leverage they’d gain? i suspect if you pressed Paul on this he’d say that it would be manageable, which is not a foreign policy view i’m inclined to support. now granted i’m not knowledgeable enough about military actions that could be taken to destroy their nuclear facilities that wouldn’t involve a land war…but it just seems to me that people like Ron Paul start off at this immovable anti-interventionist assumption, even in the case of severe threats to international stability, and occasionally veering into the ridiculous, i.e. his position on the OBL raid.

  • my last sentence wasn’t clear…my point was basically that Ron Paul has a convenient foreign-policy ideology that he defers to no matter what’s happening in the world, one that i don’t think is sufficient for certain international matters. just cuz neoconservatives were wrong on Iraq doesn’t discredit all forms of intervention.

  • It was Paul-bots like Tom Woods who helped me towards the Catholic church (and your blog). Keep it up.

  • From a strategic perspective, in my view Obama comes out the winner in this debate on Benghazi alone. It doesn’t matter that he was lying. It doesn’t matter that the moderator was incorrect, if not lying through her teeth (not to mention out of line to insert herself into the exchange to begin with). All that matters is that the audience got a real-time “fact check” entirely in Obama’s favor…and for most casual viewers, they’ll never bother to look into it any further than that.

    It doesn’t matter what Romney does on that front from here on out. Obama has effectively neutralized the issue for the remainder of the campaign–that’s a major vulnerability off the table.

  • Bonchamps, I have never seen you as “anti-American”. Isolationist, yes, but not anti-American.

  • Bon,

    You know you’re not anti-American. You have strong opinions. Me, too, the difference is I’m borderline [fill-in-the-blank].

    Another thing: Obama actually is anti-American.


  • I don’t see it the way LV sees it although Romney wasn’t particularly slashing. Crowley’s overt attempt to help Obama has made her and her comment an issue, thus keeping Benghazi going. Keeping Benghazi going is doing Obama no favors especially with the 3rd debate on foreign policy. I expect Obama to initiate some diversionary military operation because the issue is still haunting him.

  • Rozin, my point was that the people who follow the controversy as it plays out are the people who would have gotten the truth anyway. It’s the casual viewers, who aren’t that invested in following the day-to-day politics of the race and just tuned in to watch the debate, who won’t watch any of the follow-up and see who was actually right–and my hunch is that those casual viewers include a large portion of the undecided voters who will determine this election.

    And as far as those viewers are concerned, based on what they saw last night, Romney got caught red-handed in a “lie,” and Benghazi is done.

  • What kills me about Obama is that they, meaning the media, must constantly run interference for him so he get away with his lies, or he gets to hide behind women’s skirts – his wife, Jarrett, Rice, Clinton, Crowley. One on one with Romney or any conservative, he would be squashed like a bug. It’s very frustrating to watch. My heart tells me that if this is an honest election, Romney will win, but increasingly, my head is telling me that he will pull a “Chavez” and steal it. I hope and pray I’m wrong.

  • Great news for the Obama re-election campaign: Honey Boo Boo endorses the Won!

  • The saddest thing is how this administration has beaten down America and society. Through the media support of its bias and un-diversity, these useless schemers are draining the economy for themselves and damning their voting block. Even his wife told a group to nicely tap anyone who may not vote to support her husband then say what they want about the tapped after they go away. Nice talk for a character model of the people. Gangbangers is what Mr. and Mrs. call people when they aren’t talking to them. on & on & on with phony two-faced talk for votes. Some local reaction of their voting block to a visit by the flotus was that she did wave or get out of the car for the people lined up on the route to fundraising lunch, where they had been standing for hours.

    Obamas don’t like this country and are acting like pirates of infamy and getting away with it.

    The Romneys, if they replace the administration, will have an almost healing effect – on society and the media sickness. There will be no repercussions because working to repair damaged America is more important to them.

  • JDP,

    ” just cuz neoconservatives were wrong on Iraq doesn’t discredit all forms of intervention.”

    No, but America’s lack of financial resources and frayed credibility make it unwise. Can the Fed print money fast enough, can the government borrow money fast enough from China, can the IRS collect taxes fast enough to finance another war?

    There are many good reasons to pursue a non-interventionist foreign policy, beginning with financial limitations.

    As for the rest, yes, I think Romney looked bad on Benghazi. But I still believe, and I think the polling data will reflect it in the coming days, that he won on the economy and that this is significant.

  • that’s all true. i would just be interested in if there is a way to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities without invasion if we get to that point. like i said i’m unfortunately not really knowledgeable on the specifics, because it’s not a “new normal” in the M.E. i find acceptable. i am not for another regime change war in the region though.

  • I also was disappointed to hear pundits giving O points that I don’t think he earned. And I have a question about how they measure the time:

    When it is Romney’s time clock and Obama or moderator talks and fogs over his answer, do they still count that as time that he had?

    I was disappointed with CNN too- We were watching it because the person we watched with thinks FOX is right and MSNBC is left and CNN is right down the middle…
    For the first half of the debate they always split the screen when Romney was talking– so that the visage of O was a constant distraction from what Mitt was trying to say. When O talked he got the full screen and all the attention focused on him. Part way through the debate CNN corrected that so I wondered if people had complained to them and forced them to change camera work

  • LV argues his case well, although I think the main problem is the Repub acceptance of moderators who are colluding with the Dem candidate. Without that intruding moderator, Romney would have the obvious rejoinder that if Obama claimed terror in the Rose Garden why did he and the others run around for more than a week saying the video done it? The test will be what kind of audience shows up for the third debate on foreign policy where this gets rehashed. I was surprised that the viewership for the second debate was that close to the first. If the third is high also then the issue of out of touch voters going off with a wrong impression would be mitigated. But again a well argued position.

Debate Advice-Round Two

Tuesday, October 16, AD 2012




I posted debate advice for Mitt Romney prior to the first debate which may be read here.  My advice for round two is as follows:

1.  Don’t Get Cocky-You had an exceptionally good first debate.  Enjoy it and forget it.  That was round one of a three round fight, and who is left standing at the end of the third round is how you determine the victor.

2.  Don’t Sit on a Lead-  That is what Obama tried to do in round one and it was a disaster.  Don’t make that elementary mistake.

3.  This is a Townhall Meeting-We have Joe and Jane Citizens asking the questions and that is a challenge.  The media is predictable, ordinary citizens are not.  Listen closely to the questions and answer them. Ignoring questions at a townhall can be ruinous, especially if they are inane.

4.  Aggressive Obama-After his fairly passive performance at the last debate, Obama will probably come out full of fight.  That can work to your advantage at a townhall if Obama comes across as over the top before a live audience.  After the Biden debacle I think he will probably avoid this, but don’t be surprised if he has flashes of temper and be ready to capitalize on them.

