“This reaffirms what has become all too apparent: the president has no interest in doing anything, even modest, to address our looming debt crisis”
–Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner
Massive party breaks out to celebrate Ryan’s spectacular legislative victory, new speaker’s stewardship of $1.1 trillion omnibus budget bill a ‘masterstroke’, hailed as historic success.
Ryan has given the Republican Study Committee, the Freedom Caucus and a moderate group until Friday to voice their support.
The Wisconsin Republican, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, had been pressured by members to consider a bid after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the race to take over from Boehner several weeks ago….(read more)
Source: ABC News
The only Republican who does not want Paul Ryan to become the next House speaker, it seems, is Paul Ryan.
But the former vice-presidential nominee and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee may be changing his mind. After issuing a statement immediately following House majority leader Kevin McCarthy’s withdrawal from the race reiterating that he will not seek the job, multiple sources tell National Review that Ryan is, at the very least, considering a change of heart.
“I’m told he’ll sleep on it,” says a source close to Ryan.
Two additional Republican sources say Ryan has in fact already made up his mind to jump in the race.
One House GOP source says they are hearing Ryan first needs to get his wife on board. Read the rest of this entry »
Private, except, well, it appeared in Politico. Which means A. Politico needs a dictionary, or B. (more likely) Ted Cruz fully intended the comment to be public, but indirectly, using an easily-accessible Washington D.C. news organization like Politico as a gullible tool to be fed information to.
Call John Koskinen a late bloomer. According to records on our hard drive before we crashed it, he is 74 years old, thirty-three days short of the magical 75. Before he caught Paul Ryan’s attention, we had never heard of him. Now he’s unanimous victor in the EOW sweepstakes. Such insolence, such arrogance, such contempt for all humanity we had not seen in a public official since the last time we paid attention to those who escaped from the losing side of World War II to some friendly dictatorship in the southern parts of South America and got caught. Is it any surprise that the Koskinen soccer stadium at Duke University is named after him? Wonder where he picked up his expertise in soccer?
What about his lowly competition this week? The maestros at Politico have hailed our president’s becoming “mocker-in-chief on climate change skeptics.” Only problem is we have yet to hear him play mocker-in-chief vis-à-vis, say, V.V. Putin, ISIS, Iran, cholera at the border, and the leader responsible for our nation’s GDP shrinking by 2.9 percent last quarter. No fair, this last charge? It was, after all, a very cold winter. Climate changed in every wrong way. Oh, well, no need, Mr. Prez, to apologize to those you have mocked. We expect the honorable Mr. Koskinen will jump at the chance to do the job for you. Read the rest of this entry »
For Media Research Center, Matthew Balan reports: The Big Three networks’ Friday evening newscasts finally noticed the latest development in the IRS scandal (they omitted it on Thursday), after Rep. Paul Ryan grilled Commissioner John Koskinen earlier in the day. It was the first ABC, CBS or NBC evening newscast mention of the IRS since news of the missing e-mail broke a week earlier.
[Also see: Trust In News Media At All-Time Low]
ABC’s David Muir spotlighted “the outrage…involving the IRS claiming to have lost thousands of crucial documents – lawmakers asking, how can the tax man be let off the hook for losing documents, while ordinary taxpayers would never get away with that?”
NBC’s Brian Williams noted how Koskinen claimed that the IRS “lost evidence in the investigation into how they handled conservative political groups…and given how long the IRS holds on to things like our tax returns, some members of Congress just aren’t buying it.” CBS’s Nancy Cordes zeroed in on congressional Democrats’ attack on their Republican colleagues over the scandal – something that ABC and NBC didn’t do: [MP3 audio available here; video below]
NANCY CORDES: Republicans have long suggested Lerner was urged by the White House to hold up applications for tax-exempt status from conservative groups before the 2012 elections. Democrats, like Lloyd Doggett of Texas, mocked that as just another conspiracy theory.
We may have to reserve judgement on the worst article we’ll read all year. It’s still early! Though other lazy NYT op-ed writers have nine more months of blindfolded typing to catch up with him, Tim Egan is definitely a contender.
First, Krugman’s jaw-dropping, quote-worthy Paul Ryan smear, now Reason‘s Nick Gillespie has to clean up after Tim Egan’s smug, lazy historical association flim-flam. Both Krugman and Egan employ the same tactic, see if you can notice the identical device, disclaiming responsibility for responsibility via a weasel-worded disclaimer.
