10 Responses to Evil Republicans Explained

  • I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. The Republicans gave up on 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10 at least 20 years ago.

    Now we’re having Romney forced down our throats. If he wins, it will be “Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.” If he loses, then the GOP apologists will blame people like me who voted third party for helping to elect Obama. But I’m not casting my vote next year against Obama. I’m casting it against statism. And the notion that the architect of RomneyCare will repeal Obamacare and restore freedom as the birthright of all Americans is pure fantasy.

  • Ya know, I used’ta travel through Brooklyn LIRR Sta. to get home from Wall Street. Onst, we had a hippie-type, long hair with a petition. Being in a charitable (Hey, we won!) mood, I engaged the nitwit in conversation. It was after the GOP had won the WH b/c Nader had split the commie vote. Even that dimwit had it singed in his pea-brain that you never allow the enemy to win b/c you don’t think the nominee is or is not @-enough.

    We need to soldier on. Once Romney is in and we have GOP majorities in both houses of Congress, we will take back our birthrights.

    BECAUSE if Obama wins, it is the end of America as we know it.

    It’s okay, Steve. It’s PK as long as you don’t vote for Obama again.

    Oh, and about Newt’s $$$ from FNMA. I have a list of all the gangsters who received $$$$ in FNMA pol graft, er, PAC that includes Obama, and a number of others you would not expect.

  • I have two words that can nullify every one of Bill Whittle’s facts:
    Hope & Change.

    Carry on.

  • “I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. The Republicans gave up on 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10 at least 20 years ago.”

    Melodramatic Steve, and completely untrue.

    “then the GOP apologists will blame people like me who voted third party for helping to elect Obama”.

    Nah, Steve, the vast likihood is that no third party candidate this round will amount to a Hill of beans in vote total. You will simply have cast your vote out of pique that better is not perfect, something that does not occur in politics. However, that is your right, and I have little love for the Weather-vane in any case if he is the Republican nominee. However, I do think he is far preferable to Obama and I will vote according to that belief.

  • 2. Is private racial discrimination okay?

    3. The judiciary usurping the power of Congress was the argument FDR used to end the Lochner era.

    6. No preferential option for the poor?

    8. Like the Southern Strategy?

    9. I agree that class warfare is undesirable, usually ineffective, and often disastrous but not necessary wrong.

  • 2. No, certainly in regard to race, which is why the Republican party endorsed civil rights acts calling for a banning of discrimation in commerce for decades prior to the about face of the Democrats on the issue.

    3. Even FDR couldn’t be wrong all the time RR.

    6. Certainly not when it comes to special privileges being bestowed by government.

    8. A myth: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/10/magazine/10Section2b.t-4.html

    9. Fostering class hatred RR is every bit as despicable as fostering hatred on the basis of race or religion.

  • It is easier for a camel to pass to pass through the eye of a needle than for a…

    Class warfare!

  • Restrained Radicalism

    Discrimination (the “effects test”, quotas, affirmative action, set-asides) against white males is public and private policy.

    They can’t enact it as law. They appoint a judge/judges who order it, e.g., abortion.

    Obama must greatly prefer poor people. He’s creating millions of new ones.

    You get no charity points for confiscating someone else’s money to buy poor (many with HBO on only two color TV’s) peoples’ votes.

  • “It is easier for a camel to pass to pass through the eye of a needle than for a…”

    Christ never breathed a word RR that suggested that the poor should envy the rich or hate them. He enjoined on the rich a duty to help the poor. He enjoined on us all the necessity of not letting a desire for material goods stand in the way of loving God and loving our neighbor.

  • We need the rich. They attract great American entrepreneurs to the same business area who create competition, which transmits more value to consumers. Have you ever heard of Adam Smith?

Are Primary Voters Superficial?

Wednesday, November 16, AD 2011

Rachel Masden has a column up lamenting how Rick Perry’s gaffe in last week’s debate demonstrates our obsessiveness with image over subtance:

As in real life, politicians, voters and the media all get caught up with entertaining but petty nonsense. Case in point: Rick Perry stuck his cowboy boot in his mouth during a recent debate performance, unable to recall one of the three agencies of government he’d euthanize if he were to become president. Turns out it was the Department of Energy — which for a Texas governor to forget about would be a bit like the prime minister of Great Britain forgetting about Buckingham Palace. OK, funny — but really, so what?

