It isn’t so much that former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was a prophet. Just that he had read a book or two.
…In 2012, Romney called it “troubling” and “alarming” that Barack Obama had essentially appeased the Russian bear by offering concessions like the withdrawal of interceptor missile and radar installations in Eastern Europe without reciprocity from Moscow. He said that Russia’s actions have made that nation “without question, our number one geopolitical foe.”
This prompted a flood of scorn and mockery from a raft of self-assured critics. But by 2014, after Russia had frustrated America’s ambition to contain the Syrian civil war, invaded neighboring Ukraine, and unilaterally annexed a portion of that nation’s territory into Russia proper, nearly all of Romney’s self-respecting critics were forced to concede that he had a point. Read the rest of this entry »
Throughout their two terms in office and during his reelection campaign, President Obama boasted about “responsibly” ending the war in Iraq, withdrawing troops, and ending the conflict there. With al-Qaeda-linked militants now controlling multiple cities in that country, his accomplishments don’t look so impressive anymore...(read more)
…Twitter is forever:
Worth a RT: Obama’s national security record – ending the Iraq war, decimating al Qaeda, restoring our standing abroad.http://t.co/q4VvVSmZ
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 9, 2012
FACT: More than two-thirds of al Qaeda’s leadership has been eliminated since President Obama took office.
— OFA TruthTeam (@OFATruthTeam) October 17, 2012
— OFA TruthTeam (@OFATruthTeam) November 2, 2012
“Change is turning the page on a decade of war so we can do some nation-building here at home.” —President Obama
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 6, 2012
“Gov. Romney said it was ‘tragic’ to end the war in Iraq. I disagree. I think it was the right thing to do.”—President Obama
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 9, 2012
VP: “On Iraq, the President said he would end the war. Gov. Romney said that was a tragic mistake—we should have left 30,000 troops here.”
— OFA (@OFA) October 12, 2012
FACT: Romney said that not keeping 10,000-30,000 troops in Iraq is one of President Obama’s “signature failures.” http://t.co/4Hxlf6hY
— OFA TruthTeam (@OFATruthTeam) October 23, 2012
— OFA TruthTeam (@OFATruthTeam) November 6, 2012
Mitt Romney is finally getting some respect, even from corrupt elements in the media that actively participated in smearing his reputation and judgement not so long ago. From NRO‘s video lab at The Corner, summarizing Romney‘s comments on Sunday’s Face the Nation…
“The president’s naiveté with regards to Russia and his faulty judgment about Russia’s intentions and objectives has led to a number of foreign-policy challenges that we face.”
Host Bob Schieffer noted that Romney might be tempted to say “I told you so” after being mocked by President Obama during the 2012 presidential debates for emphasizing that Russia was a geopolitical adversary of the United States.
“Russia has very different interests than ours. This is not fantasyland, this is reality,” Romney said. “They’re not our enemy, but they’re certainly our adversary on the world stage.”
Romney also said that Putin’s actions should not have taken Obama by surprise as many people had predicted that Russia would try to seize further territory…Read the rest….
Aaron Blake writes: For Mitt Romney, the 2012 election was held about a year too early.
[I have to interrupt Aaron: The election was held at the right time. Romney would likely have achieved a decisive victory last November if not for the virtual blackout of media coverage unfavorable to the incumbent. It’s on the record: falsified job report numbers, systematic intimidation of citizen opposition groups by the IRS, and holding back of negative economic news until after the election. The massive cascade of job layoff news stories and bad economic reports that spilled out immediately after the election reveals the pre-election suppression beyond doubt.]
Romney would hold a slight lead on President Obama if the 2012 election were replayed today, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The poll of registered voters shows Romney at 49 percent and Obama at 45 percent in the rematch, a mirror image of Romney’s four-point (51-47) popular-vote loss in 2012.
Obama’s shifting fortunes, of course, come as his signature health-care is increasingly embattled — both thanks to a glitchy Web site and a broken promise by Obama to allow people who like their insurance to keep it.
Obama’s loss of support is spread across many demographics, but he has suffered most among the young, the less-educated, the poor and, perhaps most interestingly, among liberals. Read the rest of this entry »
Ten months after Mitt Romney shuffled off the national stage in defeat — consigned, many predicted, to a fate of instant irrelevance and permanent obscurity — Republicans are suddenly celebrating the presidential also-ran as a political prophet.
From his widely mocked warnings about a hostile Russia to his adamant opposition to the increasingly unpopular implementation of Obamacare, the ex-candidate’s canon of campaign rhetoric now offers cause for vindication — and remorse — to Romney’s friends, supporters, and former advisers.
To an immigrant such as myself (not the undocumented kind, but documented up to the hilt, alas), one of themost striking features of election-night analysis was the lightly worn racial obsession. On Fox News, Democrat Kirsten Powers argued that Republicans needed to deal with the reality that America is becoming what she called a “brown country.” Her fellow Democrat Bob Beckel observed on several occasions that if the share of the “white vote” was held down below 73 percent Romney would lose. In the end, it was 72 percent and he did. Beckel’s assertion — that if you knew the ethnic composition of the electorate you also knew the result — turned out to be correct.
This is what less enlightened societies call tribalism: For example, in the 1980 election leading to Zimbabwe’s independence, Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU-PF got the votes of the Ndebele people while Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF secured those of the Shona — and, as there were more Shona than Ndebele, Mugabe won. That same year America held an election, and Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory. Nobody talked about tribal-vote shares back then, but had the percentage of what Beckel calls the “white vote” been the same in 2012 as it was in 1980 (88 percent), Mitt Romney would have won in an even bigger landslide than Reagan. The “white vote” will be even lower in 2016, and so, on the Beckel model, Republicans are set to lose all over again.
Hence the urge to get on the right side of America’s fastest-growing demographic. Only 27 percent of Hispanics voted for Romney. But all that could change if the GOP were to sign on to support some means of legalizing the presence of the 12–20 million fine upstanding members of the Undocumented-American community who are allegedly “social conservatives” and thus natural Republican voters. Once we pass amnesty, argues Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, “future immigrants will be more open to the Republican Party because, unlike many immigrants who are already here, they won’t have been harmed or insulted by Republican politicians.”
