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Wednesday, November 16. 2011
"Popcorn! Popcorn! Get yer fresh popcorn!"
"And the centerfielder's going back... back... Home run, Team Republican!"
Sorry, just getting in the mood.
With this extraordinarily long lull between debates (an entire week), I thought I'd step back and take a fresh look at things. Armed with the very latest in caffeine-fortified psychotropic drugs and a Jack Daniels I.V. drip, I'm prepared to take on such challenging questions as, "Does bra size matter in a presidential race?", and "Would you vote for someone with an opposing astrological sign?" That's why Maggie hired me, to take on tough, penetrating questions like these that no other blogger dares address.
By the way, I had a rare insight while writing this post and have resolved not to say too many scornful, derisive, abusive, reprehensible things about Ron Paul ever again. So that's good news for our Ron Paul fan(s) out there.
"Peanuts! Peanuts! Get yer fresh peanuts!"
I have maintained from the beginning that the issues are, for want of a better term, a side issue. It's all about electability, and that's where our problems lay.
Personally, I've thought since before he even entered the race that Perry would be the only one who could beat an incumbent. I stress the word incumbent, because incumbents are notoriously hard to unseat. I think the incumbent return rate to Congress is around 90%. In an even match, with two new opponents, I'd say we clean up in the next election. But when an incumbent's running, there's automatically a big slice of the population that's simply going to go with the status quo, preferring a known, if unwelcome, candidate over some unknown they might end up hating. That's intrinsic to human nature and there's no fighting it.
On the issues, we've got this thing made in the shade. The 2010 election was a massive referendum on the direction this country is heading, and
So, if we figure the issues are a done deal, then it's back to fighting off the momentum of an incumbency. As I see it, we have a number of things going for us:
— For starters, simply the proliferation of laptops and smartphones and tablets and notebooks has widely broadened the number of informed people out there in just the past few years. While that leaves them open to lefty persuasion, more importantly it allows the truth to get through. When it comes to the simple aspect of 'people becoming informed', we're riding the crest of a very fortuitous wave.
— Taking a look at the humanistic side, the good news is that people have short memories. Say, didn't Perry once say something bad about my Social Security? Oh, hell, maybe I just misunderstood him, it was so long ago.
The bad news is that they don't have very good memories at all, which is why they call them lingering impressions, because they linger long past the memory of how some false accusation was soundly disproved has vanished. While Perry's gaffes will recede in time, the MSM will make damn sure that Cain's sordid past of (fill in horrible crime here) continues to be mentioned right up until Election Day. "Seventh Accuser's 3rd Cousin Speaks Up on Cain's Wanton Lust, Claims 'He raped my mind!'" blares The National Enquirer. "527th Woman Comes Forth Claiming 'Cain Made Me Feel Uncomfortable'" blats The New York Times.
— The public is becoming exposed to the horror of Dodd-Frank...finally. I'm sure a number of people dug into it after the first dozen times the panel mentioned it, but when you've got exhibitions like Cain put on here, you're really throwing it in the public's face. That, and their tough answers at the 'security' debate the other night, coupled with Gingrich wanting to throw Ben Bernanke into a dark, dank prison cell is demonstrating that this group means business.
— It's also been an education for many that Congress was responsible for the mortgage/loan/debt crisis, not the banks. I hope they pound this one home a few more times. It's honestly one of the best-kept secrets out there, in that you can read article after article on the subject and never once see the word "Congress" mentioned. So it's nice to see it getting shoved into the spotlight.
— Another thing that's nice to see coming to the public's attention is the history of Social Security, and how it was doing just fine, thank you, fine, until Democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson got his greasy mitts on it in 1968. And here we have the candidates offering the nice, sensible solution of, you know, returning the goddamn thing to its pre-68 status! They've mentioned it twice and I hope they will many more times. It brings the whole question of why we're arguing about Social Security in the first place into sharp relief. The candidates should constantly point the finger, blaming the Dems for being so greedy and screwing everything up. Again.
I'd call that Meme #1.
Okay, let's cover the gang.
Future historians will long point to the 'Cain Case' as the quintessential example of political unpreparedness. On the first day of the campaign, he should have stood before the press and said:
Or words to that effect.