Nick Gillespie writes:
In Sunday’s New York Times, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Timothy Egan likens Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to the English overlords of Ireland’s great potato famine of 1845-1852. Seriously.
Egan says he did a bit of “time traveling” in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day (whose celebration in the form of parades and drunkeness is largely an invention of colonial America). What did Egan find while traipsing about in the Old Sod?
“A great debate raged in London: Would it be wrong to feed the starving Irish with free food, thereby setting up a “culture of dependency”? Certainly England’s man in charge of easing the famine, Sir Charles Trevelyan, thought so. “Dependence on charity,” he declared, “is not to be made an agreeable mode of life.”
And there I ran into Paul Ryan…the Republican congressman was very much in evidence, wagging his finger at the famished. His oft-stated “culture of dependency” is a safety net that becomes a lazy-day hammock. But it was also England’s excuse for lethal negligence.”
But wait, before you dare say that Egan in any way means to compare Ryan to the architects of one of the most heinous acts of imperial brutality, perish the thought:
“There is no comparison, of course, between the de facto genocide that resulted from British policy, and conservative criticism of modern American poverty programs. Read the rest of this entry »
Jennifer Rubin writes: The high-profile winners in politics don’t let you forget they won. But organizations and individuals do some of the most important work out of the limelight to defend, sustain and enrich our political system and society as a whole. There were a number of these that made a difference in 2013.
• The American Enterprise Institute: Under president Arthur Brooks AEI has hit its stride, becoming the premiere right-leaning think tank. Unlike Heritage, it has stayed out of politics and stuck to the realm of political philosophy and policy. It has been a major mover on the right to create a more people-centric, positive vision of conservatism. And to top it off, Brooks is doing some fascinating work on happiness — who is happy, what makes us happy. AEI has and continues to provide intellectual sustenance and encouragement to conservatives like Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
• Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee: He started 2013 with a controversial report that began a year of rebuilding and positive debate about the party’s future. He recognized immigration as an issue that had to be addressed. And most important, he began work on a new primary system that will be shorter and less self-destructive. The extent of his work won’t be fully known until 2016, but he is making critical strides in modernizing the party.
Tony Lee reports: Though Republicans and Democrats in favor of comprehensive immigration reform are ready to make a final push next year, a new national Gallup poll released on Thursday found that only 3% of the country believes immigration reform is the most important issue that needs to be addressed.
The top concern of Americans who were surveyed was “dissatisfaction with the government” (21%). That was followed by the economy (19%), healthcare (17%), unemployment (12), the budget deficit (9%), moral/ethical decline (7%), poverty/hunger/homelessness (5%), and education (4%).
Immigration also does not register among the top-five most important issues to Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
Sarah Mimms writes: When budget negotiations began last month, Democrats felt confident that public opinion surrounding the government shutdown would force Republicans to the table, eager to prove their party could compromise.
But today, there’s little sense of urgency on a budget deal. With less than four weeks to go before the conference committee’s deadline, the public focus has shifted to the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act and pressure on Republicans has subsided.
“The shutdown is history. We are moving forward to try to get the next thing done,” William Allison, a spokesman for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, said last week.
Asked whether Ryan and others feel pressure to get something done because of the shutdown, Allison was blunt: “Nah,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the GOP’s most recent vice presidential candidate, finished with a combined total of less than 10 percent of the vote in the Family Research Council (FRC) Values Voter Summit straw poll.
Rubio finished in fifth place with 5 percent of the vote, while Ryan finished in sixth place with 4 percent of the vote. The three biggest issues for the 762 straw poll voters were religious liberty, life, and Obamacare.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) finished overwhelmingly in first place, taking in 42 percent of the straw poll’s vote. Dr. Ben Carson, an ardent opponent of Obamacare, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a social conservative, finished tied for second place with 13 percent of the vote each.
Robert Costa writes: On most weekday mornings, House Republicans huddle in a windowless room in the Capitol basement. Over pastries and coffee, they confer with the leadership and discuss strategy. Sometimes they complain; sometimes they cheer. This past week, it’s been more of the former. As the tensions grow, the GOP’s internal debate can seem like a circus — the tea party vs. establishment. But behind the scenes, House Republicans are more nuanced than that caricature.