So, if I follow correctly, instead of getting 27 percent of the 10 percent Hispanic vote, Republicans will get, oh, 38 percent of the 25 percent Hispanic vote, and sweep to victory.
Everyone talks about this demographic transformation as if it’s a natural phenomenon, like Hurricane Sandy. Indeed, I notice that many of those exulting in the inevitable eclipse of “white America” are the same people who assure me that demographic arguments about the Islamization of Europe are completely preposterous. But in neither the United States nor Europe is it a natural phenomenon. Rather, it’s the fruit of conscious government policy…
The fact that the presidential vote matters so much is a sign not of national health but of dysfunction
By Jonah Goldberg
The seemingly eternal contest between President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney ends today (though the battle of the recounts might be just beginning). And, whichever way you want the election to go, only the masochists and the political consultants are sorry it’s coming to an end.
It’s funny. There’s a disconnect between the way we talk about democracy and the way we actually feel about it. We’re told elections are a glorious thing. Anyone feel glorious?
We’re constantly informed that high voter turnout is a good thing because, well, it is! But what if the reason more people are engaged in the process is that they’re terrified by what the other guy might do? Obama has invested heavily in scaring the stuffing out of his Democratic base, in the hope that fear rather than idealism will get the job done.
As the challenger, Romney has relied on scare tactics less. Some would argue this has been mostly out of necessity. Romney needs Obama supporters to switch their loyalties, and demonizing the president turns off such voters. Also, Romney has Obama’s actual record to work with, making hypothetical scare tactics less necessary. Even so, Romney has hardly gone out of his way to distance himself from, say, Donald Trump and others eager to turn Obama into some sort of Manchurian candidate.
It should surprise no one who’s read this column for the past eight years that I hope Romney defeats Obama decisively when the votes are tallied. But the truth is that from a conservative perspective, a Romney victory would simply be making the best of a bad situation.
The mere fact that presidential elections matter this much is not a sign of national health but of national dysfunction. The more the federal government gets involved in every aspect of our lives — for good or ill — the more people will feel that their livelihoods, lifestyles, even their actual lives are at stake in a presidential election. If the federal government didn’t have so much leverage over your life, politicians wouldn’t be able to scare you into the voting booths.
For instance, beneath the partisan distortions and hyperbole, Obama’s “war on women” rhetoric is the idea that the federal government should be the guarantor of “reproductive freedom” — a malleable term that includes everything from the right to abortion on demand to subsidized birth control pills. Whatever the merits of that argument, the simple fact is that a government that has the power to give you everything you want has the power to take it away, as well.
That’s one reason Supreme Court appointments have become such ridiculous spectacles. The justices have acquired powers historically belonging to democratically elected politicians, in the executive and legislative branches. With so much at stake, and with so little accountability once confirmed, it’s no wonder the confirmation process has become an inside-the-beltway version of a presidential campaign. Given the power of the Supreme Court, it’s only rational to fight hammer and tongs over every appointment.
President George W. Bush adopted a number of policies liberals once decried as dangerous expansions of the imperial presidency. With a few exceptions, few complain about those powers now that Obama is the president. The rule seems to be runaway executive power is good, so long as my guy is in power.
That’s a dangerous principle. “Those who tried to warn us back at the beginning of the New Deal of the dangers of one-man rule that lay ahead on the path we were taking toward strong, centralized government may not have been so wrong,” then-California Sen. Alan Cranston conceded at the height of the Watergate hearings in 1973.
In his brilliant new book, I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism, Charles Kesler argues that it was Woodrow Wilson who introduced the idea that American presidents must have a “vision” for where they should take the country.
In other words, everyone’s life and lifestyle somehow needed to conform to the priorities of a politician in Washington. The 19th century notion that presidents should be “statesmen” who guarded the Constitution gave way to the 20th century fetish for “leaders” who mold the public to their vision.
Unfortunately, since Wilson, this has become something of a bipartisan idea. Republicans are just as likely to talk about the “vision thing” as Democrats. As a conservative, I certainly prefer the Republican vision to the Democratic. Republicans, for instance, rarely vow to “fundamentally transform America.”
But the libertarian in me aches for a time when the president’s vision was irrelevant and national elections just didn’t matter that much.
Jonah Goldberg is editor at large of National Review Online and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He is also a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors.
“…But there is a tangible sense — seen in Romney yard signs on the expansive lawns of homes in the well-heeled suburbs, and heard in the excited voices of Republican mothers who make phone calls to voters in their spare time — that the race is tilting toward Mr. Romney…”
If you watch the clip itself, it’s not clear at all what Obama’s supporters are supposed to want revenge for. Obama mentions Romney’s name in the context of his run for the Senate in Massachusetts — back when Romney was quite the moderate — and the audience starts to boo. Obama says “no, no. Don’t boo. Vote. Vote. Voting is the best revenge.” Revenge for what? Him running for the Senate? Revenge for Romney daring to challenge Obama? I understand Obama is bitter. That’s been obvious for a while. But it’s just a weird and narcissistic assumption that his supporters want “revenge” too. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong, though. Which makes the whole thing even creepier.
Meanwhile, here’s Romney’s response:
- From ‘hope’ and ‘change’ to ‘revenge’ (americanthinker.com)
- Obama tells crowd ‘voting is the best revenge’; Romney freaks out (dailykos.com)
- Obama tells crowd voting is best ‘revenge’ against Romney (thehill.com)
- Romney ad targets Obama “revenge” comments (cbsnews.com)
- The choice is clear: Revenge or love of country? (twitchy.com)
- Romney: Vote for ‘Love of Country’ Not Revenge (pjmedia.com)
- Obama urges voters to take ‘revenge’ on Election Day, Romney team rips ‘terrible’ message (politics.blogs.foxnews.com)
- Romney Camp Tees Off On Obama ‘Revenge’ Comment (politics.blogs.foxnews.com)
In Election 2000, Florida was the decisive state in the Electoral College. In 2004, Ohio was the ultimate battleground that put George W. Bush over the top. This year, it might come down to Wisconsin.