5.  Jobs, Jobs, Jobs-You can bet that almost every person in that townhall will have a friend or relative who is either unemployed or underemployed.  Pledge to turn the economy around and put America be back to work.  Be detailed as much as time allows.  People were impressed the first go round at your breadth of knowledge and your ideas.  Play off of those strengths.

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6 Responses to Debate Advice-Round Two

The Subtle Art of Political Advertising

Tuesday, October 9, AD 2012

Back in graduate school a professor of mine discussed the 1984 campaign. One of the national nightly news telecasts (I believe it was ABC) ran a segment basically running down the Reagan economy. It was one of those voiceover features that had a lot of stock footage of Reagan in various places: the Rockies, Mount Rushmore, and other locations featuring Reagan speaking. It was meant to be a devastating piece, but one of the members of Reagan’s campaign team called ABC afterwards and thanked them for the feature. Why? Because the visuals were all of Reagan in these fabulous settings, and in a visual world what appears on screen often trumps the content of the spoken word behind it.

That all crossed my mind when I saw this Barack Obama ad attacking Mitt Romney. Watch this video with the sound down first:

The content of course is absurd. “Partisan experts on our payroll say that Mitt Romney will raise taxes on the middle class to pay for the tax cut for the rich he’s not proposing.” Whatever. It’s par for the course for the Obama administration, and it’s an attack that is resonating less and less each day.

What struck me were the visuals. It shows an authoritative Mitt Romney at the debate. He’s talking in what appears to be a very passionate and confident manner. Meanwhile, President Obama is nodding along with his head down. It just seems like such a bizarre image to portray to the electorate. It’s an almost submissive, timid looking Obama being lectured by Mitt Romney. Considering how people drown out the content of these ads, it’s a visual that essentially reaffirms the post-debate sentiment that Mitt Romney took Barack Obama to school. No matter what was actually said in the ad, the voter is left with a visual image of a beaten-looking president being shown up by an energetic challenger.

Obama may have had a very successful fundraising month, but he might want to reconsider how is money is being used.

Update: Just saw this from Aaron Goldstein where he also ponders why Obama keeps running ads that seem to help Romney.

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7 Responses to The Subtle Art of Political Advertising

  • The same sort of thought crossed my mind when I saw the ad last night. If I were Obama I’d do whatever I could to pretend last week didn’t happen. I sure wouldn’t keep reminding people about it.

  • Because Obama-worshiping imbeciles are sold on Big Bird and Elmo not employment (But, can they spell it?), skyrocketing gasoline prices, murdered diplomats in Libya, murdered GI’s in Afghanistan, . . . [sigh]

  • Then there’s the visual of the empty chair in the White House…

  • A classic example of the Obama campaign running an ad that helps Mitt Romney:

    The Emperor not only has no clothes, he has no good ad men apparently.

  • I am wondering when it will occur to the public: if the Democrats respond to every idea with ‘Well, the only way WE could think of to deal with this involves a huge tax increase’, that might not be an argument for keeping them in charge?

  • September – before the debate – was a good fundraising month for BO. October’s numbers will speak boatloads.

  • It seems surprisingly fair of Obama to run that ad since some of Romney’s ads were rather supportive of Obama (as noted here and elsewhere). As for fundraising what’s a billion dollars between the Chinese Army, Russia, and assorted worldwide leftists and maybe some Mideast oil countries not eager for energy independence to come to the US? We saw this tape in 1996 (and maybe in 2008) but the Repubs and the country apparently see no big deal in it.

Third Party Love & Hate

Tuesday, September 25, AD 2012

A couple of posts at Breitbart’s “Big Government” site have resulted in thousands of comments  and intense debate between libertarians and conservatives, and between libertarians themselves over the merits of supporting a third-party/independent alternative to Mitt Romney. Having been involved in third-party politics myself at one point in my life, I am sympathetic to the cause. But given the stakes this November, I’ve decided to hold my nose and vote for Romney, as I’ve already posted here at TAC.

I must say, however, in response Kurt Schlichter (the author of the aforelinked pieces) that I regard this as a highly personal choice, and not one that I am willing to guilt others into making. On many of the issues that matter to me and other Ron Paul supporters, Romney is absolutely abysmal and nearly indistinguishable from Obama, whether we are talking about civil liberties, constitutional protection of the lives of American citizens (even the bad ones), foreign policy, monetary policy, and a host of related issues. Those who prioritize such issues cannot be expected to give Romney their vote. There was also the disgraceful treatment of Ron Paul and his delegates by the GOP at the RNC this year. Schlichter would have us basically forget all about it.

With that said, however, when Ron Paul stopped actively campaigning for the GOP nomination, his candidacy in effect came to an end. There certainly is something bizarre about a pledge to vote for a man who by the looks of things would like to settle into a well-deserved, hard-earned retirement from public life. I always suspected that Paul didn’t really want to be president. Some see this as a positive trait, and it can be in certain contexts, but men also need leaders. If that makes me sound fascistic, so be it. Human nature is what it is.

So people who accept the reality that Paul is unable or unwilling to capture the nomination and the Presidency are then faced with other options. I’ve explained my choice, but many others are considering Gary Johnson, and Schlichter is addressing them as well (as well as Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party candidate’s supporters). Aside from the fact that Johnson is pro-choice and therefore unsupportable for Catholics, I don’t begrudge anyone the right to support either of these men as an alternative to Romney.

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18 Responses to Third Party Love & Hate

  • “. . . but men need [sic] also need leaders. If that makes me sound fascistic, so be it.”

    Not at all. Leaders take many forms. The biggest difference between what the Obammunist/Peoples’ Democratic Party and Libertarians would call “a leader” is that the O/PDC believes Leaders should be iconic, centralized power-structure figures, a` la Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Mussolini, Chavez, Castro, Kim, Kim, Kim. . .

    Libertarians, both “large-L” and “small-l,” believe leaders are those who lead their families, communities and nation best by serving them, in the example of the ultimate Servant Leader, Jesus Christ. Those who provide the skill, foresight and initiative to risk and grow business, to plan and execute charitable causes and to provide models of involvement and direction not from a lofty Ivory Tower but from the trenches where they serve are who we call “leaders” because they lead by example and not by dictate.

    Nothing fascistic about that.

  • To me, it comes down to winning battles, or winning the war. Winning the war is changing our culture of death to one of life. The coming election is just one battle in that war. Despite what some insist, I don’t believe the election of Romney will stop our sprint to Gomorrah. If we sell our vote to the Republican party to win this battle, we will have gained indefensible ground. Romney, despite his prolife platitudes, is pro-abortion at heart. His only difference with Obama on foreign policy would probably be Israel. Economically, he will at best only slow the ticking of our debt bomb. “Independent” voters will see the lack of change in 2016 and give us another lost battle.