But he didn't, and I think he's toast. It's one of those taints that just won't go away.
The good news is, he's back! Ponzi Scheme, what? Forget the past, man, we've got an election to win!
The bad news, as Perry readily admits, is that he's a doer, not a debater. Now, IF (and that's a mighty big 'IF') the Maggie's Valued Readers™ can band together en masse and force Perry's campaign to hire me as a campaign strategist, he'll have a shot in the debates with Obama. Most pundits will flat-out state that Obama will eat him alive, but we can use that strength against him by playing the Aw Shucks Card (© Dr. Mercury 2011) against him, basically making Obama out to be what he really and truly is, a snotty liberal twit.
"Well, gosh, them sure were some big fancy words you used there, Mister O-bam-ee, but I'm just an ol' country boy who knows how to git things done, and this-here great nation of ours needs some fixin'!"
Or words to that effect.
This is the real tough nut to crack. If Perry had kept self-destructing, I was ready to turn my attention to the only other candidate who I think has a chance in hell of beating Obama.
The problem with Romney is one of perception and identification; of 'pegging' him. At times, he comes across as the most 'presidential' person in the room, while during other answers you start wondering if you should jot down 'bread' on your shopping list. So how do you gauge a person who comes across as somewhere between presidential and bland?
I do, however, think he'd make a fine president, and one of the ugliest memes that's recently developed on the right-wing blogs is the "non-Romney candidate", implying that anyone — anyone! — will do except Mitt. This is almost as sad as their "Oh, Crap, Another Debate!" attitude and their dispiriting, disheartening choice of headlines and links.
What's odd is that these people seem to have no foresight. Okay, so they spend six months convincing everyone that the absolute last person we all want is the despicable Mitt Romney in the slot. Then — you know where this is heading — suddenly Romney wins the nomination... and now what? "Never mind, folks! He's really a cool guy after all!"
That's what they're going to tell people?
Anyway, I suggest we all get mentally steeled to the very serious possibility that Romney will walk away with it and be prepared to support him with gusto.
I have been a registered Republican my entire life, and for one reason, alone. Simply put, Republicans view government as a business, not a social club, which is precisely the correct way to approach it. Putting an actual real, live businessman in the White House is obviously an idea that appeals to me.
Gee, I warmed up to her just as everybody else cooled off. She was the first candidate to really slam Dodd-Frank, for example. I'd wager that if it had started off with just five candidates and she'd had a lot more time to speak, she'd still be a contender today.
But, as anyone brave enough to read the right-wing blogs has seen, she's now being written off without a thought. Thanks for the memories, Michele. Sorry about that 'bra' remark.
I suppose we should be grateful for his continued presence. As I might have mildly implied more than once, he's not qui-i-i-ite like the other candidates, so it's good to have him around as kind of a 'sounding board' which the audience can then use as a reference point to reality. To put it philosophically, how do you know what reality is until you've seen what lies beyond? This is the valuable service Mr. Paul provides, and I don't want to see any more of those horrid, nasty, vile remarks about him in the comments.
That's my job.
Boy, I called that one, didn't I? I read back what I'd written about him after the first eight debates, and I picked up on him just about from the beginning. At first, like everyone else, I blindly wrote him off, but then he actually started speaking... and that's when the Big Picture Guy emerged and I'm sure a great number of people glommed onto it. I knew he'd pick up steam as word spread that his answers just didn't seem like everyone else's. Even if they couldn't put it into words, i.e., Big Picture Guy, they still knew there was something different going on.
I don't, however, think he's close to electable, so I'm taking his climbing numbers as an amusing side show but nothing more. The good news is that the type of people who have jumped on Newt's bandwagon are a smart set — as opposed to the drones who step into the voting booth having never watched a debate in their life — and Newt's fans will simply jump on board whoever takes the nomination and should, it says here, support him or her enthusiastically.
Please go away. Our deepest and most heartfelt thanks to both of you and dear Michele, but it's time to move on, don't you think?
Speaking of which, I never did find out how or when they start whittling these things down. Anybody know? Spin a bottle? Throw a dart at the wall? Toss I-Ching sticks onto a bamboo mat? Is chicken blood involved in the process?
Next debate is this Saturday night. B → R B □.
