The Value of Well-Paid Advisers

Wednesday, March 21, AD 2012

I don’t often call-back prior posts, but now I am going to do it twice in one day.  Yesterday I discussed a Jennifer Rubin article that criticized Santorum for, among other things, failing to surround himself with a troupe of advisers to help him stay on track as a candidate.

Meet Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom.  Earlier today he had this exchange on CNN:

HOST: Is there a concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?

ERIC FEHRNSTROM: Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.

People have been having a lot of fun with this comment on twitter, and it took about ten minutes for this to make its way into a political ad:

Maybe we should say former Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstron.

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11 Responses to The Value of Well-Paid Advisers

  • Ahem. Toldja so.

    Conservatives and GOP voters, you’re being PLAYED! Why? Because the establishment knows they can always scare you with a parade of horribles that awaits if the other guy is elected, and you’ll fall right in line and vote for whatever RINO stiff they put up.

  • Oh, the parade of horribles is real enough Jay, as the Obama first term indicates. I shudder to contemplate what an Obama second term would be like. Having said that, I assume ERIC FEHRNSTROM perfectly reflects the thinking of the Romney campaign for the general election, which is a perfectly disastrous way of making certain the conservative base stays alienated. As I have stated, I think Romney is a rotten politician. If he is the nominee I do not expect him to win against Obama. However, I do expect Obama to lose to whoever the Republicans choose.

  • This is how a campaign implodes. This creates an opening for Newt and possibly Santorum, although Rick tends to be the Republican Joe Biden by walking around with his foot in his mouth. I do believe that he thinks the GOP should be proud of morphing into a Big Government, borrow and spend party for ‘right wing’ purposes and his support of the Global Fund as well as some wishy-washy pro-life votes are certainly problematic. Advantage Newt. Louisiana will be the end of Romney and if the Republicans pick Myth RINO-Money as the nominee – the GOP will lose.

    To spare your conscience if the Republicans are as dumb as I think they are – there is the Constitution Party.

  • “To spare your conscience if the Republicans are as dumb as I think they are – there is the Constitution Party.”

    That’s how I plan to vote, American Knight, especially if Virgil Goode wins the Constitution Party nomination.

  • Jay,

    While I am very hopeful that my fellow Virginian Goode will secure the CP nomination, I still hold out hope that I will have an opportunity to vote for Newt – an opportunity of which I was robbed on Super Tuesday because our governor hopes to be Myth RINO-Money’s VP.

    I could pull the lever for Santorum, but the Republican Joe Biden is likely to get thumped by BHO. Although as VP, it would be fun to watch Santorum debate Biden. They can just put one another’s feet in each other’s mouth. Perhaps not too good to have Catholics represented that way. but entertaining nonetheless.

    NEWT 2012!

  • It is absolutely imperative that BHO be defeated in the next election. It would be a good thing if we of third parties (I am a Libertarian/libertarian) but a vote for a third party candidate is likely a vote for BHO and we can not tolerate that. This man and his party MUST be soundly defeated. WE may have to hold our nose at the polls, but we have done that before. We as citizens and voters can then have the person more likely to represent our conservative views in place and deal with that person as necessary. They would likely be more receptive to our views than the current occupant.

  • Dan,

    While I respect your opinion: been there, done that; I don’t think so this time around. We reluctantly voted for McCain last time, most of us because he chose Sarah Palin as a running mate – the devil won that election. Cunning serpent has put himself on both conventional options this time, assuming Republicans are dumb enough to force Myth RINO-Money on us.

    When you have a pro-infanticide candidate, a pro-abortion candidate (who claims he’s pro-life, but is NOT) and a pro-life candidate – you vote for the pro-lifer – assuming the R candidate is Romney (I still hold out hope that it is not), then that candidate is likely to be Virgil Goode. If voting for him means a victory for BHO (which I don’t think it will be, because Romney suppresses votes, so BHO will win with considerably less votes than 2008 if running against the Mormon); then that is God’s choice and in some ways (I do not profess to know how God thinks) it will be a fitting punishment for an idolatrous and lazy nation. Additionally, Romney may lull us into complacency and decline, where BHO will enhance polarization.