  • I get where you’re coming from, but it is hard to win a war without winning any battles. I don’t really disagree with you that Romney is not going to do much (probably slow our sprint to a light jog, perhaps). But, as Bonchamps correctly points out, Romney is at least marginally better/less bad than the O.

  • WK,

    Thanks for highlighting my egregious late-night typo, lol. I think libertarians/constitutionalists/paleocons (the “alt-right”, as it were) need a leader who isn’t afraid to lead and who doesn’t approach politics as if it were a smelly diaper. We need a leader who is willing to, to continue the metaphor, get his hands dirty. Not too dirty, not “hop into bed with Wall Street” dirty, but at least more aggressive and organized than what we have seen from Ron Paul or before him Pat Buchanan.

    Tony H,

    I agree with you, more or less, though I believe Romney has no choice but to govern in a pro-life manner. I’m not convinced Romney will even slow the debt bomb, but I am convinced he won’t lift a finger to stop the implosion of the dollar. I believe he will continue the vast majority of Obama’s policies, which are themselves continuations of Bush’s policies. One thing I think he won’t do, though, is press Obama’s war against the Church and religious freedom in general. And that is important to me, and significant enough to warrant my vote.

  • We need a leader who is willing to, to continue the metaphor, get his hands dirty. Not too dirty, not “hop into bed with Wall Street” dirty, but at least more aggressive and organized than what we have seen from Ron Paul or before him Pat Buchanan.

    Dirty, not enjoying filth. Difference between dirt under the nails and someone who just never washes his hands.

  • I think libertarians/constitutionalists/paleocons (the “alt-right”, as it were) need a leader who isn’t afraid to lead and who doesn’t approach politics as if it were a smelly diaper.

    It might help if libertarians could ever acknowledge there were social problems other than ‘government failure’, constitutionalists could figure out that positive law should reflect conceptions of justice and notions of prudence and does not form the essence of them, and the rest of them to stop pushing projects of dubious utility and validity (Austrian economics, ‘race-realism’, and the various and sundry personal complaints, conceits, and emotional disorders of palaeo spokesmen).

  • I realize that a second Obama term is the worst thing that could happen.

  • Well, up until now, it’s been a tiny movement. It hasn’t been producing great leaders for the same reason that China gets more Olympic medals than Liechtenstein.

    The biggest thing to hit the libertarian cause hasn’t been a political party, but a movement. The tea partiers have given the libertarians a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The relative health of the Tea Party movement is going to be pretty easy to measure come Election Day; if it is still healthy, the libertarians would be smart to cement their bonds with it.

  • This is a good piece. Rhetorically caning those who are going to, or are likely to, vote 3d party does nothing on behalf of a major party candidate.

    I think libertarians/constitutionalists/paleocons (the “alt-right”, as it were) need a leader who isn’t afraid to lead and who doesn’t approach politics as if it were a smelly diaper.

    What Art said, and let me elaborate slightly:

    Libertarians need to acknowledge that individual liberty grew in America as part of an ecosystem with an indispensible buttress: a socially conservative/religious ethic which mandated delayed gratification, duties to others apart from the self, and an understanding of “rendering unto Caesar” that put Caesar firmly in his place. Reading contributors to “Reason” and viewing Libertarian candidacies in general, there isn’t the beginnings of a glimmer of a clue on this point. Somehow, Caesar marches on despite their atomistic arguments and defenses of license. Oddly enough.

    “Constitutionalism” does have a worrisome tendency to engage in debates that Talmud scholars or students of the Scholastics would find too impractical, abstract and technical. Reciting the Constitutional provision is the beginning of wisdom. But only the beginning.

    Paleos need to stop gnashing their teeth over Appomattox and busing.

  • Pinky,

    I hate to say it, but the “Tea Party” movement was co-opted a long time ago and is virtually indistinguishable from the mainstream GOP. When a committed foreign policy hawk like Allen West is the model “Tea Party” candidate, there will only be ruptures between that movement and the libertarian movement. There are many areas I think conservatives and libertarians can overlap, but on the question of liberty vs. safety, there is an unbridgeable chasm. I have a bit to say about this.

    We (the paleo side of ) will not sacrifice liberty for “safety”, and we do not view “Islamo-fascism”/threats to Israel as anywhere near what ought to be America’s priorities. We are a new generation that did not grow up during the post-war period, does not view America as a global actor as if it had a halo, wings, and the rosy red cheeks of the cherubim, firing little Cupid-arrows of freedom at mean old dictatorships, and do not wish to commit trillions more dollars to overseas adventurism.

    Like I said in a previous post, our message to the rest of the world is the same as one of the last Roman emperors to the far-flung imperial posts in places like Britain: look to your own defenses. American decline is real and inevitable, and it can be graceful with a chance for recovery and maintenance of great-power status like the United Kingdom, or it can be catastrophic like the Roman or Soviet collapse. But the view, common in the “Tea Party” I think, that America has a divine right to permanent superpower status is in our view a pathetic delusion. And this is what primarily divides, in my opinion, the “Tea Party” from the libertarian/constitutional/paleocon movement, the true “Alternative Right.” It is not, contrary to what some believe, “social issues.” Which brings me to…

    Dale Price,

    “Libertarians need to acknowledge…”

    Yes, and I think many of them do acknowledge those things. I think that was the significance of the Ron Paul campaign. Ron Paul is adamantly pro-life. Even if some social conservatives don’t agree with his emphasis on state’s rights, there is no doubt that he not only morally opposes abortion (with libertarian arguments, no less), but believes that the role of the state (at some level) is to protect innocent human life. He has also emphasized the role that churches played in providing medical care long before there was government involvement in these areas. A Ron Paul “alternative right” coalition has many seats at the table for principled pro-lifers and social conservatives in general, provided, I think, that we retain a local/state level emphasis instead of insisting that only the federal government can restore the social fabric.

    What libertarians REALLY need to understand is what Charles Murray brilliantly analyzed earlier this year – the role of the family in establishing economic and social security. The disintegration of the family only increases the justification for statist intervention. The stronger the family, the weaker the rationale for government involvement in our lives. So it is in the vital best interest of the libertarian to support conservative social values at least on SOME level.

  • Austrian economics a ‘project?’ Is gravity a ‘notion?’

  • Bon, I’m not sure that you can conflate libertarians and paleos. At least, not in a border state. For many of the people who would self-identify as either group, the whole lump of national issues (language, immigration, trade) are really important, but they hold exactly opposite views.

    Also, you may be too quick to write off the Tea Party, or more accurately the set of emotions which lie behind the many organizations that arose under that broad title.