That’s a state President Obama won by 14 points four years ago. But Wisconsin has gone through an amazing two years of nonstop campaigning since Gov. Scott Walker was elected in 2010. After he took on the teachers unions, there were efforts to recall several Republican state senators and then Walker himself.
The governor not only survived, but he won more votes in his recall election this year than he won on Election Day in 2010. But it’s not what happened in Wisconsin that could make the state decisive in Election 2012; it’s what’s happening all around the country.
All signs point to a close race with just over a week to go. In fact, current polling suggests it might be close enough to produce a split decision, with Mitt Romney winning the popular vote and the president keeping his job with a victory in the Electoral College.
Interesting item by Daniel Henninger, WSJ…
Benghazi has damaged voters’ willingness to believe in Barack Obama
Less than 14 days before the vote, Gallup has Mitt Romney leading the president by three points and in Rasmussen he’s up four. This paper’s poll brought Mr. Romney from chronically behind to even. Yes, 270 Electoral College votes will decide the race, but with the whole nation watching the same events, one has to ask whether what we’re seeing is Mitt Romney’s rise or Barack Obama’s decline.
It is conventional wisdom that incumbency breeds advantages. But incumbency also brings burdens, and the Obama candidacy looks like it’s buckling beneath one: Of the two candidates, the president is held to a higher standard of behavior.
There have been only two events that could be said to have caused significant movement by voters in the campaign. One was the Oct. 3 Denver debate in which Mitt Romney disinterred political skills that stunned the incumbent and woke up a sleeping electorate. Race on.
AFP/Getty Images — Vehicle inside the U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 11.
The other is Benghazi. The damage done to the Obama campaign by the Sept. 11 death in Benghazi of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American colleagues has been more gradual than the sensation of the Denver debate, but its effect may have been deeper.
The incumbent president has a credibility gap…
If President Obama loses this election, the Democrats will need a scapegoat. The obvious scapegoat would be Obama himself. But he’s been getting free passes all of his life, and the left-liberals who comprise the Democratic mainstream will think long and hard about holding him accountable now. For one thing, he’s manifestly one of them. For another, he’s African-American.
Accordingly, the need for a different scapegoat would arise. That scapegoat would have to be someone significant enough to be plausible in the role and someone not strongly associated with the Party’s left-liberal faction. Someone like Bill Clinton…
MSNBC audience boos 9-year-old girl for saying she thinks Romney should win the election [VIDEO]
via The Daily Caller
- MSNBC Fans Boo 9-year-old Romney Supporter (radio.foxnews.com)
- Classy Obama supporters boo a 9-year-old girl on MSNBC (theblaze.com)
- Crowd at “Morning Joe” TV show boos 9-year-old Romney fan (redalertpolitics.com)
- Matthews Slams Teen Romney Supporter Over Benghazi: ‘Read A Newspaper,’ ‘It’s All About The Video’ (mediaite.com)
- MSNBC Post-Debate Focus Group Leans Towards Romney (newsbusters.org)
- Mitchell: Men at MSNBC make more money (politico.com)
Secret Service attention fails to dampen violent Twitter comments
Paul Joseph Watson
October 23, 2012
Despite the issue garnering a significant amount of media interest as well as the attention of the Secret Service, Obama supporters continued their threats to riot and assassinate Mitt Romney if Obama loses in the aftermath of last night’s presidential debate.
As we reported last week, Twitter has been flooded recently with violent comments from Obama supporters. The increase in volume of the comments seemed to coincide with Romney’s poll numbers edging higher against Obama.
Not only have Obama voters been making open threats that they will riot and cause mayhem, they have also been caught making direct threats to assassinate Mitt Romney, prompting the Secret Service to announce that it was “aware” of the threats and would “conduct appropriate follow up if necessary.”
Despite the fact that the media reported extensively on threats made against Obama prior to the 2008 election, their silence on the threats made against Romney has been deafening. Indeed, the act of a few old guys hanging up empty chairs in reference to Clint Eastwood’s RNC speech garnered substantially more coverage and concern from the press compared to hundreds if not thousands of tweets threatening violence against Mitt Romney.
Americans who simply display political signs expressing opposition to Obama’s policies have been treated as potential violent threats by authorities in the past, and yet not a single Twitter user has faced retribution for making direct and sometimes graphic death threats against Romney.
Leftists routinely cry foul and attempt to demonize conservatives as violent extremists whenever online rhetoric gets heated, and yet when their own engage in even worse conduct, their behavior is absolved and the media is disinterested.
Before the Secret Service announced they were investigating the threats, Obama front group Think Progress attempted to imply that the whole story was somehow a racist contrivance dreamed up by the Drudge Report and Infowars.
Here are just a selection of tweets from Obama supporters threatening riots and violence during and after last night’s foreign policy debate. There are too many to reprint in full.
If the Secret Service does plan on following this up, they are going to be very busy indeed.
- Threats to Assassinate Romney Explode After Debate (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- The Left threaten to riot and assassinate Romney (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Obamatons Wage Campaign of Threats to Riot and Assassinate Romney (americanclarion.com)
- New Threats to Riot if Obama Loses Election (givemeliberty01.com)
We’re starting to see a preference cascade, in Romney’s direction
Glenn Harlan Reynolds
7:19PM EDT October 22. 2012 – The documentary Hating Breitbart, about the late blogger and media gadfly Andrew Breitbart, opened this past weekend to packed houses. The theme of the film — and of Breitbart’s life — is how conventional “mainstream” media deliberately distort the news to benefit the policies and politicians they favor.