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I reject your premise. The people will elect whoever we send them.
They each have strengths and weaknesses in opposition to the current President. Obama will not have the same ardent support. Each of the righty prospects, even Ron Paul, has an ability to either out-inspire or split the potential Obama vote.
Barry has failed the Progressives. Barry has bungled foreign policy that matters to a chunk of America First soft democrats. Barry is fully owned by Wall Street.
The first candidate to address the banksters and say, “I am going to stop the looting and start the prosecuting,” will win.
Pardon me, but did you just imply that the average American voter is politically smart?
Actually, I don't think I've ever anyone make such a claim. Do you have the slightest shred of evidence to back that up?
And, if they're so smart, why is Obama in the White House?
It’s not clear why you presume I overestimate the intelligence of Joe Sixpack. My argument is based on the common man’s lightly-thought reactions when presented with a simple choice between two contenders. And on a life of experience manning an outpost deep in Progressive territory.
The Progs are the organizers, the force that gets the soft left and squishy middle to the polls on election day. There who delivered The One upon America.
They ain’t motivated by Barry anymore. Let’s not wake them up. Let’s keep them divided, dismayed and confused.
“Start the prosecuting” will go direct to the voters’ limbic system. It unites the sentiments of OWS and the TEA people. It’s where the fire is. So who will be our Prometheus?
Okay, I re-read your comment and think I mixunderstood the first line. I was a little thrown by which premise you were rejecting of so many to choose from.
In re-reading it, I agree that the Republicans will vote for whoever is nominated, and that's the point I was making when I said the differences between all of the candidates everybody but Ron Paul were but a quibble. What we don't want is for there to be big gulfs between them. That's why Paul's role is so important. He's a one-man gulf machine.
As for the Dems, like you said, this is a seriously disenfranchised group, and I gather the premise you disagreed with was my assertion that a lot of them will vote the status quo no matter what. I just said "a big slice" would do so, which could mean anything from 7% to 99%, so it wasn't much of a premise to disagree with. If you want to split the difference, let's agree there's always a fair slice that does so, but far fewer this time.
Sorry for not being explicit. I reject “It's all about electability, and that's where our problems lay.”
Electability is not so much a problem, for reasons we seem to share. The problem is choosing which of these fine candidates has sufficient charisma to have long coattails and the strongest backbone to resist the siren song of compromise once in office.
We need the Senate. Which of these candidates will help most (or least) in those races?
Paul has the strongest backbone, but even less charisma than Romney’s shoe.
Huntsman and Santorum are non-factors. Bachmann I think has the backbnone, but she will awaken the Progs.
Well, I'm using the word "electability" and you're speaking about 'character', so we're coming at the same point albeit from different angles. We both agree the issues are secondary to substance and how it's perceived by the public.
The problem is that even breaking it down into components of character has its problems. The Senate? Who reaches across the aisle the best? Perry and Romney, from what I've read. Who's got the strongest 'backbone'? Probably the Wicked Witch, herself. Who faces off against the press the best? Newt, no question. Who comes across as the 'most presidential'? Romney, with Huntsman in his better moments coming up second. Who comes across as the crankiest? Since there might be children around, decorum prohibits me from mentioning the name out loud, but his initials are R.O.N. P.A.U.L.
To focus on your word "charisma", wouldn't you say Perry has the most? The down-home folksy accent? The country boy good looks? The "Aw, shucks, I'm just one of you folks" feel to him? Thoughts?
I don’t think I mean character here. Philandering and a few sweetheart real estate deals don’t move Joe Sixpack.
Since I hold that they’re all electable as President, I am looking past the November horizon. The backbone I refer to is what happens after the election. Who is most stubbornly conservative? I don’t want any reaching across the aisle. I want more fierce partisanship.
Gingrich has the resume for partisanship. I think Bachmann could outdo him if she gets the chance. To me Romney and Perry are too much inclined toward a government that “must do something!”
Just keeping to the election itself, I would like some charisma to generate coattails. Or at least to put some rips in the Dem coattails. Perry and Cain have it far above the others. They can connect with a light-thinking Joe Sixpack.
Romney is clearly Most Presidential. But he is the least likely to call for prosecuting banksters. His private career was in finance (not quite the same as business). He’s the antithesis of OWS/TEA.