  • Pinky,

    I don’t mean to conflate libertarians and paleocons. But if Murray Rothbard could support Pat Buchanan, I think there is some hope for a coalition. Ron Paul has pointed out, as well, that unrestricted immigration is a fiscal nightmare as long as the welfare state exists. A libertarian who supports unrestricted immigration in the current political climate is simply irrational and working against his own presumable goal of eliminating the welfare state.

    Of course, there will always be the dispute between economic nationalists and free traders, between a vocal and virulent anti-capitalist minority on the right and the Austrians, and so on.

    But I really think that there is more agreement than disagreement. Both want the state out of their lives. Both are opposed to foreign military adventurism. Both are opposed to the bailouts, to Fed’s unlimited money-printing scheme, to the toxic revolving door between corporate America and the regulatory bureaucracy. Because of Ron Paul, social conservatism can get a fair hearing from a growing number of libertarians. The importance of the family is not just moral or theological but also economic and social.

    I think what Ron Paul has started can grow into something more. I think he provides the first key link between the libertarians, the constitutionalists, and the paleocons. What is needed is clear thinking on the issues that divide these groups. Some of the differences are legitimate, and others are based upon sheer ignorance, on knee-jerk assumptions, and a horrid lack of imagination. I think these problems can be fixed.

  • Austrian economics a ‘project?’ Is gravity a ‘notion?’.

    1. Yes
    2. No

  • Sure, there’s a subset of pro-family libertarians, and they all attend church on Sunday.

    The problem is, I just might be familiar with all of them.

    And none of them are at the controls of the Johnson campaign, Reason, Cato, etc. Sure, Cato has had some nods to pro-family thinking, but mostly in the context of welfare reform.

    I grant that Paul was pro-life, and admirably so, but that was considered a non-disqualifying eccentricity by the non-religious Paul supporters I’ve interacted with. And he–and Rand–aren’t systematic thinkers or advocates for the family in the context of libertarianism. Despite being admirable family men, they are first and foremost economic and legal/constitutional libertarians. Libertarianism has a long ways to go in developing a workable understanding of subsidiarity, with the indispensible family at the center.

  • Libertarians need to acknowledge that individual liberty grew in America as part of an ecosystem with an indispensible buttress: a socially conservative/religious ethic which mandated delayed gratification, duties to others apart from the self, and an understanding of “rendering unto Caesar” that put Caesar firmly in his place. Reading contributors to “Reason” and viewing Libertarian candidacies in general, there isn’t the beginnings of a glimmer of a clue on this point. Somehow, Caesar marches on despite their atomistic arguments and defenses of license. Oddly enough.


    And that “Reason” sort of libertarian screwed up when they supported GOProud trying to for the TEA party— did not win any friends with that “TEA partiers don’t care about social issues” BS, or similar attempts to lay claim on the entire movement. (Anybody else tired of the sort of Libertarian who tries to tell everyone that they’re “really” a Libertarian? Or claim random historical figures?)

  • (Anybody else tired of the sort of Libertarian who tries to tell everyone that they’re “really” a Libertarian? Or claim random historical figures?)

    Never encountered such. Have encountered folk who chuffer endlessley about who is a ‘real’ conservative or are in the habit of dismissing anyone not on the payroll or subscriber list of the von Mises Institute, Chronicles, or The American Conservative as a dolt.

  • Lucky you, Art.

    And there is a massive difference between going “you are not a conservative” and saying “See? See? You really agree with ME!” (Possibly one of the most annoying college liberal debate tactics. I’d gladly harm the guy who taught it to my cousin.)

3 Responses to Obama Today: You Can’t Change Washington From the Inside

  • Romney hit it on the head the other day when he commented: ‘there are times when the president doesn’t tell the truth’ but today he told the truth – he cannot fix it from the inside but from the inside is the way to fix it. Everytime I see the pres laugh or smile he reminds me of The Joke from Batman movies.

  • For a guy who can’t push back on almost anything the Dems fling at him, Romney is getting pretty good at snappy one liners ( that 80% of the population came up with at the same moment). At least he speaks the one liners out loud.

  • Maybe Romney will win. If so, then I can’t wait to see the look on the Occupier’s face and hear the wailing of the only liberal we have at work! And yes, I will descend to my hands and knees in praise and thanksgiving to God Almighty. There is hope – can’t believe I just wrote that, and haven’t even taken morning meds yet! 😉

Timely Quotes

Thursday, September 20, AD 2012

In light of the 47% (oops, where did those one to two minutes of recording go?) non-controversy, I thought that a game of guess who said the quote would be fun.  Use of a search engine is verboten!

1.  A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.


2.  The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled. The assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.


3.  I accuse the present Administration of being the greatest spending Administration in peacetime in all American history – one which piled bureau on bureau, commission on commission, and has failed to anticipate the dire needs or reduced earning power of the people. Bureaus and bureaucrats have been retained at the expense of the taxpayer. We are spending altogether too much money for government services which are neither practical nor necessary. In addition to this, we are attempting too many functions and we need a simplification of what the Federal government is giving the people.


4.  Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.


5.  It is an injustice, a grave evil and a disturbance of the right order, for a larger and higher organisation, to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower bodies.

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21 Responses to Timely Quotes

  • 1. I have heard it before, but forgot who said it. Franklin, Maritain, maybe even as far back as Socrates/Plato (kind of guessing here)?

    2. No idea, but I like it.

    3. Could have been almost anyone talking about any administration from WW I forward.

    4. no clue

    5 & 6 – no clue, but 5 sounds like something from a Pope or CCC on subsidiarity, and 6 sounds like subsidiarity as well

    7-10 – No clue, but they make sense.

    So let me tally that up here….. looks like I am 0 for 10. About the same as the likelihood of any of these ten points getting through to the thick skulls in D.C. and most state capitols.

  • Thanks for trying cmatt. I intended the quotes to be challenging, albeit not impossible. Number five was indeed said by a Pope.

  • Quote No 6 – I wonder if Lincoln had Robespierre in mind, when he wrote that. “Democracy is a state in which the sovereign people, guided by laws that are of their own making, do for themselves all that they can do well, and by their delegates do all that they cannot do for themselves.” (La démocratie est un état où le peuple souverain, guidé par des lois qui sont son ouvrage, fait par lui-même tout ce qu’il peut bien faire, et par des délégués tout ce qu’il ne peut faire lui-même) [Speech to the Convention, 17 pluviôse An II]

    Both the sentiment and the expression are remarkably similar and many editions of the proceedings of the Convention were widely published, both in French and in English. Perhaps Lincoln had read it and the aphorism stuck in his memory, when the source was forgotten.