That’s no secret in the Obama era, of course, as the press’s efforts to boost, and then protect, the presidency of Barack Obama have become ever more obvious. But it’s still worth pointing out. It’s a problem for America, and it’s a problem for people on the right. But it’s probably a bigger problem for people with whom the media agree. That’s because they wind up living in a bubble, protected from contrary views, which means that they are perpetually caught by surprise when reality asserts itself.
We may be about to see this happen again. Though we’ve been told over and over again by the press that President Obama, and his policies, are overwhelmingly popular with the American public, and that challenger Mitt Romney is an unlikable loser, this may turn out not to be the case.
In recent years, we’ve often seen that the truth on the ground doesn’t match the images presented in the press. Despite representations that it was a narrow fringe group composed of “bitter clingers,” the Tea Party movement handed the House of Representatives to the Republicans in 2010. And despite claims that it was washed up, the Tea Party movement has remained a force in 2012.
Now, despite being told by the press — and quite a few Republican pundits — that Mitt Romney didn’t have a chance, since his performance in the presidential debates things seem to be turning around. Reports of early voting and absentee ballots suggest that Republican voters are a lot more energized than we’d been led to believe. The polls are looking good for Romney, and he’s picking up all sorts of endorsements all of a sudden.
This has caused some Republican enthusiasts to suggest that what we’re seeing is a “preference cascade,” and they may be right.
What’s a “preference cascade?” In his book, Private Truths, Public Lies, economist Timur Kuran looked at the way “preference falsification” can distort societies, and then collapse suddenly.
The classic example is in a totalitarian society, where everyone has to pretend to love the Great Leader on pain of death. If the authorities manage it right, 99% of the populace can be ready to revolt — but won’t, because each individual thinks he or she is the only one who feels that way. This works until some event suddenly shocks the system, and people realize that they’re not alone. When that happens, things can go south in a hurry. That’s a “preference cascade.”
The United States isn’t a totalitarian society, but media bias has the same sort of effect: By privileging some views and suppressing others, the media give Americans, and itself, a distorted idea of reality. Then, when things crack, it’s a big surprise.
That may be what’s happening here. Obama was presented as unbeatable, and a lot of people believed it — until, suddenly, he looked kind of beatable after all. Once that happened, everything was different.
If this really is happening to Obama, there’s a spot of irony to it, because that’s exactly what happened when he ran against Hillary Clinton in the primaries. Hillary spent years building up a facade of inevitability, and the press and pundits went along. Lots of other potential challengers didn’t even bother to enter the race and it looked like she had things sewn up, but then Obama started beating her, and, to everyone’s surprise, she didn’t look inevitable any more.
Will Romney do the same thing to Obama? We’ll see, but I think that’s the way to bet.
via Column: USA TODAY
- ‘Dilbert’ author endorses Romney, Progressives media becomes unhinged. (pumabydesign001.com)
- Surprise! Left goes for Obama, right for Romney in last presidential debate (blogs.denverpost.com)
- MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Will cocooned liberals be surprised by Romney? My thoughts on the “preference… (pjmedia.com)
The most important question in this year’s presidential election is not “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” or “What about your gaffes?” or even “Joe Biden said what?” No, the key inquiry comes from none other than John Cusack, the eternally boyish star of Say Anything, Grosse Pointe Blank, and High Fidelity, who asked on the leftist site Truthout.org: “Is Obama just another Ivy League ***hole?”
Most National Review readers would be inclined to say yes, though they might not put it quite so vividly. But the salient part of Cusack’s question lies in the words “just another.” Ever since Ronald Reagan, a Eureka College graduate, rode off into the sunset, the ensuing run of presidents has been distinctly mediocre — and all have been Ivy graduates (college or law school). Regardless of who wins this November, the streak will continue, since Mitt Romney (though he may not entirely fit the Ivy mold) has law and business degrees from Harvard. Is Cusack, an NYU dropout, onto something?
Before proceeding further, I should explain what the Ivy League is. Officially, it’s a group of eight colleges in the Northeast (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale) that play football against one another, rather badly. It was not formally organized until the early 1950s, when the reaction from Harvard was probably, “Wait a minute, we’re in with who?” (Actually it would more likely have been whom.)
Unofficially, of course, the Ivy League, even avant la lettre, has for centuries been a symbol of everything Middle America hates: rich, snobbish, exclusive, Eastern, and too smart for its own good. With the exception of Cornell, a post–Civil War parvenu, the schools were all founded before the Revolution, and ever since, they have been filling the ranks of America’s Establishment: intellectuals, bankers, lawyers, businessmen — and now, increasingly, presidents.
In that capacity, their record has been decidedly mixed. To be sure, the Roosevelts (Theodore and Franklin, both Harvard grads) managed to stay highly popular while taking bold actions that changed the country and the world, for good and for ill; but if you look at the last 50-odd years of presidents, starting with JFK, the Ivy grads have been talkers and dreamers, while the non-Ivy grads have been doers. LBJ (San Marcos State) had Vietnam, to be sure, but also the space program, civil-rights legislation, and the Great Society. Richard Nixon (Whittier) established relations with China and the USSR, signed the first strong environmental legislation, ended the Vietnam War and the draft, and even began affirmative action. Jimmy Carter (Annapolis) . . . well, we’ll come back to him. And of course Reagan dealt a mortal blow to Communism and at least a glancing one to dirigisme, while making the political world safe for conservatism.
Now let’s look at the Ivy Leaguers. JFK (Harvard, after a semester at Princeton) is best remembered — except for his untimely death — for almost starting a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis; Gerald Ford (Yale Law) was overwhelmed by events during his brief term in office; Bush 41 (Yale) let Reagan’s defeat of Communism play out, won an easy war, and then raised taxes and couldn’t even get reelected; Clinton (Yale Law), while coasting on the peace dividend, flopped with Hillarycare and lost the Democrats’ 40-year hold on the House; Bush 43 (Yale, Harvard MBA) made grandiose plans but had considerable trouble following through; and Obama (Columbia, Harvard Law) narrowly passed a health-care law that everyone hates, plus he’s given some nice speeches.