1. House Republicans want to default.
When they’re on the cable news shows, House Republicans can sound aggressive and unyielding about the upcoming debt limit; they won’t extend the federal government’s borrowing limit, they often say, unless Democrats make major concessions. This public, tough-talking stance, though, is only part of the story. House Speaker John A. Boehner privately reassured colleagues on Thursday that he won’t let the nation default, and within the inner sanctum of the House GOP, he has never promoted missing the deadline.
Instead, Boehner is struggling to balance his right flank’s appetite for brinkmanship with his desire to cut a deal that’s palatable to conservatives. To do that, he frequently shies away from publicly conceding any ground. But he and the Republican leadership aren’t eager to be blamed for economic chaos and risk their party’s House majority in next year’s midterms.
So don’t read too much into the fight-till-the-death posturing of the House’s debt-limit warriors. They have influence but not total say. Look for smaller clues — Boehner’s closed-door meetings, the chatter about a larger fiscal package — as evidence of how the impasse will probably end: with an eleventh-hour, smaller compromise that Boehner has been slowly but surely shepherding.
Several times a day, especially if he’s out travelin’ and talkin’ to folks, as he always is when the U.S. Senate isn’t in session, Ted Cruz will stand before an audience and reflect, seemingly for the first time, about the generational shift taking place in the Republican party. Read the rest of this entry »
You can try to put “conservative” lipstick on the lawless amnesty mob. But in the end, it’s still a lawless mob. The big government–big business alliance to protect illegal immigration got a lot of mileage using foolish Republicans Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan as front men. But the true colors of the open-borders grievance-mongers always show through.
After America said no to a pork-filled security-undermining amnesty bill in 2007, the No Illegal Alien Left Behind lobbyists changed their overtly thuggish tactics. They put down their upside-down American flags, stopped wearing their Commie Che Guevara T-shirts, and cloaked their radical “Aztlan” aspirations in the less divisive rhetoric of “reform” and “opportunity.”
It was all just an act, of course. Inevitably, the mask has slipped. Over the weekend, illegal-alien protesters descended on the private residence of Kansas secretary of state and immigration-enforcement lawyer Kris Kobach. As Twitchy.com reported on Saturday, 300 amnesty activists marched into Kobach’s neighborhood and barged up his driveway and right onto his doorstep. It’s how the Alinskyite “community organizers” roll.
Shouting into a bullhorn and waving their fists from his front porch, the property-rights invaders dubbed Kobach “King of Hate” for his work representing border-security activists and federal customs-enforcement agents who are fighting the systemic sabotage of immigration law. Thankfully, Kobach, his wife, and their four young daughters were not home at the time.
But the aggrieved amnesty demanders are not done yet. And Kobach is not the only one in their crosshairs.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) not only blamed the victims of the IRS’s targeting on Tuesday–he also implied the IRS would have been justified targeting conservative and Tea Party groups if the agency did so based on what the groups stood for instead of on the words in their names.
At a House Ways and Means hearing in which six leaders of organizations the IRS had targeted were testifying, McDermott said the “mistake here was the staff used the names of the organizatiions instead of the work they do.”
McDermott lashed out at the witnesses, saying “each of your groups are highly political” and said that Tea Party and conservative groups that were essentially asking for “a tax break” were trying to game the system and should have been scrutinized for submitting applications for tax-exempt status. He continued by saying taxpayers should know “which side you fall on” and whether groups were interested in finding voters who vote without IDs or doing things like promoting Communist views.
He called the hearings a “circus” and “political theatre” and accused Republicans for looking for a “conspiracy” that did not exist. He suggested the law should be rewritten to prevent groups that engage in political activity from getting tax-exempt status.
He also then went on a rant against George W. Bush and accused the Bush administration of targeting liberal groups “without any concern.”
An exasperated Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who was the next to question, told the witnesses, “so you’re to blame …I guess that’s the message.” Ryan noted that he asked ousted acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller whether the agency targeted groups that had names affiliated with progressive groups in their application, and Miller replied those groups were not targeted.
Interesting item from Emily Esfahani Smith – Washington Times:
If youve ever observed a group of libertarians at a bar — perhaps discussing objectivism, the Second Amendment, or marijuana, all with reverence — then you know that they are a species of political being unlike the rest of us.