    Polarization is good, because we are way too corrupt and a purging is necessary. This can be non-violent (if you exclude the holocaust against the pre-born); but, if it is not, then we would not be the first, nor the last nation to suffer from violence when godlessness reigns.

    Pragmatism is a dangerous political mindset. Realism and trust in God is far more practical.

    NEWT 2012!

  • Ditto what American Knight said (except the Newt part 😉 ).

    Virgil Goode represented me for many years when I lived in the Commonwealth, and is personal friend. He was very helpful to me in my efforts to revitalize our town when I was mayor of Columbia, VA.

    There is no way in hell that I would vote for a fraud like Mitt Romney over a principled pro-life, limited government conservative (who is also a personal friend) such as Virgil Goode.

  • More Flippery Fail–Romney loved him some higher fuel prices back in 2006:

    I can’t wait to hear the spin on this one.

  • Jay: When’s the Constitution Party convention, anyway?

  • Next month in Nashville. I believe it’s April 19-22.

    Unfortunately, I can’t make it because of:

    (1) a prior commitment with my 1st Communion class (Pro Ecclesia), and
    (2) a prior commitment with my kids to be up your way to watch a rematch of last year’s ALCS (Pro Familia),

    which means that my civic duty (Pro Civitate) is going to have to wait.


Who Needs Elections, Anyway?

Thursday, September 29, AD 2011

Whenever I see that someone has said something insanely stupid, I often check the source and try to dig deeper to make sure there’s not more to the story than meets the eyes.  So I was initially skeptical when I heard that Governor Bev Purdue said the following:

“You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It’s a little bit more contentious now but it’s not impossible to try to do what’s right in this state. You want people who don’t worry about the next election.”

Surely she can’t be serious.  A sitting governor could not possibly be advocating the suspension of elections, could she?

Well her team went into immediate spin mode and claimed that she was just exaggerating.

Later Tuesday afternoon, Perdue’s office clarified the remarks: “Come on,” said spokeswoman Chris Mackey in a statement. “Gov. Perdue was obviously using hyperbole to highlight what we can all agree is a serious problem: Washington politicians who focus on their own election instead of what’s best for the people they serve.”

Only she wasn’t exaggerating, she was being sarcastic.

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10 Responses to Who Needs Elections, Anyway?

  • Gov. Perdue has a point: our political cycles have a periodicity that is too short. There is one other thing: there comes a point in the life of nations where the dynamics that operate among the political class render constitutional processes less likely to secure order and justice than an authoritarian arrangement. (The history of Uruguay between 1955 and 1973 is sadly relevant). I think we are closer to such a state than you appreciate.

  • The only point Governor Perdue has is doubtless at the top of her skull. We had elections during the American Revolution, all the economic upheavals of the nineteenth century, during both World Wars and throughout the Cold War. During our Civil War, when the nation was engaged in an immense struggle with itself, both sides held regular elections. When the heroes of Flight 93 had to decide whether to rush the hijackers they took a vote. Voting is essential to the way we Americans view the world; it is built into our political DNA as a people. In the truest sense of the word, Governor Perdue’s proposal was deeply un-American.

  • I understand that elections have been held in inclement circumstances, but critiquing that practice is not my point nor is it hers. (N.B. Britain postponed parliamentary elections during the 2d World War).

    Incorporated in the Governor’s comments is the notion that the balance of time and attention between making public policy and electioneering is severely out of whack as we speak. We hold federal elections every two years in this country rather than the three year cycle that is about normal in Canada and New Zealand or the four year cycle in Britain. The internal structure of our political parties puts a heavy fund-raising burden on our legislators as well. Quadrennial federal elections and a transfer of fund-raising duties to the political party apparat would be helpful.

  • (N.B. Britain postponed parliamentary elections during the 2d World War).

    Yes and they have had National Unity Governments of all parties during times of crisis and various other bad ideas that make me say for at least the thousandth time, “Thank God for 1776!”