This pattern has been going on for a long time. George Washington (no college) established the standard for every president since; Jefferson (William and Mary) bought much of the continent from France, defeated the Barbary pirates, and got the slave trade abolished; and Monroe (William and Mary) had a doctrine named after him. In between these, John Adams (Harvard) showed irresolution against the French, was pressured into signing the Alien and Sedition Acts, and lost control of his own cabinet; and Madison (Princeton) started a disastrous war with Britain that saw the nation’s capital set on fire.
Then came John Quincy Adams, who set the pattern for most modern Ivy League ***holes (IL*s) in the White House: earnest, smart, eager, ambitious, self-righteous, and uncomfortable with practical politics. In his first annual message to Congress, he proposed, to general mirth, that the federal government should establish a national university and build an astronomical observatory. The Washington political machine, much smaller back then but no less vicious, chewed him up and spat him out, and in the 1828 election he was routed by alpha-alpha male Andrew Jackson, whose success ushered in a series of hastily countrified hacks, time servers, generals, and amateurs that ended only with Abraham Lincoln (a genuinely countrified amateur, and a brilliant one).
For more than seven decades after JQA, the only Ivy graduate to serve as president was Rutherford Hayes (Harvard Law). Then the arrival of the 20th century brought Theodore Roosevelt (Harvard) and William Howard Taft (Yale), followed by the Great Ivy Presidential Smackdown of 1912, a three-way free-for-all that pitted those two against Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson. The nation has yet to recover.
Now, you may have noticed that while the Ivy League has eight members, the same three schools keep popping up. Indeed, within the league, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton have hogged the presidency the way they used to hog the football championship. That’s why some think Barack Obama’s most path-breaking accomplishment was becoming the first Ivy president to break the Big Three’s monopoly.
Obama did go to Harvard Law School, though, and never mind black vs. white, East vs. West, or uniter vs. divider, because here’s the true, the fundamental conflict in Obama’s soul: Is he a Columbia ***hole or a Harvard ***hole? The answer is important, because those are two very different types of ***hole. Both are obsessed with showing you how smart they are, but the Columbia ***hole does it by telling you everything he knows, while the Harvard ***hole does it by acting bored with whatever you say. The Harvard variety is at least laid back, and the Columbia variety can be interesting; but put them together and you have a world-weary pest. That may not be an exact description of Obama, but he’s certainly getting there….
An Ohio county’s director of elections has resigned because he says work on the coming presidential election was too stressful.
The Dayton Daily News reports ( http://bit.ly/QwGPJb) that Miami County elections director Steve Quillen cited “the stress of the upcoming presidential election” in his decision.
The county election board accepted Quillen’s resignation Friday, just weeks before the election. He is a Republican so the county Republican Party in the key presidential battleground state will recommend his successor.
The county had experienced delays in getting absentee ballots to voters, but the board chairman says that played no part in Quillen’s departure.
A Republican on the board said the shuffle won’t affect the integrity of the election.
The board asked Quillen’s deputy to contact the state elections chief for help.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com
Barack Obama shows an unerring instinct for policy deniability
…At the core of Barack Obamas persona and his presidency is a constant instinct to deniability.
It’s not my fault. He comes across as one of those smart kids who always had some elaborate excuse to disperse responsibility for anything bad in his vicinity. And so it was in his answer to Miss Crowley: “Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But she works for me. Im the president. And Im always responsible. And thats why nobody is more interested in . . .” By the end, he said it was Mitt Romneys fault for bringing it up! In contrast, the bin Laden takedown was accompanied by a Lady Gaga-like White House P.R. blitz in the media.
In hindsight, an irony of the 2012 campaign will be that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney traded places on stepping up to the plate. A main criticism from the right of Mr. Romney had been that he was playing it too safe, saying next-to-nothing about much of anything, such as his tax returns, for fear the Obama camp or the press would criticize him. No exposure, no responsibility…
By DANIEL HENNINGER WSJ.com
Despite numerous media outlets attempting to downplay the issue, Twitter exploded last night following the debate with new threats from Obama supporters to assassinate Mitt Romney if he defeats Obama in the presidential race.
As we reported yesterday, in addition to threats by Obama supporters to riot if Romney wins, innumerable Twitter users are also making direct death threats against Romney.
If the tables were turned and conservatives were making death threats against Obama in these numbers, it would be a national news story. Indeed, the mere act of hanging empty chairs from trees as a reference to Clint Eastwood’s RNC speech was hyped by the media as a deadly sign that conservatives were out to lynch black people if Obama won.
However, the major networks have remained completely silent on the disturbing trend of Obama supporters threatening to resort to violence if their candidate fails to secure a second term.
Twitchy has compiled a laundry list of assassination threats by Obama supporters made during and after the debate, and more continued to flood in this morning…
via » Infowars
- Threats to Assassinate Romney Explode After Debate (mountainrepublic.net)
- Threats to Assassinate Romney Explode After Debate (gds44.wordpress.com)
- Post-presidential debate, Obama supporters renew vows to murder Mitt Romney (twitchy.com)
- Obama Supporters Threaten To Kill Romney If He Wins Election (dprogram.net)
- Death threats against Mitt Romney proliferate (twitchy.com)
- Obama Supporters Threaten To Kill Romney If He Wins Election (bobusnr.wordpress.com)
A full-page Mitt Romney campaign ad in today’s Cedar Rapids Gazette takes the form of an open letter from 13 Iowans who say they voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 but regret their choice and won’t do so again in 2012.
The letter is phrased as an apology, and lays out a case for why Romney, the Republican nominee is a better choice this time around.