For at least 24 hours, the mishap represented arguably the single most globally widespread American news item. I even saw it broadcast and translated on French television in Paris. This is the media and political culture of today — all about stagecraft, showmanship and ratings.

As a political strategist, let me tell you a little secret: Debates are easy to fake. All you need to succeed is a good policy-prep team, a competent spin doctor to distill that policy material down to snappy bite-sized talking points, and the memory and delivery capabilities of a C-list Hollywood actor. Perry just didn’t remember his lines. That’s all.

But what about the other guys who lucked out and did remember all their lines this time? Isn’t it the job of media moderators to recognize boilerplate spin and slice through it on the fly? There’s one reliable way to do this, but it’s rarely seen: In response to a candidate’s prepared take, a media moderator need ask only one question: “What precise action in your background or experience illustrates this principle?” In other words, when a candidate says that he would do something, what has he previously done in his career to demonstrate that value through tangible action? Do you know who any of these candidates really is beyond what he or she claims to be? If not, then thank the style-over-substance media.

The column is timely because I’ve been having some second thoughts about the primary process.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to Are Primary Voters Superficial?

  • How come they don’t use the same microscope on Obama?

    He said there are 57 states and that Hawaii is in Asia.

    And his policies are dangerous. Case in point: President Obama told the Muslim world in Cairo in June 2009 that no government has the right to stop any nation from developing nucular weapons.

    “I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons.”

    Compare that to 20 seconds not naming a wasteful agency Governor Perry would shutter.

    So, look at Texas’ success with years of Governor Perry and compare that to the mess the US is after three years of the genius.

    In conclusion, everyone knows Hawaii is on Monday nights on CBS . . .

  • Agree or not with his substance, at least Ron Paul has substance.

  • If Republican primary voters are seeking intelligence, Cain never should’ve gotten this far. No, the spite wing of the party is looking for an anti-Obama, however unintelligent.

    I also take issue with the idea of Newt as the “ideas man.” He’s a history buff with legislative experience and some speaking ability. That isn’t ideas. That’s knowledge. Wikipedia can’t come up with any ideas. All it can do is search its memory bank and that’s exactly what Newt does. When faced with a new problem, he looks around to find an analog then takes it to the logical extreme and people applaud it as genius. Take his tax plan which is exactly Perry’s plan with a lower rate. Or his foreign policy which consists of repeating lines from books on WW2 and the Cold War. I have seen no evidence that he has an analytical problem-solving framework.

  • And can you imagine submitting to the microscope handlers on those interview occasions? So much chaos in the whole world since 2008 that contenders should have a chronology of events for reference, while the handlers contemplate people in glass houses throwing stones. Would love to know what Jesus wrote in the sand when a crowd was testing His judgement.

    Human compassion and humor won’t be going the way of the insidious cynics, jokers laughing and clapping to the tune of MSM while Satan sneers (?). The Office of President should be about work success, not ratings, parties, cameras, catchy phrases (like one week no boots on the ground) and raising/wasting money.

    By the way, MSM is losing Regis Philbin, to whom the VP paid a short, standing up visit this a.m. but showed audience his back mostly while he said something about Irish Catholic. Regis was gracious and will be missed.

  • If Republican primary voters are seeking intelligence, Cain never should’ve gotten this far.

    Sure. Any idiot can run a national restaurant chain or a consequential trade association. Seats on the board of Federal Reserve Banks are passed out in Cracker Jack boxes.

  • “Agree or not with his substance, at least Ron Paul has substance.”
    Yes, and I believe the substance is tin foil.

  • I think Santorum is strong on substance, but he has attacked fellow republicans in the debates. He attacked Perry in the early debates. Remember those debates? When cordial manners were not the fashion and Perry entered the ring, 6 vs. 1, with Gingrich abstaining. I think it was Gingrich who toned the candidates down on attacking each other. Romney owes a huge thanks to Gingrich for that. It’s unfortunate no one on stage can point out to Romney how philosophically wrong Romneycare is. He’s still embracing as recently as today.

  • We know that poll responses are superficial. But primary voters, I don’t know. This race has so far been dominated by Romney and whoever looks strong enough to take on Romney. But typically voters sober up as the primary approaches, as they did famously when they dropped firebrand Dean in favor of staid Kerry. They’ll probably settle on two candidates, a moderate and a conservative, and those two will slug it out. That’s what happens on the Republican side most of the time.