But they are an important group to understand this election cycle, as topics such as the economy, the size of government and entitlements take center stage and “Atlas Shrugged: Part II” opens in movie theaters nationwide. According to Gallup, libertarians make up about 20 percent of the electorate — and they are a vocal and influential minority, as the tea party movement has shown.
The ascent of the “Atlas Shrugged”-loving Paul Ryan to the Republican ticket is another indication that the libertarian movement may be in the midst of its political moment.
But what exactly do libertarians believe?
Psychologists Ravi Iyer, Spassena Koleva, Jesse Graham, Peter Ditto and Jonathan Haidt set out to answer this very question in the largest study of libertarians to date, “Understanding Libertarian Morality,” published recently in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
After surveying nearly 12,000 self-identified libertarians, the researchers determined that libertarians have a set of moral values that are distinct from those held by ordinary conservatives and liberals…
On MSNBC this morning, veteran journalist Tom Brokaw had some strong words for Biden’s childish behavior:
“…I just don’t think you should be laughing during a discussion about thermonuclear war with Iran. … It’s a very serious issue and however amused you are, it’s about tone as well as content. … It wasn’t about being overbearing. I thought that, in terms of content, he was very effective on Iran. It was the demeanor that he showed, and these are always a combination of the two. People are impressionistic when they look at these debates, and I don’t know how this is going to play out eventually, but sometimes you have to dial that down…”
(Interesting how conservatives have no respect for legacy media liberal anchors like Tom Brokaw, but if he says something they agree with, it’s embraced and held up as an important contribution. Are we trying to have it both ways?)
via Hot Air
(funniest epithet so far–jackhole)
I expected “table-pounding atmospherics” from Biden but I didn’t expect him to act like a total jackhole for fully 90 minutes. Give him credit for knowing his target audience, though: His task tonight was to get the left excited again after Obama fell into a semi-coma in Denver, and evincing utter disdain for Ryan — grimacing, shouting, laughing inappropriately, and constant, constant interruptions, the total jackhole experience — is just what the doctor ordered. He might have irritated independents and undecideds, but probably not so much that it’ll change people’s votes. The Democrats needed someone to go out there and clown for liberals, and if there’s one thing this guy knows, it’s clowning.
Here’s a taste of what I mean via Mediaite, centered around one of Ryan’s more cutting lines of the evening. For what it’s worth, the media lost patience with Biden’s shtick too, but I doubt that’ll cost him anything tomorrow.
And yes, Raddatz was also terrible. Exit quotation from Greg Gutfeld: “Biden is the drunk at the bar; Martha is the unhappy bartender, and Ryan is the unfortunate salesman caught in the middle…”
More >> via Hot Air
Vice President Joe Biden accused Rep. Paul Ryan of putting two wars on the “credit card,” and then suggested he voted against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“By the way, they talk about this great recession like it fell out of the sky–like, ‘Oh my goodness, where did it come from?’” Biden said. “It came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, at the same time, put a prescription drug plan on the credit card, a trillion dollar tax cut for the very wealthy.”
“I was there, I voted against them,” Biden continued. “I said, no, we can’t afford that.”
Then Sen. Biden voted for the Afghanistan resolution on Sept. 14, 2001 which authorized “the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.”
And on Oct. 11, 2002, Biden voted for a resolution authorizing unilateral military action in Iraq, according to the Washington Post.
From David Greenberg, Aug 25, 2008
…Unfortunately for Biden, more revelations of plagiarism followed.
…Over the next days, it emerged that Biden had lifted significant portions of speeches from Robert Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey. From Kennedy, he took four long sentences in one case and two memorable sentences in another. In one account, Biden said that Pat Caddell had inserted them in his speech without Bidens knowledge; in another account, the failure to credit RFK was chalked up to the hasty cutting and pasting that went into the speech. From Humphrey, the hot passage was a particularly affecting appeal for government to help the neediest.