“Mitt Romney will deliver the real recovery that President Obama has failed to bring, he’ll get Americans working again, and he’ll turn our economy around,” the letter says…
- In Iowa, it’s already Election Day. Who’s winning? (news.yahoo.com)
- Iowa deluged with ad dollars by presidential campaigns, PACs (omaha.com)
- Poll: Romney surges ahead of Obama in the dozen swing states (thehill.com)
- Obama’s Struggle to Win Growing Iowa Shows Fiscal Stalemate Cost (bloomberg.com)
Crowley’s Debate Moderation Exemplifies Why Americans Do Not Trust Their Media
Following the debate, Crowley appeared on her network where she shrugged and half-heartedly admitted that Romney was correct – that the Obama administration never described the Libya attack as a terrorist act and that they spent the better part of a month trying to convince the nation that what happened in Benghazi was anything but a premeditated assault. But, her instincts in the moment led her to chastise Romney because she felt “he used the wrong word.”
He says low gas prices in 2009 were caused by a terrible economy, but then claims that the lower number of illegal aliens crossing the border is because of his border policies, not the same lousy economy.
He defends immigrants, saying, “They start companies like Intel and Google.” I don’t believe they were started by illegal aliens, Mr. President.
He apparently believes funding Planned Parenthood is the No. 1 issue facing American women…
Democrats and Republicans have utter contempt for each other, see the Other Party as Worthless –but polling shows most people prefer the private sector to government activism…
While liberals insist that Romney feels only contempt for Americans, conservatives insist that Obama feels only contempt for America itself..
Luntz focus group unloads on Obama after debate
“I was not undecided between Obama and Romney. I was undecided between Romney and not voting.”
…the agenda debate took place entirely in terms of Mitt Romney. Barack Obama never mentioned anything about a second-term agenda, and its MIA status is a big, big problem for an incumbent arguing for a second term…
“What sparked the recent violence was the airing on the Internet of a very hateful very offensive video that has offended many people around the world,” Rice said Sept. 16
BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN? Obama’s own head of the Council of Economic Advisors said that at the White House she, “felt like a piece of meat.”
…Romney missed his chance to make this point amid the cross talk and other ambient noise that followed Obama’s assertion at the debate last night. It is doubtful he will miss it again in the third presidential debate in Boca Raton next Monday when the topic is, conveniently, foreign policy.
Unlike the CBS poll, CNN polled registered voters, not just undecideds.
Economy: Romney wins 58-40%
Health care: Romney wins 49-46%.
Taxes: Romney wins 51-44%.
Deficit: Romney wins 49-36%.
Strong leader: Romney wins 49-46%.
…In other words, Obama didn’t move the ball, which is what he needed to do.
An anti-Semitic hashtag has become the third most popular hashtag in France on Twitter, and organizations are speaking out against it. A French nonprofit corporation, SOS Racisme, was “considering” whether to make complaints against some Twitter users…
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Memo To Michelle: What A ‘Huge Recovery’ Looks Like.…
Crowley says Romney was “right in the main”:
- From sidelines, debate moderator Crowley becomes part of story (reuters.com)
- Crowley did what I warned – 9 more minutes for Obama and bias (dewgeneral.wordpress.com)
- The Real Winners Of The Second Debate: Candy Crowley, CNN And Voters (forbes.com)
- Candy Crowley: Romney ‘Right’ That Obama Didn’t Call Libya Terror, But Thought ‘He Picked The Wrong Word’ (mediaite.com)
- Crowley: ‘I’m not a fly on the wall’ (politico.com)
…What you will hear, tacked onto the end almost as an afterthought, is him fretting that the public will be throwing away a historic presidency if Romney wins again tonight and voters start to break decisively away from O…
via >> Hot Air
- MSNBC Hosts Stunned at Lackluster Obama Debate Performance (newsbusters.org)
- MSNBC’s Matthews gives epic smackdown of Obama (legalinsurrection.com)
- Chris Matthews breaks down after Romney debate victory (redalertpolitics.com)
- Obama hit with left hook on TV, online (politico.com)
- Obama Aides Nervous Pre-Debate (thedailybeast.com)
Three things to watch when Romney and Obama debate
Here’s are three things to watch when President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney face-off tonight in the second presidential debate in New York:
1. How eager will the media be to write the Obama comeback story?
Rest assured: Many of the reporters in Hempstead, New York covering tonight’s town-hall at Hofstra University are already pre-writing “How Obama Got His Groove Back” stories.
Obama admits that he lost to Romney in the first debate in Denver and has been setting the stage in the media for a comeback story ever since.
“Governor Romney had a good night. I had a bad night,” Obama told Diane Sawyer after the face-off in Denver two weeks ago.
“If you have a bad game you just move on, you look forward to the next one, and it makes you that much more determined,” he said.
Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs went even further Tuesday on Morning Joe: “I think you’re going to see an exceptionally strong debate performance tonight from the president.”
“Judging by word coming from the Obama campaign, Tuesday night’s second presidential debate at Hofstra University could be the greatest do-over in history,” wrote columnist Byron York of the Washington Examiner.
2. How will Obama handle questions about Libya?
The debate comes just one day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told news outlets that she takes full responsibility for the security problems that led to the killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in Benghazi on Sept. 11 this year.
In a Monday interview with CNN, Clinton essentially gave cover to Obama over whether they are to blame. “The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals, the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision,” she said.
Will Obama echo the same line?
3. How will Romney handle questions about the 47 percent video?
It’s the smoking gun video that some left-leaning pundits are convinced will doom Romney.
Liberals were infuriated following the Denver debate that Obama didn’t hit Romney on the secret video from the liberal Mother Jones website showing Romney say that 47 percent of Americans will not vote for him because they are dependent on government aide.
“Why had the president not once referred to the 47 percent video that showed Romney denigrating half of Americans as moochers and victims who don’t assume responsibility for their lives?” David Corn of Mother Jones wrote after the debate. “After all, this video seemed to have sent the Romney campaign reeling, and focus groups conducted by both campaigns have found it had a serious impact on voter perceptions of Romney.
”If Obama brings up the Mother Jones video, it would force Romney to explain his remarks to an audience who may be unfamiliar with the footage.
via The Daily Caller.