  • That’s what happens on the Republican side most of the time.

    That happened in 1976. There were never any but two candidates. One was the incumbent President.

A Debate Proposal

Monday, November 7, AD 2011

Unfortunately I missed the Lincoln-Douglas style debate the other night between Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich.  It sounded like a fun* evening, and it’s refreshing to have something different than the painful two hour affairs involving all eight candidates offering one minute soundbites.  Sadly, we’re scheduled to have 3,457** more of these standard debates.  Joy.

Recently Rick Perry suggested that this debate overload might not be the best way to pick a candidate, and he even hinted at skipping a few.  Had any of the other candidates said this he’d have been hailed a hero and carried off stage like Lincoln after the Jonesboro debate.  But since Rick Perry has had, umm, less than stellar debate performances, it came off as a bit self-serving.  Except he’s completely right.

If we must endure several more months of this debate hell, can’t we at least start thinning out the herd and allowing the candidates to go on for more than sixty seconds before some prissy debate moderator cuts them off?

One thing that we can do is start inviting only those candidates who actually have a shot at winning the nomination.  Easy enough, except now we get into a debate about who should be allowed at the debate.  This is the point where we have to pretend that Michelle Bachmann still might be the Republican nominee, so we can’t possibly shut out any candidate from the debate lest one of them gets hauled off in handcuffs protesting outside the debate hall due to his exclusion.***  In fact I can just imagine Rick Santorum breaking onto the stage bellowing “EXCUUUUUUUUSE ME” while yelling at Rick Perry that he was out of time.  Sure it would be barrels of fun to watch Ron Paul’s fanbase immolate because the good doctor and only true constitutionalist (TM) was barred from the debate halls.  But, in the interests of fairness, we probably can’t exclude any of these people.  Except for Jon Hunstman.  Seriously, I doubt Jon Hunstman views himself as a viable contender.  No one noticed that he wasn’t at the last debate, including Jon Huntsman.

So what can we do to make these debates at least a bit more tolerable?  Two changes might benefit both the candidates and the voters.  First, we should have fewer candidates on stage.  We can do this without eliminating candidates.  If we’re really going to have two debates a week, just have different candidates at the debate.  You can randomly assign candidates so that at the first debate you can have, say, Perry, Gingrich, Paul and Huntsman.  Then, at the next debate, it will be Santorum, Bachmann, Cain and Romney.  Then switch it up next week so that there are different pairings.

Second, discuss fewer topics and lengthen the time allotment.  We don’t necessarily need Lincoln-Douglas essays, but let candidates spend three or four minutes expanding upon their answers.  With four candidates you can still cover a lot of ground in ninety minutes or two hours, especially if we limit the moderators’ involvement in these affairs.  Sure it won’t be as much fun as allowing a transgendered mutant space alien to ask a question about illegal immigration while forcing the candidates to answer in Esperanto, but it has the advantage of actually lending insight into the candidates’ thought processes.

Or we can just continue with the same exact format and grow dumber with each passing minute.  The choice is yours.

*: Well, if you’re a political geek.
**: Number might be slightly exaggerated.  Just slightly.
***: This actually happened in Atlanta in 1996 to Alan Keyes.  I know because I was there supporting him and saw him get placed in the police cruiser.  That was about as close as I have ever gotten to getting involved in an OWS-style protest.  No justice for Keyes, no peace!

Continue reading...

11 Responses to A Debate Proposal

  • While we may not need Lincoln-Douglas essays, we definitlely need a format where candidates question each other directly with NO moderators or questioners, only a timekeeper. As far as limiting the field, should that choice be left to pollsters and polling results? I suppose no one has to televise a debate if they don’t think it would attract a large enough TV audience, but if an alternate format could be arranged in that case, viewing over the internet, announced candidates should still be free to parrticipate. If they have little or no public support sooner or later their funds will dry up and out they’ll go.

  • My ideal debate format: each candidate is given 15 minutes for opening statements. Each candidate is then given 10 minutes to respond to what their adversary said. Then each candidate has 5 minutes to close. Limit each debate to only two candidates. More than that and we merely have a joint appearance and not a debate. No questions from moderators or the audience, although written questions may be submitted in advance with candidates free to respond or ignore.