    Elections are not the problem Art, and calling politicians to account at frequent elections is a feature and not a bug of our system. If anything gerrymandering and making too many seats safe for one party so elections are not a serious contest greatly contribute to the poor leadership from our political class. Postponing elections or amending the Constitution to elect House members for four year terms would exacerbate, rather than solve, this problem.

  • There is little hope, either way. They keep voting for baboons and idiots that promise something for nothing.

    Our only hope is to limit guvmint’s power to inadvertently destroy we the people.

    It’s prtobably too late.

  • Croakers have always been with us T.Shaw from the earliest days of the Republic. In spite of them a fair amount of good has been accomplished by the American people since the foundation of the Republic, and quite a bit of good remains to be accomplished.

  • Mark Twain: “If you don’t read the papers, you are uninformed. If you read the papers, you are misinformed.”

    “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
    – Mark Twain, a Biography

    Agreed: a fair amount of good has been accomplished by we the people . . . Not much by big guvmint.

    Gibbon “Decline and Fall . . . “ paraphrased: “An educated, well-informed populous, possessed of arms, tenacious of property, and collected into constitutional assemblies form the only balance capable of preserving a free constitution against the enterprises of an aspiring prince (despotism).”

    “ . . the people of Rome, viewing with a secret pleasure the humiliation of the aristocracy demanded only bread and public shows.” Augustus had destroyed the aristocracy, the Praetorian Guards ran rampant; people were reduced to wards of the state. The army was professional and not made up of the citizenry, which was dependent, disarmed and disenfranchised.

    Does any of that sound familair?

  • Actually T.Shaw, some of the Founding Fathers in their older and crankier years quoted Gibbon when lamenting that the Republic they had created was going to Hell in a handbasket. Such laments are timeless. Sometimes they are also timely, but not usually.

  • Elections are not the problem Art

    To some extent, they are. The following problems are manifest:

    1. Barnacles and fried circuits:

    There was a great multiplication in the number and variety of offices subject to election during the Jacksonian period. The ballots we get here in New York are just hopeless. Regularity of scheduling and a reduction in the number of offices so subject would expand the capacity of the electorate to make informed choices. That in and of itself suggests quadrennial scheduling.

    2. Rapid cycling of offices may promote ‘accountability’, but only if you assume the effects of policies are fully manifest on two-year intervals. The restoration of price stability in 1979-82 is an example of a salutary public policy that it took more than two years to implement.

    3. Rapid cycling of offices also changes the recruitment patterns in political life. Right now, our system has given an escalating advantage to politicians talented at fund-raising and striking poses, because that is what they do half the time. (The current president is a fairly pure example of this tendency).


    Containing the effects of gerrymandering is going to require innovations in the architecture of electoral systems. Refusal to consider any sort of constitutional innovation is an ingrained element of the political culture we have.

    I understand there were antecedent arguments for the various aspects of our constitutional architecture and that there are post hoc apologetics for it. The wrecked and dysfunctional quality of it remain no matter what is said about it.

  • “The ballots we get here in New York are just hopeless.”

    I think that pretty well sums up the view of much of the country about New York Art! 🙂 (The joke would be funnier to me if I were not in Illinois.) Not having voted in New York I cannot judge the state of the ballot, but I do not think multiplicity of offices or frequency of balloting, at least on a two year schedule, would be daunting to an informed citizenry. Of course that last is a large part of the problem, not only in New York, but around the country.

    In the 19th century Art, radical and routine shifts in control of Congress were the norm, a result of voters paying close attention to what their reps were up to in Washington and making their displeasure known frequently. It ensured that when one party had control they enacted their agenda as rapidly as possible, which I think is preferable to the eternal grid lock that is now the norm. When a new party came to power they could repeal laws previously enacted that had proven to be failures or unpopular with the voters.

    We do not have rapid cycling of offices Art. Until very recently the re-election numbers for most members of Congress were obscenely high. I hope we are beginning to enter a new era when a substantial number of Congressional seats will be true contests each elections.