  • A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

    I am reminded here of an incident from the 1972 campaign. George McGovern was speaking at a group of auto workers and mentioned his plan to fund more lavish government spending by raising the estate tax; the audience booed him. McGovern couldn’t understand it. Those auto workers were never going to pay the estate tax, so why should they be so opposed to it being raised on the rich?

    Conservatives should not make McGovern’s mistake.

  • “Quote No 6 – I wonder if Lincoln had Robespierre in mind,”

    Lincoln did write it MPS, although I doubt if he had Robespierre in mind. Outside of American history Lincoln didn’t read much history. During the 1860 campaign Lincoln learned that it was being claimed by his campaign that Lincoln had read Plutarch’s Lives. Lincoln hadn’t, but he immediately sat down and read it, to make the campaign claim true.

  • I recognized the Lincoln quote and also No 9 (C S Lewis Hideous Strength)

    I would guess No 1 is Franklin – He certainly said something similar, which Lord Acton quoted.

    Must pass on the rest!

    By the by, Charlotte Corday took Plutarch’s Lives to read on her coach journey to Paris to kill Marat.

  • Everyone in France at that time was reading way too much classical history!
    Correct as to number 9, incorrect as to number one. I will have a speech of Franklin in a post for tomorrow.

  • The 3d quotation is from Franklin Roosevelt.

  • I will guess that #5 is Leo xiii

  • #3 sounds like FDR’s stump speeches in the 1932 campaign against Hoover.

  • Correct Micha! FDR ran as a deficit hawk in 1932!

  • I’ll take a guess at a few of these
    1. Alex de Tocqueville
    2. Julius Ceasar
    8. Hayek
    9. G. K. Chesterton
    10. John Adams
    I’m guessing here, but there honest guesses.

  • Correct as to one and eight PD. No as to two and nine. Close as to ten.

  • mmm, close as to ten? Henry Adams, Adam Smith or Adam Sandler are my next best bets.

  • Would number 9 be C.S. Lewis? (Perhaps in the voice of Screwtape or one of the characters employed by N.I.C.E.?).

  • My guess would be that #2 was uttered in 1932, 1946, or 1952. Possible candidates would be Franklin Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Robert Taft, Douglas MacArthur, or Dwight Eisenhower.

  • As to number 9 Art you are correct. It is from That Hideous Strength and uttered by one of the villains. You are incorrect as to number 2, although the quotation was written in the last century.

  • Number 2 is Marcus Tullius Cicero, Republican to the end ! (though he did have some bouts with ingratiation – no one is perfect except Jesus and His Mother!)

  • Close Paul. That is actually a quote put into the mouth of Cicero by novelist Taylor Caldwell in her novel about Cicero, A Pillar of Iron (1965).

We Believe in Free People and Free Enterprise

Wednesday, September 19, AD 2012

Mitt Romney being interviewed in regard to the 47% remark by Neil Cavuto yesterday.  (Go here to read Darwin’s brilliant post on the 47% controversy.)  I have never been a fan of Mitt Romney, who I have nicknamed the Weathervane.  I have always planned to vote for him, but almost entirely in order to get Obama out;  Mitt Romney becoming President being merely a necessary by-product of ending the Age of Obama.  However, I found this interview impressive.  Romney ably presented his view that ever-increasing dependence on government is a terrible thing and is a result of the miserable failure of Obama’s economic policies.  Romney is taking what is widely assumed by the Obama press agents the Mainstream Media and turning it around by standing his ground.  People tend to admire politicians who have convictions they are willing to fight for, even if they do not entirely share the convictions themselves.  The rap against Romney has always been that he has no such convictions, nothing that he is willing to do battle for.  This is Romney’s opportunity to demonstrate that he does have core beliefs that he will defend, no matter what the chattering heads on television say.  Not bad Mitt.

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8 Responses to We Believe in Free People and Free Enterprise

  • Someone should have explained This before to the 54% of stupid caatholics who voted for This clown in Wash. D C. Also the 70% of catholics that voted for Clinton in past! I still don’t know, is abortion alright? Is men doing men alright? People=catholics in my parish vote for these guys,

  • The clear choice this November is between totalitarians, looters, and moochers or taxpayers.

    If the left wins, eventually they’ll run out of taxpayers.

  • Redistribution is a buzzword. It has a bad version and a good version.

    Bad version. I did one year of welfare casework in Manhattan and Brownville after university while waiting for something else. I threw a prostitute off welfare and her pimp came after me briefly in the intake area. I was warned by the FBI on one visit to a Times Square hotel that my client was receiving multiple welfare checks at different addresses and selling heroin but I was to act as though things were normal and ps…he is a huge body builder. Thanks I said…and I’m getting paid how much to go into these situations unarmed? Those are bad redistributions.

    Good version? The young mother of three children whose husband is killed in an auto accident at 24 years old receives social security as a widow monthly for the three children for years in amounts
    that she and her young husband never paid in at their age to social security. Romney didn’t rule
    that out…”government helps those in need”. Neither does Christ want you checking the hungry as to what they paid in before you feed them. Another person pays their whole life into social
    security and dies at 63 years old…never having collected a dime. He in effect paid for the three children of the widow. Social security has math graduates working on the likelihood of all these
    scenarios in the aggregate.
    Redistribution can be bad or good

  • Pingback:   ROMNEY: ‘We believe in free people and free enterprise, not redistribution’… | What is Politics?
  • ever-increasing dependence on government is a terrible thing

    Truer words never spoken. To be fair, does Mitt include in that dependence the bailout recipients?

  • To be fair, the commies would have had to air the entire Romkney tape, not just the MSM-defined “gaffes.”.

    c matt,

    To which bail-out recipients do you refer? The UAW, 17,000,000 bureaucrats and politicians, Warren Buffett, George Soros?

    Obama’s bailout of GM stole from bondholders (generally, widows and orphans who were heavily invested in investment-grade, fixed-income securities) and enriched his union thug allies. GM is going to cost the few people that pay taxes $$$ tens of billions.

    The governmnet is turning profits on AIG, and 99% of the TARP monies it invested.

  • All of them.

    TARP profit is debatable:

    But whether it turned a profit or not, it is still a form of government dependence (not to mention the entire defense industry). Whether it is good government dependence, or bad (ala B. Bannon) is another question.

  • Agreed.

    Government expenditures and programs that benefit all the people are “public goods.”

    Expenditures and programs that benefit select people or entities, or recompense political allies/benefactors are “public not-so-goods.”

    I didn’t agree with TARP and bail-outs because they tend to result in asset/resource misallocations. I understand the fear and uncertainty that motivated the rash acts.

    Now, the central planners need to NOT lead us into such a huge trap.

    Fat chance . . .