  • Mono a mano double elimination debate playoffs. What we’ve got now is too close to the BCS model of picking a champion. We need playoffs!

  • Chris-2-4: Yes! That’s the spirit.

  • I like the round-robin idea. But I want the opposite of more uninterrupted time. Half the time they don’t even address the question. “The real question is…” No that’s not the real question! That’s your way of avoiding the real question! The other half of the time, they go off into talking points. No candidate has ever said anything important past the 30-second mark.

    Here’s an idea for a moderator-less debate: Two candidates with a chess clock connected to the mics. Each gets 15-20 minutes so they have to allocate it wisely. We can have two or three pairs of debaters a night.

    It would also be nice to have an independent non-partisan group evaluate economic plans. Like a CBO for candidates. It’s amazing what candidates can get away with saying about their economic plans.You’d never know just by listening to them that Cain’s plan adds a new sales tax, would encourage a black market, increases taxes for most Americans, and initially didn’t even have any exception for the poor or that Perry’s plan would balloon the deficit and disadvantage single middle-class people or that Newt’s plan is even worse for the deficit or that Romney has no plan to reform personal income tax. I wish Huntsman’s tax reform tax were flatter and simpler but it’s the only sane plan that has been proposed.

  • RR – I tend not to be fussy about individual tax plans. The candidates’ positions are mostly the result of the staffers they hire. If one campaign guy got a better offer from Candidate A, or was finishing up a book when Candidate B was hiring so he ended up working for Candidate C who got into the race late, then most everyone would be pitching different plans. And no one’s going to say that Candidate D has a good plan, so each one’s got to propose something different. And, ultimately, any one of the candidates as president would sign any one of the plans if it made it through Congress.

    I’d like to see one candidate at a time being interviewed. Ninety minutes, no “gotchas”. Half hour on economic/fiscal policy, half hour on foreign/military, half hour on social. I’ve got my problems with Charlie Rose, but he’d be as good as anyone.

  • Just do away with debates altogether. Have a series of 30 min. interviews with each candidate.

  • The quality of interviews depends largely on the quality of the interviewer. Charlie Rose is good because he interrupts droning speeches. I like gotchas, not because of the substance of the questions and answers, but because it can throw candidates off and show us how well they can handle unexpected situations. Palin handles gotchas well even though she really should know the answers to questions like “what do you read?” Cain and Perry are horrible. The other candidates are quite good. Santorum stumbled when asked about DADT but that’s because he holds an indefensible position on the issue.

  • I guess the “gotchas” that I’m sick of are the ones they have on the Sunday morning talk shows. I remember Tim Russert used to have some interesting questions, but he always seemed more interesting in the swing than in running the bases. So many interviewers today are looking for the news-breaker moment. I can’t think of a person I’d trust to conduct the kind of interviews I’m thinking of. Maybe someone like Bill Kristol?

  • c-spanvideo.org
    click *browse*
    look under featured programs
    Herman Cain-Newt Gingrich Lincoln-Douglas Style Debate

    the first 10-15 minutes are introductions

    the last questions are hilarious

  • Thanks Sharon. I watched it. Cain is so out of his league. I think it’s Newt’s time to shine. He’s really gotta be more positive though. He seems so mad all the time.

That’s What the Bully Pulpit Is For

Tuesday, October 25, AD 2011

Peter Wehner’s getting all nervous because certain Republican candidates are saying things that he disapproves of:

One of the GOP presidential candidates (Ron Paul) believes the United States is responsible for triggering the 9/11 attacks. Another (Rick Santorum) has said he would use the presidential bully pulpit to speak out against the dangers of contraception and its role in the moral decline of America (“One of the things that I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the sexual liberty idea and many in the Christian faith have said, you know contraception is OK. It’s not OK because it’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”)

Yet another (Herman Cain), has dramatically shifted his positions on negotiating with terrorists and legalizing abortion within a matter of hours, after having said he would (contra the Constitution) impose a religious test on Muslim Americans. And nowGovernor Rick Perry has indicated he’s not quite sure whether Barack Obama was born in the USA, citing Donald Trump as an authority.