If he’s the guy, he wins in a low-turnout election that doesn’t change Congress.
If Cain survives to be the guy, he turns the whole world upside down. We are truly healing when blacks vote against a black man. That may be worth more than anything else to me.
I can’t guess what Perry leads to. Depends on which version of Perry is running next fall.
Gingrich is similar. Do we get Mr. Big Picture, or do we get somebody inspiring conservative turnout?
Bachmann would be awesome (a super-duper longshot), but what I like most about her is what will motivate the Progs.
So, as I ramble around my thoughts, I hope we can keep four or five candidates alive deep into the primaries. This is fun!
Toss I-Chink sticks onto the bamboo mat? I-Chink?
I didn't buy into Gringrich from the start and I ain't buying it now. He just the latest ABR du jour because he can talk all pruty and knows stuff and like...stuff. I don't understand how he can command this kind of respect when (1) he wasn't all that much as a back-bencher (2) he wasn't all that much as a Speaker, (3) he has more left leaning opinions than Romney (4) is not necessarily opposed to government intervention in markets, etc., etc., etc. In fact I'd go so far to say that he out Romneys Romney. I just think he's a bad actor, I don't like him and he's just the latest twitch in the inevitable climb of Romney to the nomination.
Perry has personally recovered from his gaff, but its too late. The ABR crowd has latched onto somebody new - the Save Us Obi Wan Rick Perry mystique has faded and he now just a mere mortal. I've noticed that he's cut back on his SC commercials substantially in the past week or so - this is a key state for him, he needs to hit it hard and it just doesn't seem to be happening. The gaff showed his weakness - he has ADD. Plus I'll say it again, what works in Texas does not necessarily work nationally. This whole "I'm A Doer, Not A Debater" crap is nonsense. If you can't think fast on your feet and get a point across that you've been making for months, you're a hick - fuggetabouit.
Cain called it, he knew it was coming, it started with the whole guilty of being conservative while black and ended with blond bimbos looking for a quick pay day. Sounds like a really bad pr0n plot - black supervisor and blond underling. He called it but didn't prepare for it - you're right. Even though his accusers have been totally embarrassed and the charges proven to be gold digging at best, the whole meme has stuck to him and he's done. Allred did her job, probably will get her paycheck from Georgie Soros, dust off her hands and wait for the inevitable dubious Romney Love Child accusation from another blond bimbo represented found by old Pinch Face.
Michelle, La Bell - these four words that together fit so well...Get The Hell Out!!! I told you folks this and the last two debates have pretty much proven my point - she could be the smartest, wittiest, prettiest, most moral and ethical politician on the planet - she is a woman and will NEVER get nominated for the top position - NEVER EVER EVER. She's only in this for a Cabinet position at this point - maybe Director of the FBI or CIA - something to do with national security.
Romney - or as I like to call him, Mr. Pretzel - has got more twists and turns to his positions and policies that John Kerry ever had and that's saying something. I think its the water in MA - most MA governors are just flat out weird - starting with Frank Sergeant and moving on from there. Given that he's a fence sitter/side switcher, he's not stupid. He is smart, he is articulate, he has on some things stayed pretty much on message, he looks Presidential and he's got big bucks with friends in high places.
The Grumpy Old Man will continue to be a Grumpy Old Man and believe me, I know from Grumpy Old Men. He's going to play spoiler because that's' the only way he can keep the attention on him and appease his loyal minions who keep contributing to his campaign and causes. He's like Jimmy Swaggert only in politics.
Huntsman/Santorum - a moderate leftie and a spoiled rich frat boy. Meh.
At this point, I don't think there is any other choice but Romney.
Having said all this - I wonder if this is going to turn out to be a brokered convention/nomination? There is still Obi Wan Christie and Obi Wan Ryan out there and if none of the current candidates can make the math work, you have a very interesting scenario. It is not out of the realm of possibility.
Bwah-hah on me! Look, everybody, Doc's racist and he doesn't even know it!
"I told you folks this and-"
You know, I've said this before, and I'll say it again. You have so many good, solid opinions to share with people that it's really a shame that you aren't one of those "blogger" guys. That way you could, you know, actually tell "the folks" what's on your mind, as referred to a ragged band of stray commenters.