Yet another uncited borrowing came from John F. Kennedy. If that wasnt bad enough, Biden admitted the next day that while in law school he had received an F for a course because he had plagiarized five pages from a published article in a term paper that he submitted. He admitted as well that he had falsely stated that British Labor official Denis Healey had given him the Kinnock tape. Healey had denied the claim. And Biden conceded that he had exaggerated in another matter by stating in a speech some years earlier that he had joined sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie theaters, and was thus actively involved in the civil rights movement. He protested, his press secretary clarified, “to desegregate one restaurant and one movie theater.” The latter two of these fibs were small potatoes by any reckoning, but in the context of other acts of dishonesty, they helped to form a bigger picture…
…Newsweek soon reported on a C-SPAN videotape from the previous April that showed Biden berating a heckler at a campaign stop. While lashing out at the audience member, Biden defended his academic credentials by inflating them, in a fashion that was notably unbecoming and petty for a presidential candidate…
“I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect”
Biden sniped at the voter.
“I went to law school on a full academic scholarship.”
That claim was false, as was another claim, made in the same rant, that he graduated in the top half of his law-school class. Biden wrongly stated, too, that he had earned three undergraduate degrees, when in fact he had earned one—a double major in history and political science. Another round of press inquiries followed, and Biden finally withdrew from the race on Sept. 23.
The sheer number and extent of Bidens fibs, distortions, and plagiarisms struck many observers at the time as worrisome, to say the least…
From Ace of Spades HQ:
“…Obama did not do that badly. For Obama. He was the same listless, droning, exhausted-of-ideas scold we have seen for at least two years now and maybe three.He was Obama. This is what he is. He is not quick-witted. He is not, as I think I saw Mickey Kaus note, a wonk. He has never been a wonk, a detailed-policy guy.
He is a guy who speaks vacuously of hopes and dreams and change and fairness.
He always has been…”
“You have mischaracterized and you have lied about every position and every particular of the Ryan plan on Medicare from the efficiency of Medicare administration to calling it a voucher plan, so you’re hardly credible on calling someone else a liar.”
–Mary Matalin to Paul Krugman on ABC’s This Week
via >> The Corner
The first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, so long anticipated, quickly sunk into an unenlightening recitation of tired talking points and mendacity.
Is anyone surprised that those of us on New York Times editorial staff are bored and tired? I have a headache that could kill a Moose. I can’t believe I got stuck with this assignment. I have some notes here somewhere…
With few sparks and little clarity on the immense gulf that truly separates the two men and their policies, Wednesday’s encounter provided little guidance for voters still trying to understand the choice in next month’s election.
Sparks…clarity..good beginning. These cretins should be thankful to have us to provide guidance. The collective wisdom of New York Times writers and Editors shall enlighten the dark path that lay before the uninformed masses. A path so shrouded in mystery, imperiled with thorns of mendacity. (Mendacity! Make sure to use the word mendacity. Tennessee Williams readers will dig it. Note: mail the “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” DVD back to Netflix before the weekend)
Somewhere in that immense gulf that lay between the reader and writer, a beacon of brilliance (or at least a bottle of scotch, a plastic cup, a napkin, and a thesaurus) can help guide us through these perilous times. Or at least, get me through this tiresome print deadline…
The Mitt Romney who appeared on the stage at the University of Denver seemed to be fleeing from the one who won the Republican nomination on a hard-right platform of tax cuts, budget slashing and indifference to the suffering of those at the bottom of the economic ladder.
Note to self: include the phrase “indifference to suffering” in description of Republican candidate. It’s standard issue, but our readers expect it. Get word combinations like “budget slashing” in there, too, if there’s room.
And Mr. Obama’s competitive edge from 2008 clearly dulled, as he missed repeated opportunities to challenge Mr. Romney on his falsehoods and turnabouts.
From earlier draft: “Our president is a Speaker of Truths, but a Misser of Opportunities”. No scratch that. His opponent is a “Peddler of Unchallenged Falsehoods and turnabouts…” (will readers understand what a turnabout is? Check with colleague to see if “turnabout” sounds too much like a British train station, or New Zealand card trick, or something…
Virtually every time Mr. Romney spoke, he misrepresented the platform on which he and Paul Ryan are actually running. The most prominent example, taking up the first half-hour of the debate, was on taxes. Mr. Romney claimed, against considerable evidence, that he had no intention of cutting taxes on the rich or enacting a tax cut that would increase the deficit.
Can’t I just say “every time”? Or should I qualify it with “virtually”. Can’t I just say “evidence”? Maybe it sounds better if I say “considerable evidence”. An example is more compelling if it’s described as a “prominent” example. Okay, just a few more paragraphs, then I’ll get some ice from downstairs…
That simply isn’t true. Mr. Romney wants to restore the Bush-era tax cut that expires at the end of this year and largely benefits the wealthy.