Some of this is correct, but the rest is a mess.  For instance, Perry’s comments seem almost totally aimed at tweaking Obama and nothing more.  Even Paul’s 9/11 theories are a bit more nuanced than Wehner suggests.  As for Rick Santorum, I say good for him.  As Mike Potemera points out, it’s rather unlikely that any conservative president will be “calling for the hiring of millions of contraception cops as a solution to joblessness.”  Santorum would be using the office of president to discuss an important cultural issue.  It’s nothing more than what Michelle Obama has done to encourage efforts to fight against obesity.  There’s nothing wrong with using the bully pulpit to discuss social issues and raise awareness so long as you are not actually calling for legislation that impedes personal liberty.

Santorum continues to be one of the few candidates who gets it, in that he understands the nexus between social and economic issues.  While others have concentrated on narrow technocratic solutions, Santorum has really been the only one to explain how the breakdown of the family is one of the contributing causes of our economic rot.  That’s not to say, by the way, that certain tax and fiscal policies are wrong.  In the end, you can’t quite dictate improved sexual mores through executive fiat , so we do need purely economic solutions to the current mess we’re in.  But at least Santorum is willing to engage in conversation about social issues.  Okay, so perhaps he does so in a manner that comes off as just a bit whiny, but that doesn’t dilute the importance of his message.

Continue reading...

2 Responses to That’s What the Bully Pulpit Is For

  • Thank you for saying this! I will take a winy president who understands his country and its root problems over a professional public speaker who thinks everything is about racism any day! I still say, Santorum 2012!

  • Santorum is at least getting the message out there. Myriads of folks have never even considered that contraception may not be healthy, physically, spiritually or emotionally. At least, as long as he lasts, there is no denying his passion and he speaks the truth.

Beware the Cult of Personality

Thursday, October 6, AD 2011

I have mixed emotions about Sarah Palin’s announcement that she won’t be running for the presidency.  Though she would not have been my top choice had she entered the fray, she at least would have been in the portion of the field that I am still considering voting for (with Perry, Cain, Santorum and Gingrich).  She would have provided a change of pace from the rest of the crop of candidates.  And, frankly, I like her and think she’s a much more insightful and perceptive person than given credit for. But I am not convinced that her time is now, so it’s probably for the best that she is not part of the conversation for 2012.

One of the fascinating things in watching the conservative end of the blogosphere over the past few months is the intense reaction that Palin sparks.  Of course there are her detractors, both right and left.  Some of these individual – in particular the wannabe gynecologists – border on the pathological.  There are valid criticisms to be levied against Palin, but I’ve seen otherwise reasonable people turn into irrational cranks when it comes to her.  She may not have been the best candidate for president, but she is not quite the manipulative, dumb, vacuous or whatever adjective you want to throw out there individual that her most vocal critics have portrayed her as being.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to Beware the Cult of Personality

  • Most politicians cannot be adequately judged until at least a century has passed from their death, and the passions of their time have died away. Of course some passions never completely die away, as is demonstrated in the comboxes whenever I post about Lincoln!

  • I will remember the following from Governor Plain’s statement to Mark Levin.

    “Saving the country is all that matters, and the first step required for that task is to totally reverse our current course. Of course, that includes removal of the current occupant in the White House.”

    You should do a study of the Cult of the Obama-worshiping Imbecile. They make Cargo Cultists look like Einsteins.

  • From the title, I thought you were going to blog about Steve Jobs.

  • Not really asking for a savior – almost the opposite: someone who is humble enough to understand the limits of office and stick to them.

  • T. Shaw, Sarah was anything but Gov. Plain. 🙂

    Also, great video. Living Colour’s first album, Vivid, rocked hard. Album no. 2 was okay with a couple of good songs, but it went downhill quickly after that.

  • I have Time’s Up but not Vivid. It was actually in the group of five cds that were the first ones I ever bought, and I’m not sure I ever listened to it again after the first time I played it.

  • “Put your trust not in princes. It’s a biblical injunction that we ought to heed. We’ve seen what happens when a large segment of the population treats a political figure as the Messiah, and we’re working to clean up that mess right now.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Even the real Messiah refused to be a political Messiah, to the disappointment of some of His followers.

    I would have to also agree with c matt that what we should be looking for is NOT a candidate who will change the world and solve all our problems but someone who, recognizing the limits of their office, won’t promise what they can’t deliver and who won’t make things worse.

  • We look to man to do what God alone can accomplish. Everyone wants a messiah who will solve their problems. The best thing elected officials can do is to remain humble, honest, and realistic.