    FNMA/FHLMC conservatorship (but still dominate mortgage markets), Federal guarantees of $$$ hundreds of milions of BAC/Citigroup mortgages, FDIC coverage to $250,000, QE1/QE2/QEternity, zero percent interest rates, $5 trillion added national debt, HAMP/HARP . . .

    Drink heavily!

Romney and Voters Who Don’t Pay Taxes

Tuesday, September 18, AD 2012

It seems like leftist pundits have decided that remarks by Romney at a fundraiser that were secretly taped and distributed by Mother Jones constitute the latest “now Romney has lost the election” moment. In the video, Romney tells supporters that Obama starts out with a huge base of 47-49% of voters who pay no income taxes, are dependent on government, and thus cannot be reached by Romney’s low tax message.

Of course, for those whose memories go back further than the most recent “Romney is finished” moment declared by Andrew Sullivan and Co., the obvious comparison to this is when Obama famously announced back in 2008 that the big difficulty for his campaign was that it was difficult to reach people who are see no evidence of progress in their daily lives and so they become bitter and cling to their guns and their religion.

Both comments spring from a degree of party mythology. It’s not the case that all 47% of people who don’t pay income taxes are Democrat supporters. Because our tax code is so progressive and because of the hefty child tax credit and earned income tax credit (both of which are things Republicans generally support) a lot of middle income families do not pay taxes. That certainly doesn’t make them default Obama supporters. Many of them are in fact die-hard Republicans, because they don’t participate in the modern Democratic Party’s vision of government dependence and social engineering as the solution to their problems.

That said, I think this particular media tizzy is particularly silly, and the pundits declaring Romney to be badly hurt by this are mostly reflecting the beliefs of a bubble in which the GOP is already hated.

Obama’s remarks were, if anything, far more offensive to potential swing voters. He categorized whole sections of the country, demographically, as being given over to bitterness because they hadn’t seen progress and explained that this bitterness came out in their becoming attached to guns, religion, hating minorities and immigrants, etc. There are a lot of small town people who like to hunt and go to church and don’t think of themselves as racist who nonetheless were potential Obama swing voters in 2008.

By contrast, Romney’s analysis may be off (and I don’t think that does him any credit) but it’s really hard for me, at least, to picture someone saying, “Gee, I was really thinking Romney might have some answers on the economy, but now I heard this clip where he says that people who don’t pay taxes and want to be dependent on the government are in the bag for Obama, and I’m proud of the fact that I don’t pay taxes and depend on the government, so forget about him! I’m supporting Obama.”

A lot of people who don’t, on net, pay taxes don’t really think of themselves as not paying taxes. The tax code is complex enough to make it tricky to tell in some ways. (And they pay other taxes even if they don’t pay federal income tax.) Nor do many people who are potential GOP voters think of themselves as dependent on government. If anything, the argument that Obama already has a huge advantage because he’s bribing voters with lots of government handouts seems to fit with Romney’s overall campaign message. Whether that’s a winning message I don’t know (I hope it is) but it’s hard for me to see how this is actually all that damaging.


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37 Responses to Romney and Voters Who Don’t Pay Taxes

  • It’s damaging because it’s being spun as Romney “despises” the 48%.

    As for the other question, remember to think in terms of the economic life cycle. Many of the people who aren’t paying taxes are young or old. The youth are more likely to vote Democratic, but have a poor turnout rate. The old are more likely to vote for the party they’ve always voted for, and have a high turnout rate. It’s a big (but common) mistake to think of the poor or the non-taxpayers as a permanent underclass, urban with low education.

  • It was dumb. Some people on social security did back breaking work their whole life like beef luggers and meat cutters back in the day but were paid at such a level as to need social security when they aged and they now in retirement hear Romney picturing them badly. I think the comments will do real damage in the debates wherein moderators will bring it up and by then, factcheck dot org will estimate the other taxes everyone is paying. Cigarette taxes (Federal $1.01 a pack), half of which are paid for by low income people, are paying some real bills in the Schipp programs. Everyone pays sales tax and even renters pay property taxes indirectly in the exact price of their rent. Ultimately even the welfare check does not stop in the welfare person’s wallet but moves on to the Bodega and the landlord who pay taxes.

  • I think Romney’s comment will resonate positively with most Americans, especially those who are picking up the tab for the rapid expansion of the Welfare State under Obama. Romney should take advantage of this to launch an ad offensive attacking Obama’s policies as directly leading to more and more dependence on government by an ever increasing share of the population. I don’t think Romney will be hurt among Americans who do not pay income tax and who do not receive government benefits and that is a fair amount of the 47% who do not pay income tax.

  • Bill,

    What I’m wondering, though, is: Will a retired meat cutter who hears this Romney clip here on the news going to think, “He despises me because I’m dependent on the government?” or is he going to think, “By golly, that’s right. I worked hard my whole life, paid my taxes, and I live on the Social Security that I paid into my whole life. I don’t want to support people who aren’t willing to take care of themselves!”

    At least among those likely to vote Republican anyway, I don’t think most people on Social Security and MediCare think of themselves as being “dependent on the government” or not paying taxes (actually, a lot of them do pay taxes, even though their income is very low, because they don’t have dependents and they often don’t have mortgages).

    I may well be wrong. I’m just not sure that many people who could be persuaded to vote for Romney in the first place are likely to think of themselves as being insulted by this remark. (Though I think it was slip on Romney’s part, because it’s clearly not the case that all people who don’t pay taxes support Obama.) It seems like a remark that’s callibrated to pretty much only offend those who are already die hard Democrats.

    That said, if it adds to the “Romney is an out of touch rich guy” meme, it could well end up hurting him. Sadly, elections in the US don’t tend to be decided by the people with any real kind of political awareness (they mostly have their preferences already set) but by the sort of people who don’t have strong or clear political beliefs and base their decisions of vague ideas of “what sort of person” each candidate is.

  • I think Romney can salvage this one by expanding on his point. It’s not just the poor who don’t pay income tax who are government dependent. It’s the fat cats in academia who live off of public university subsidies, the public sector unions who depend on laws from state governments mandating union dues be collected automatically and who get their pay from the government, the fourth rail (the media) who live on insider access to beltway folks, the big investment banks that Obama bailed out with Federal funds, and all the rest who live on government pay and therefore have stake in government remaining unsustainably large.

  • and the pundits declaring Romney to be badly hurt by this are mostly reflecting the beliefs of a bubble in which the GOP is already hated.

    That bubble of GOP-haters includes large sections of Republicans, including the likes or Karl Rove, who live in a perpetual state of pessimism and despair.

    Pinky might have a point that this could be spun by a complict media in a way that Obama’s comments were not. That said, the post-9/11 “gaffe” did no apparent harm to Romney, and I think this will largely be a kerfuffle only in media circles, but will have no lasting impact one way or the other on the campaign.