"it's really a shame that you aren't one of those "blogger" guys."
You keep saying that - maybe I'm not understanding what you are trying to say.
Besides, is sounds too much like work.
Oh, I just meant it would be great if you were one of those blogger guys on a big fancy blog site like Maggie's, then you could express your strong opinions before the world, rather than in the safe, quiet confines of a comments area.
That's what I'm trying to say.
Email me and we'll talk. I don't have your email address.
I keep wondering what percentage of the American people pay no attention at all until about 5 minutes before they vote, and what percentage are as well informed about issues as the Occupy people. And how do we inform them? Is it all TV commercials? If the polls are to be believed, close to 50% of the people still don't grasp that that halo they keep sticking on Obama is not real.
Is Cain for-sure done because of the womanizing smears? The accusers seem to have faded into obscurity. Their barks had bite, but no teeth. And we have come all this way without any significant faces standing up for his character.
The electorate has not met his wife. He might be able to shield her (I think she may have weak health) for the primaries, but in a general election, she has to become known.
After 43 years of marriage, I suspect her testimony would carry much weight. It could be framed as a handful of gold-digging bimbos vs. the word of a Baptist church lady. Church lady wins.
Alas! I see the Cain campaign is a day ahead of me. Watch y’all some Gloria and tell me Cain is sunk on character issues.
Ya know, you might be onto something. I hadn't noticed it (who notices the absence of sludge?), but it does seem like the "Is Cain Guilty of Rape?" headlines have slowed way down recently. Without thinking about it, I'd have assumed they were going into a cycle, and that we'd see "5th Accuser Bravely Steps Forward" in another week or so. There's still a year to go, so they've got to space out the 35 Democratic operatives poor molested women over the time frame. We'll see.
So let me throw this bone out there.....the new media conservatives have been polite but not very kind in remarks concerning Ron Paul.....the angry and ignorant are far worse in their comments. Today, it looks like Dr. Paul is lining up for a win in IA, has the second strongest campaign in both money and structure in NH and SC, and looks to be leading the precinct counts in NV....I know, debatable, but it's a generous viewpoint for the sake of argument.
What will the 'conservative' wanna-bees do? The only true conservative in the 2012 race is actually winning races, while the squishy GOP establishment, who has all but annointed Romney, still has one year before the first vote is cast for President (makes for a great year in the Press, won't it, Mr. Priebus?). Ron Paul was right in 2008 about the economy's direction, federal spending, and the Federal Reserve destruction of value and was treated even worse than he is today....and he's still correct and conservative in his assertions. Because with a true conservative, their values don't shift with the wind, the wind adjusts.
Will all those, such as Dr. Mercury and Tom, who have spent all this time denigrating Dr. Paul, suddenly rush to find something positive to say? Maybe something like, "Never mind, folks! He's really a cool guy after all!"
The media has a short memory but many citizens still remember Obama talking about bitter-clingers, and know the horror of Congressional action (Obamacare, Frank-Dodd, Patriot Act, etc.) and inaction (no budget for 1000 days, no reduction in war, no reduction in spending, etc.). Now we have Obama's deliberate destruction jobs (Keystone XL pipeline). Do you not wonder if they remember what you in the new media report or opine?
A conservative economic plan must be the focus of every candidate for the GOP nomination (ask Dr. Paul, he'll give you hints as to what that looks like). Same for their supporters and enablers in the new media. Time spent putting down the candidates that are too conservative (none) or too liberal (Huntsman, Romney, Perry), too tied into the establishment (Romney) or anti-establishment (Palin, Paul), and not spent attacking the decisions of Obama and the progressive elements who are gleefully destroying this country--either through Congress or the bureaucracy, is time wasted.
"Will all those, such as Dr. Mercury and Tom, who have spent all this time denigrating Dr. Paul"
Pardon me, good sir, but if you look back through my posts, I don't believe I've ever 'denigrated' Paul, in the sense that right from the beginning I said I love 75% of what he stands for -- so that would make me 75% hypocritical were I to actually knock him. And I only posted three clips from the last debate, but he got half of one, so why did I allow him the floor if he was so, uh, denigratable? In fact, I included him because it was Paul at his best, and I noted that this kind of forthrightness was why his followers liked him so much.