- Pressure on Obama for next debate (bbc.co.uk)
- AEHQ: Candidates Ready For Second Presidential Debate [VIDEO] (radio.foxnews.com)
- Obama team promises more aggressive president in second debate – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Poll: Voter expectations lower for Obama this debate (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Will The Media Get The Story They Want Tonight? (tarpon.wordpress.com)
TAPPER: President Obama, shortly after the attack told “60 Minutes” that regarding Mitt Romney’s response to the attacks, specifically in Egypt, the president said that Romney has a tendency to “shoot first and aim later.” Given the fact that so much was made out of the video that apparently had absolutely nothing to do with the attack in Benghazi, that there wasn’t even a protest outside the Benghazi post, didn’t President Obama shoot first and aim later? …
CARNEY: Right. I’m not disputing that there was a protest, but what we said at the time was that the intelligence community assessed that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo, ok? Again, this is a moving picture, and people who, on the night of an attack, or the day after, claim they know all the facts without making clear that what we know is based on preliminary information aren’t being straight. In some cases trying to politicize a situation that should not be politicized.
- State Department admits it knew Libya attack was terrorism (csmonitor.com)
- Giuliani Faults Obama Administration’s Alleged ‘Political Spin’ For U.S. Deaths At Benghazi Consulate (thinkprogress.org)
- Romney Refers to Benghazi as a Terrorist Attack; AP Treats as News, Acts As If Obama Admin Has Said That All Along (papundits.wordpress.com)
- An Incriminating Timeline: Obama Administration and Libya (VIDEO) (heritage.org)
- State Dept reveals new details of Benghazi attack – The State (thestate.com)
Reason Magazine’s Ira Stoll has a novel take on Romney’s sideswipe at Garage
Bands Banks, and asks, hey, what’s wrong with garage-based businesses? …or even garage-based financial institutions? It’s worth reading…
The most infuriating moment of the first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.
That moment was when Governor Romney, the Republican, in response to a question about regulation, declared it “essential” and went on, “You couldn’t have people opening up banks in their — in their garage and making loans.”
That sound you heard during the debate was the echo of me ripping my hair out while throwing my drink at the television in frustration at the idea of a Republican presidential nominee who portrays himself as the defender of free markets yet who also describes garage-based businesses as a grave danger that must be regulated out of existence.
Among the successful American businesses that began in garages are:
- Hewlett-Packard, which began in a 12-foot by 18-foot garage at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, Calif., and grew into a company with nearly 350,000 employees and more than $100 billion a year in revenue.
- Apple, which assembled some of its first computers in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, Calif. Apple now has a market capitalization of more than $600 billion.
- Google, whose official company history explains that it set up workspace in September 1998 in Susan Wojcicki’s garage at 232 Santa Margarita, Menlo Park, Calif.
- Amazon, which for nearly a year in 1994 and 1995 consisted of founder Jeff Bezos and five employees working in the garage of a Seattle home that Mr. Bezos had rented.
- Mattel, the toy company that is known for Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars and that began in a Southern California garage. Senator Marco Rubio spoke about it in his maiden speech.
- Lender’s Bagels, which began in a West Haven, Conn., garage and grew into a business with tens of millions of dollars in annual sales.
Okay, none of those garage-based startups was in the lending business. But there’s no reason that the same kind of garage-style innovation that brought growth and dynamism to the technology, toy, and bagel businesses can’t also penetrate into lending…
More via Reason.com
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.
- STEPHEN GREEN IS DRUNKBLOGGING TONIGHT’S DEBATE. I suspect a lot of us will be drinking through thi… (pjmedia.com)
- Obama, Romney kick off first presidential debate in Denver (foxnews.com)
- Mitt Romney Is Absolutely Destroying Obama In Tonight’s Presidential Debate (businessinsider.com)
A new survey shows Mitt Romney with a commanding lead over President Barack Obama among doctors, with Obamacare helping to sway their votes.
If the election were held today, 55 percent of physicians reported they would vote for Romney while just 36 percent support Obama, according to a survey released by Jackson & Coker, a division of Jackson Healthcare, the third largest health care staffing company in the United States
Fifteen percent of respondents said they were switching their vote from Obama in 2008 to Romney in 2012. The top reasons cited for this change was the Affordable Care Act and the failure to address tort reform.
Leadership style, failure to follow through on campaign promises, unemployment and the general state of the economy were also factors.
“Doctors are highly motivated this year to have their voice heard, particularly after passage of the Affordable Care Act,” said Sandy Garrett, president of Jackson & Coker. “No doubt, the health care law has stirred many passions in the medical community.”
Fifty-five percent of physicians said that they favored “repeal and replace” Obamacare, while 40 percent said “implement and improve”.
A Gallup poll from July found that 46 percent of Americans feel Obamacare is more harmful than helpful to the economy; 36 percent responded the opposite.
Obama has not emphasized his signature piece of legislation on the campaign trail…
More via The Daily Caller
- If Romney’s Losing, Why Do the Media Act Like He’s Already the President? (reason.com)
- Presidential race in Florida remains tight contest, poll finds (kansascity.com)
President Obama has a number of “poker tells” which he displays when answering questions. They betray an increasing distance between his reply and the truth.
Talk show hosts love when the president gives one of his very rare press conference or any other occasion when he is off prompter. That is when these “tells” surface, giving all veteran Obama observers the verbal heads-up that the president has entered the land of thinly disguised fantasy or obvious dissembling.
First, the president begins a pattern of “ahs” and “uhmms” which are as embarrassing as they are revealing. The awkward pausing punctuated by these semi-stutters increases in frequency as the president senses his own flailing about.
Next, the president begins filibustering. His average length of answer in every press conference is already epic, but he has been getting worse as the presidency has dragged on. Pressers are not battles between the “reporters” and the president. Very few not named Jake or Ed bother the president with fastballs. The struggle is simply between the president and the effort he has to land the plane anywhere near where it took off, so far does he wander as he rambles through the minutes he is obliged to spend appearing to take questions.