    Finally, as one who has been – to put it mildly – no fan of Mitt Romney, I have to say that this Mitt Romney is someone I could have gotten behind (or at least disliked less) in the primary season. I will say this in his favor: he hasn’t exactly run to the middle as I thought he would once he secured the nomination.

  • The greatest insult to another, in terms of the Left, is to be insensitive (or even perceived as insensitive) to another’s feelings, unless those feelings are couched in either orthodox Christianity or non-intellectual turn of life (hunting, Nascar, etc.). Therefore, Romney is being insensitive to the poor, the lower classes, etc., and must pay for his insensitivity.

  • This would be a great time for the Romney campaign to remind them of the Obama campaign’s Life of Julia, that celebration of reliance on government:

    The Obama campaign has not been subtle: Vote for us and we will give you freebies! (Sandra Fluke, that is your cue!) When it comes to giving away things Romney can’t compete with Obama, but when it comes to pointing out that this Welfare State on steroids is sending the country off a fiscal cliff, Romney can make that case very effectively if he has the intestinal fortitude to do so.

  • Darwin,
    In an extraordinary situation of 8+% unemployment, 45 million people received food stamps in 2011 according to Judicial Watch. But that’s 12% of the country not 47% which tells me and others that Romney is dissing anyone getting a check and not paying income tax. And that is the meatpacker on social security. But it’s also every young widow with children because each of them gets a social security check for the children. A Merrill Lynch manager with a wife and three children was stabbed to death on the train platform in Jersey City four years ago by an insane person off his meds. That widow just to roughly keep that standard of living would have to accept social security. I presume she lost her home given the loss of income involved. TV showed a woman living in a shelter with her three children and working two low paid jobs. She receives
    medicaid for medical coverage because privately that would be $12,000 for the four of them. She is in Romney’s 47% as perhaps is the Merrill Lynch widow….receiving government help…earning too little to pay tax since three children and no real career in perhaps both situations.

  • The comments undercut Romney’s “the President is dividing us” theme. Now, I don’t know if that theme was resonating, but Romney would have been better off going into the debates with that theme intact. It would have made a great rebuttal. But now, Obama can dismiss any such criticism with a single reference.

  • The upside is that lots of members of the 47% who don’t pay income tax probably don’t realize it and may even be upset at the thought of so many people not paying taxes.

    On the other hand, writing off 47% of the American public, for whatever reason, is generally not a good idea for a presidential candidate.

  • I definitely think the worst part of it is the optics of apparently writing off 47% of the electorate. Sure, it’s highly unlikely that Romney could squeak out of win of more than a couple percentage points, but it never looks good for a presidential candidate to say that he just can’t reach nearly half the country (even if it’s true.)

    Bill: Again, I think it’s mostly only people on the left who are going to take the comment in those terms. I’ve known plenty of tea party sympathizers who due to their individual circumstances don’t pay federal income taxes, but aside from the fact that many people who don’t pay taxes don’t realize that they don’t pay taxes (after all, even people on Social Security pay taxes on it — though if they have low enough total income and enough deductions they may get it all back and more), people aren’t necessarily consistent in their political impressions. It’s not at all unlikely that someone who doesn’t pay income taxes would at the same time be angry at the idea of “freeloaders” not paying taxes and being dependents.

  • This “tempest in a teapot” is meant to distract the unoffocial Obama re-election camaign flaks/MSM and the OWS crowd from Obama’s lethal failures in foreign policy and GWOT and the fact we are being run into the poor house.

    Obama and his people gave us the “Julia” vids.

    This re-states the same theme.

    Vote for Obama. He will take care of all your needs.

    Hope and change: will 197,000 new, August food stamp recipients largely vote Obama?

    Will 96,000 that got jobs in August largely vote Romney?

  • Hi GOPers.

    I’m surprised none of you have made a post about the LUNACY of Paul Ryan’s economic plan.

    Cutting govt spending to 20% of gdp its currently just under 40% removing that much money is large scale austerity and would make things absurdly tight in the states plus would have alot of negative consequence also a tax system of just two rates 25% and 10% isn’t something that could ever work.

    Margaret Thatcher’s austerity programs, British government spending never went below 40% of GDP. 20% of GDP would lead to mass unemployment and even starvation.

  • Darwin – You reminded me of something. Romney’s statement uses tea party phrasing. It may alienate some people, but it’s going to energize the tea partiers, who are potential contributors and volunteers. They haven’t been particularly vocal so far this election.

  • Pinky,
    The whole tape is being released later today as per his request by Mother Jones. Who knows what lurks therein. Boredom is not an option in U.S. elections now that cameras with speakers rule.

  • Coolio,

    Your numbers are wrong. According to White House numbers (table 1.2) federal spending was 24% of GDP in 2011 and federal tax receipts were 15% of GDP. The Ryan plan is to get both of those numbers to around 20%. That’s far from crazy, it’s the post WW2 norm for the US.

  • How exactly does that link support your numbers?
    I clicked on it and it’s just a bunch of more links.

  • bah!
    I’m an idiot.

    I see you mentioned table 1.2.

  • Hmmmm.
    if I’m reading this right was fed spending well below 20% of GDP in the past?
    My prof is saying that going under 20% of GDP is absurd.

  • Your prof is, well, a college prof. Private-sector folks have a different perspective.

  • If hunting in non-intellectual, it’s only seen that way by people who have never bothered to go hunting.

  • Coolio,

    If you go back to before the Korean War, and certainly before WW2, federal spending was way under 20% of GDP. Back then, the federal government did a lot less (Dept. of Agriculture didn’t have all the subsidies it does not, welfare didn’t really exist, nor did Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid, there weren’t appreciable Federal education subsidies, even the military was a lot smaller.) Since the late 60s the federal budget has pretty consistently been 20% of GDP. The main reason it’s higher now is that with an extended recession the GDP hasn’t grown as much as usual and the government has spent more than usual both trying to help people directly (unemployment, foodstamps, etc.) and also via stimulus spending (spending programs, GM bailout, Wall Street bailout, etc.)

    It may be that your professor was thinking of the total government spending number (federal + state + local) for which I think I’ve seen some numbers that approach 40% of GDP, though I don’t know how good those numbers are. However, obviously, the Ryan budget wouldn’t cut state and local spending.

    Whatever one may think about the details of the Ryan budget, the overall size of it in relation to the economy is pretty much the same as what existed under Clinton.

  • We didn’t hit double digits until World War I (Civil War excepted). Generally federal spending as a percent of GDP was in the 5% range, and then has continually ramped up since the rise of the Progressives. But Darwin’s correct – the 40% number must encompass all government spending, not just federal.