If I say “simply isn’t true”, do I really have to back it up with anything? Everyone in this building knows it clearly isn’t true, but the Times is read in all kinds of places, outside this building, so I guess I should put in some padding…
He wants to end the estate tax and the gift tax, providing a huge benefit only to those with multimillion-dollar estates, at a cost of more than $1 trillion over a decade to the deficit.
I need to get the phrase ‘”give” a tax break’ in there somewhere. It’s Orthodox DNC language. Oh hell, I’ll just say “providing a huge benefit..” etc., Democrats will know what we’re talking about.
He wants to preserve the generous rates on capital gains that benefit himself personally and others at his economic level. And he wants to cut everyone’s tax rates by 20 percent, which again would be a gigantic boon to the wealthy.
“Gigantic boon” sounds vaguely phallic. Like a big man stick. See if there’s a substitute? Oh, screw it. I’m dying for a cup of fresh ice in this glass. And I gotta get a cab home before I pass out…
None of these would cost the Treasury a dime, he insisted, because he would reduce deductions and loopholes. But, as always, he refused to enumerate a single deduction he would erase. “What I’ve said is I won’t put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit,” he said. “No economist can say Mitt Romney’s tax plan adds $5 trillion if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.”
If I say “as always”, won’t readers be able to tell I’m really tired? Or maybe they’re tired, too, and can relate?
In fact, many economists have said exactly that, and, without details, Mr. Romney can’t simply refute them.
Holy crap, I’m already sounding better than Obama. I should have sent him our notes day before yesterday. Beginning a sentence with “in fact” give it more…gravitas.
But rather than forcefully challenging this fiction, Mr. Obama chose to be polite and professorial, as if hoping that strings of details could hold up against blatant nonsense.
“Forcefully challenging his fiction” sounds too good, I should use it for the book I’m writing, not here. On the other hand, if I leave it in, maybe I can get that pay bump I’ve been asking for. I’ll leave it in for now, unless I can find that previous draft.
Does “professorial” still have legs? He was only an assistant professor. But–it sounds better than “stuttering, clueless president, cowering helplessly at the feet of Alpha Warrior figure…” Oh, I should use that line in my next collection of whimsical essays. What time is it? Hmmm.
If I leave the phrase “blatant nonsense” in there, readers will surely know I’m tired, pissed off, and drunk. Or will they? Screw it. Leave it in.
Viewers were not helped by a series of pedestrian questions from the moderator, Jim Lehrer of PBS, who never jumped in to challenge either candidate on the facts.
If I say “viewers were not helped”, will they buy it? Or will they see through it, and know we mean “the Obama campaign was not helped”?
Does blaming Lehrer get any traction? Or isn’t that a loser’s excuse? I give up. How did I get stuck with this? God, I gotta get through this deadline, finish this thing, and get a cab home…
Satire inspired by An Unhelpful Presidential Debate – NYTimes.com.
I’ve been getting more and more cautiously optimistic about Romney in the last few days and, going in, I had a pretty good feeling about tonight’s debate. But I had no expectation that Romney would simply control the night the way he did. I don’t think Obama did terribly on the merits, even though he clearly lost by a wide margin on points. But you don’t really score a debate like this on points. Romney simply dominated and deflated Obama. This was the first time millions of people ever heard Mitt Romney make a case for himself at any length. Most Americans didn’t watch the GOP debates. The ratings for Romney’s convention speech were subpar and he never really talked about policy anyway at the convention. But tonight Romney brilliantly dismantled the strawman Obama has been running against for months. I think it was David Freddoso who said on twitter that if all you knew about Romney was what you saw in Obama’s TV ads, you’d get the sense that Obama’s been lying to you all this time. Romney helped himself tonight — possibly a lot.
Still, it’s worth noting a certain irony about tonight. This is the first time since he picked Paul Ryan that a broad majority of conservatives are openly happy and encouraged by Romney (and there weren’t too many other such times). I certainly feel buoyed by his performance tonight. And yet, we should keep in mind that most of his effective moments came when he distanced himself from the base of his party and struck a decidedly moderate, centrist, position. Personally, given the stakes and the state of his campaign, that doesn’t bother me very much. But, once again, we can’t say we weren’t warned.
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