The president will allegedly be subject to time limits on Wednesday night, but his contempt for most such rules almost guarantees he will blow through every limit and dare the moderator or Mitt Romney to challenge him.
If either does, we will be treated to “tell No. 4,” the president’s feigned outrage that anyone would interrupt or question him. When this happens, his countenance displays a disapproving sneer and his voice clouds with displeasure. It is practiced. It is also profoundly anti-democratic and arrogant, and if he plays this card on this stage, it will backfire.
Watch as well for nonresponsive self-pity, verbal essays on how difficult it was when he took over and how hard he has been working. Self-pity and self-regard are not designed to endear him to the unemployed or even the economically fragile, so he will be coached to try to avoid displaying his sense of outrage at being thought a failure or “in over his head,” but the president’s sense of his own immensity is so great as to blow past such base political calculations.
Finally, watch for the parade of straw men, the president’s favorite rhetorical trick. He will set up arguments that have never been made in the service of Republican goals that have never existed, and then he will denounce both. If the appearance of a straw man serves as a trigger in a drinking game, many bottles will empty by the end of Debate No. 1.
So the president enters the debate a prohibitive favorite to clobber Mitt Romney. But if Benghazi or the unemployment rate surfaces, if the president’s failure to remedy joblessness, spark a serious recovery, or in any way pose an obstacle to Iran’s nuclear ambitions are brought up in the course of Wednesday night’s first big debate, then watch for these verbal ticks and know that Romney is scoring.
Once again, the Democrat propaganda network known as MSNBC has been caught editing video to slander Mitt Romney. This morning on Morning Joe, co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough featured a video of a rally with Romney and running mate Paul Ryan in Dayton, OH. The crowd chanted “Romney! Romney!” but MSNBC added a caption to make it seem that the crowd was chanting “Ryan! Ryan!” and rejecting Romney.
The hoax was busted by a caller to the Pat and Stu Show at The Blaze, who had actually been at the rally and who told the hosts that Romney had not been–as MSNBC suggested–reminded the crowd that he was the candidate, but instead reminding them to include Ryan in their chant. “He stopped us to add, ‘Romney-Ryan,’ and if you watch the clip again, Ryan throws up his hand like, ‘Oh, you don’t have to add me to the chant.'”
The hosts, initially skeptical, were convinced when they viewed the tape again. The caller’s account is confirmed by the raw C-SPAN video of the event, which did not include MSNBC’s misleading caption.
This is not the first time MSNBC has manipulated video to make false accusations about Romney or Republicans…
CHARGES LEVIED BY THE STATE UNDER THE RULE OF THE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY:
Let us now suppose that the legislative authority is vested in the lowest order: there are two striking reasons which show that the tendency of the expenditures will be to increase, not to diminish.
As the great majority of those who create the laws have no taxable property, all the money that is spent for the community appears to be spent to their advantage, at no cost of their own, and those who have some little property readily find means of so regulating the taxes that they weigh upon the wealthy and profit the poor, although the rich cannot take the same advantage when they are in possession of the government.
In countries in which the poor have the exclusive power of making the laws, no great economy of public expenditure ought to be expected; that expenditure will always be considerable either because the taxes cannot weigh upon those who levy them or because they are levied in such a manner as not to reach these poorer classes. In other words, the government of the democracy is the only one under which the power that votes the taxes escapes the payment of them.
In vain will it be objected that the true interest of the people is to spare the fortunes of the rich, since they must suffer in the long run from the general impoverishment which will ensue. . .
Here we should observe that Tocqueville inclines toward supply-side economics. To continue:
Again, it may be objected that the poor never have the sole power of making the laws; but I reply that wherever universal suffrage has been established, the majority unquestionably exercises the legislative authority; and if it be proved that the poor always constitute the majority, may it not be added with perfect truth that in the countries in which they possess the elective franchise they possess the sole power of making the laws? It is certain that in all the nations of the world the greater number has always consisted of those persons who hold no property, or of those whose property is insufficient to exempt them from the necessity of working in order to procure a comfortable subsistence. Universal suffrage, therefore, in point of fact does invest the poor with the government of society.
The disastrous influence that popular authority may sometimes exercise upon the finances of a state was clearly seen in some of the democratic republics of antiquity, in which the public treasure was exhausted in order to relieve indigent citizens or to supply games and theatrical amusements for the populace. It is true that the representative system was then almost unknown, and that at the present time the influence of popular passions is less felt in the conduct of public affairs; but it may well be believed that in the end the delegate will conform to the principles of his constituents and favor their propensities as much as their interests.
But then Tocqueville provides the remedy that is missing from Romney’s rhetoric—how opportunity and social mobility, rather than redistribution, is the better road to advancement:
The extravagance of democracy is less to be dreaded, however, in proportion as the people acquire a share of property, because, on the one hand, the contributions of the rich are then less needed, and, on the other, it is more difficult to impose taxes that will not reach the imposers.
…Romney camp cannot afford to roll all the dice on the debates. He needs some excellent ads some humor would be nice, and a big speech or two with an all-star cast of reform Republicans like successful Republican governors to change the trajectory. His NAACP speech should be the model. That was the high point of the campaign so far — honest, principled, respectful of his adversaries, and uplifting about his vision for a better country for all Americans. More of that please. And soon.
We can’t rely on the debates alone. All of the moderators are liberals, and even if they attempt to be fair, they see the world through Obama-colored glasses. If Romney kills in the debates, the lapdog Obama press will quickly reinterpret the results. If Romney is articulate and unruffled, they will say he was stiff and programmed. If Obama makes mistake after mistake, they will ignore it or explain it away. If Obama is particularly terrible, they will stress that the most important thing in presidential elections is likeability. The “fact-checkers” will continue to lie for their guy, as this Mark Hemingway piece so beautifully exposes.
After a couple of days of “analysis,” even a Romney blow-out will be tamed into a draw, and the pundits will decree that Romney just didn’t pass the threshold he needed to pass to be an acceptable alternative.
via The Corner – NRO