  • “Watch this “campaign-changing gaffe” become a nonstory as soon as the press decides it’s hurting Obama instead of helping him.” Instapundit

  • Gallup: 54% of voters think government does too much and 39% think the state doesn’t do enough. Go figure.

  • Generally federal spending as a percent of GDP was in the 5% range, and then has continually ramped up since the rise of the Progressives.

    I believe federal spending stood at ~1.4% prior to the 1st World War. It was ~1.7% as of the fiscal year concluding in June of 1929 (while state and local spending stood at ~9%). It increased to around 3% by 1933 as nominal federal spending was maintained while nominal domestic product declined severely. During the period running from 1933 to 1940, a plateau of 6.5% was reached. Over the course of the period running from 1947 to 1974, proportionate federal spending and state and local spending was on an upward trajectory (initially from an increase in the baselines devoted to the military). The sum of these reached a plateau around about 1974 and then fluctuated around a set point of ~ 33% of domestic product until 2008/09.

  • That bubble of GOP-haters includes large sections of Republicans, including the likes or Karl Rove, who live in a perpetual state of pessimism and despair.

    If the topic is the dynamics of an electoral campaign, Rove is about as informed an opinion as you are likely to find. One of the annoying features of those insipid things called Presidential campaigns is the amount of kibbitzing from people who know little or nothing of either promotional campaigns or the mechanics of electoral politics.

  • What I’m wondering, though, is: Will a retired meat cutter who hears this Romney clip here on the news going to think, “He despises me because I’m dependent on the government?” or is he going to think, “By golly, that’s right. I worked hard my whole life, paid my taxes, and I live on the Social Security that I paid into my whole life. I don’t want to support people who aren’t willing to take care of themselves!”


    A lot of doom-and-gloom-there-is-no-hope stuff requires that one believe most people are idiots.
    The retired folks that I know who would give Romney anything like a chance are bright enough, if pressed, to say something like “Sure, I don’t pay federal income taxes and would probably be in the forty whatever percent, but it’s just silly to expect him to say ‘the 40-something-percent minus people who were charged their whole lives for social security and may or may not be paying income tax part of the population that is getting free money from the government isn’t going to vote against getting their free money,’ what kind of loon are you? Now, about my medicare cuts and how none of the doctors I use can take it anymore because filing the paperwork costs more than the government will give them—”

    The retired folks that I know who wouldn’t do that are the same ones that blocked me when I pointed out that a 19 year old married woman having a kid isn’t proof that religious states have too many high school kids getting pregnant.

  • Foxfier,
    But in 2005, those totally dependent on welfare in the U.S. were 3.8% of the population. Another 11+% both work and receive food stamps etc. based on low wages for family size.
    A majority then of Romney’s 47% of the nation are already taking responsibility and care for their lives and he said he could not convince 47% to do so. At best Romney can’t convince 3.8% of the nation not 47%.
    Federal checks go to retired military, retired federal workers and pols, disabled on ss, elderly on ss, widows with children on ss, and all federal workers and active military if you go beyond
    Bottom line, Romney actually was trying to lower the polling hopes of the rich donors he was speaking to so he was explaining away the Obama voter base as 47% of the nation that doesn’t care for themselves when at best that figure is 3.8% and only if you are totally exacting on that group.

  • Because American’s median household income is down $2,000, or 4%, lower now than at the June 2009 end of the Great Recession.

    Because QEternity might raise the price pf an ounce of gold to $2,400 (Thank you, Ben!!!) and oil $190 a barrel.

    Because mortgage lending hits a 16 year low.

    Because food stamps unexpectedly hit an all-time high.

  • Rove is about as informed an opinion as you are likely to find.

    When it comes to analyzing political data and understanding the dynamics of each district – heck, each county – then yes, few are as savvy as Karl Rove. When it comes to taking the data and offering good political advice, Rove is no better than a snake oil salesman.

  • Bill-
    your response doesn’t have anything to do with what I wrote, and even goes on to conflate having any other source of income with not taking more than you give.

  • The networks are rabid about Mitt Romney’s simple objective observation about part of the entire population. People from all sectors hear the daily bias, and aren’t seriously listening to constant one-sided childlike whining.
    It seems as though DNC media is counting on idiots and trying to create some more.

    I wonder whether the DNC is giving prizes to the reporters and newcasters who best spin facts.

    Demerits when they don’t forget the President’s insulting those for clinging to religion and morals, his fruitless spending excesses and corporate bailouts, his promises to be flexible for Russia next term, his pandering to terrorists in countries where his Americans are slaughtered, and his racial bigotry division troublemaking, and his contrasting attitude to Muslims versus Christians. Or his wife’s video about the ‘damn’ flag last year. Or question or address his backing of law to let babies born alive after a failed abortion attempt to die on the table. Or the fact that radicals in the middle East and worldwide want to kill Americans due to things in his own immoral Democrat platform. Or his altering traditional references to and denial of his Creator to whose church he went with his family. Or a slew of other outrageous gaffes, facts and figures that no one else could ever live down. Symptoms of severe amnesia over the fact that as Governor, Mitt Romney helped better the lives of people on gov. aid by using responsible management. No one wants demerits for doing honest work.

    Anyway some neighborhood kids were bemused by his Presidency of the 57 states of America!

  • “many people who don’t pay taxes don’t realize that they don’t pay taxes”

    In the world of sound bites, I don’t know that too many people who would otherwise have been inclined to vote for Romney are going to connect themselves with the 47% who allegedly “don’t pay taxes” (or more accurately, do not OWE federal taxes under current law) and consider that such an egregious insult that they will run out and vote for Obama. However, this kerfluffle points out the weakness in this meme that the Tea Party has been flogging for some time and which I have always found particularly irritating.

    If you are told that a particular person or group of people “doesn’t pay taxes,” what do you immediately think? If you’re like me, the first thought that comes to mind is that they must be doing something wrong — that they are evading tax liability through deliberate action, or that they are failing to file tax forms or fill out W-4 forms to have taxes withheld from their wages. That’s why I would be extremely hesistant to equate not having a tax liability with “not paying” taxes.

    However, a good chunk of the 47% consists of people who do have taxes withheld from their paychecks every week (or 2 weeks, or month) and who file tax forms every year in order to claim a refund. How can they be accused of “not paying taxes” if they go through the hassle of filing income tax every year? What are they supposed to do — let Uncle Sam keep their refund, which they effectively lent him interest-free for the previous year?

  • I would say Rove has the point of view of Beltway Repubs. This is how he could support immigration “reform”, big entitlements and lavish spending. He also has their myopia so he could convince Bush in 2006 that they had no need to worry about the possibility of Dems taking over Congress. Rasmussen has consistently shown almost inverse opinions between the Northeast elites and the rest of the country on many topics.

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