Strikethrough words don't count, of course, but the words have obviously been struck out.
But that other 25%? Like his foreign policy? Br-rr-rr!
Dr. Mercury...perhaps the word 'denigrate' was a tad overboard when including your name in my comment (after referring to the dictionary, I would not characterize your comments as 'malicious', true). I apologize; I read this phrase "...I don't want to see any more of those horrid, nasty, vile remarks about him in the comments. That's my job," and assumed that you had such a habit--even though there wasn't any such comment in your piece. Again, my bad.
Though I've only been surfing the intertubes for a decade or so, I've come to the conclusion that the use of a strikeout is a pretty way to say what you mean and then toss in a "Just joking" for protection. I always assume the strikeout is the real voice. As I'm not one to generally comment in Maggie's forum, I've no experience with your use and thus, cannot comment on your ulterior position.
Per the foreign policy concern: I take the tack that Japan, Germany, France, Great Britain, Canada, Sweden, and 35 additional countries around the globe just don't need a US military base, nor the Billions of dollars we spend on 'defense' of other nations so they can implement their socialist dream. I would think that a conservative US citizen would look at those facts and fall into the same position....maybe not.
For the neo-conservative will look at the billions being spent and say, "That's a good start, but you cut a single penny of this budget and Chinese troops will be landing in CA next week." or suicide bombers, or......fill in the blank.
The liberal will shout, "That money belongs in my pocket!" Or Solyndra's or ....fill in the blank with some 'worthy' goal. Perhaps even throw a little spittle into the air along with the viewpoint.
As to the issue of war: If Congress didn't declare it, it's illegal and unconstitutional. Period. Bring the troops home quickly and safely OR get Congress to declare war. No debate necessary if we're a constitutional republic. Any other viewpoint is NOT a conservative POV.
As to alliances: If they serve the purpose of American interests, I'll be open to the conversation as a conservative. But I will not jump and shout hosanna's in support of 'free trade agreements' that are anything but free for citizens.
So as a conservative constitutionalist, I firmly believe that Dr. Paul speaks an American truth from the heart and has for 20+ years in the halls of Congress, much to the chagrin of many others who call themselves Republican. Many feel that he's not as polished as Mr. Romney, nor as telegenic as Mr. Perry; perhaps he doesn't orate to the level of our current President--but by the same token, he doesn't use a Teleprompter to express his values and knowledge nor does he say what the audience wants to hear. His values are not negotiable, though many of the 'cool' candidates behave and speak as though values are disposable.
My values aren't negotiable though my opinions can evolve, and I expect my representative to be similar in this regard. If my fellow citizens have lower standards for their candidates of choice, it speaks more of them than the candidates themselves.
I consider the use of Strikethrough fonts one of the greatest contributions the blogosphere has made to the field of written communication. You're right; they often mean what the person really thinks, and is 'toeing the party line' with the real words, but it can go just the opposite direction. For example, I might write about the horrific crime that Cain has committed of rape molestation groping boobies patting women on the back in congratulations for a job well done, thus reflecting and mocking the media's sad ploy.
As for Dr. Paul, like McCain, my feeling is that America doesn't want to elect a president who looks like he might die from old age at any minute. Or, more realistically, have a stroke in three years.
And speaking of the many uses of Strikethrough fonts, please pardon a small correction:
"His values are not negotiable, though many of the 'cool' candidates behave and speak as though values are disposable negotiable."
You had it right the first time. This is about electability and getting someone in the White House who can get things done, which means dealing across the aisle, which means 'negotiating'. And when it comes to reaching across the aisle, both Romney and Perry are superb at it. You want things done, vote for Romney or Perry. You want a stagnant four years with a tough, non-negotiating 'conservative constitutionalist' in the White House, vote for Paul.
BTW...has anyone else the same problem as I, in which clicking on (Reply) does nothing? At least, I thought clicking on that link would allow me to respond to a posting directly.....perhaps not? Should I be clicking on Link? or the comment # link?
That's what 'Reply' does, indents it so you're responding directly to that comment. You can also manually select the spot from the drop-down menu directly above the editor area.