Category Archives: 2012 election

So let’s strategize for Mittens…

After Will sent me a link with Ann Romney’s almost “let them eat cake” moment, he and I got to thinking about where his campaign goes from here.

We all had a lot of fun watching the Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, and Cain campaigns collapse on themselves, watching how they went from breathing fire about fighting this until the bitter end to shuffling away, tail between their legs. It was great entertainment, and something unique to the primary season. No matter how bad things get for Romney (and right now the betting money is 2:1 against Romney), he can’t duck out. He can’t say “okay we had a good run, but I’m gonna concede to my opponent.” He’s carrying the flag of the party and is duty-bound to go through to November.

Right now, he’s in the worst position possible. If there’s one thing Mitt Romney needed in July of 2012, it was for the race to be either neck and neck, or for him to be decently ahead. The GOP knows that Barack Obama is a magnetic speaker along the lines of Reagan and Kennedy. This September will mark eight years since his landmark speech at the 2004 Democratic convention when he first made his big splash on the national scene. A junior senator that was relatively unknown gave the keynote address that was good enough that Al Franken said it was the only speech in the entire convention that he wouldn’t want to have changed. Debating Barack Obama is like playing tennis with a wall. The only way to end it is to not actually hit it to him.

And it’s not like he’s behind for standard political reasons. It’s not that he’s supporting unpopular ideas or struggling against an anti-Republican political climate. He’s floundering because he is ever Democratic stereotype wrapped up in a red sheet. He’s a teetotalling, non-Christian, Massachusetts wealthy elite from a state with gay marriage and socialized medicine who’s incapable of saying things without sounding like a cartoon stereotype of rich snobs. His myriad tax havens and offshore accounts and refusal to give up his tax returns only makes him look that much worse.

So right now, Mittens has two choices in front of him: keep on trying to appeal to the base a la John McCain or take the blue baton and run like a motherfucker. The odds are he’ll do the former, pick a running mate that’s a FOX darling but with more heft than Sarah Palin. Think your Rand Paul and Paul Ryan types who are kinda dull but represent the conservative movement well.

But let’s imagine that he doesn’t. Let’s imagine that Mitt Romney does something insane and hooks up with a RINO for the election. He lands on the ticket with an Olympia Snowe, Charlie Crist, or even Ron Goddamn Paul. He embraces his time in Massachusetts, doesn’t hide his wealth, and doesn’t try to appeal to the base. Instead, he takes the (relatively safe) bet that the far-right won’t just abandon him and let Obama win, and instead spends the bulk of his time trying to burrow into the center and center/left, specifically the libertarian movement of social liberalism with economic “free marketism”. His outsourcing and tax havens would almost make him a poster boy for it.

This is a scenario Mitt could actually win. He could, in theory, etch away pretty hard at the younger voters, on the fence voters, and still existing racist Democrats while resting easy knowing that the odds of the Tea Party letting that Communist Foreigner Negro (CFN) win are slim to none.

So let’s say he wins. Romney/Paul or Romney/Hutchison or something wins office. What will have happened? In one fell swoop, the Tea Party will die. Whereas losses only fuel the fire by continuing to paint them as an underdog who needs to defeat the tyranny of socialism, if the party itself not only moves toward the center, but also wins, suddenly the TP loses all relevance. The far left will be more inclined to work with the new administration, and even if Teabaggers continue to try and work their way into the legislature, they’ll have far less actual pull.

The media would have no choice but to be behind the guy. MSNBC would have their liberals assailing him, but the network by and large won’t hate a corporatist, and for all of FOX’s yammering they’ll rally behind a GOP president no matter what. It’s not inconceivable that he’d enjoy some impressively high approval ratings. Would his presidency be as beneficial to the United States as an Obama one? Of course not. At least not for the duration of his term. But it’s not outside of the realm of possibility that 10, 20, 30 years down the road our two parties are more progressive and more like their “forward thinking but principled” roots.

A caveat: I’m in no way endorsing Mitt Romney for president. This is just a rumination about what would happen if he was suddenly infected with a vial of common sense, integrity, and political intellect. I’m talking more of what Mitt Romney could be, not what he is and will be or will do. Barack Obama 2012, y’all.

Romney ad thought

Anyone else find it weird that in this ad, the first thing he mentions is the Keystone Pipeline?

Pipeline and repealing Obamacare. That tells you everything you need to know about the guy. Priorities, eh?

Romney carefully details how he’ll pay for his tax cuts

Haha just kidding he won’t say shit. Now let me map out why a candidate would dodge this kind of questioning:

  1. He has a plan he won’t let us in on. Maybe he’s telling the truth. Maybe Mitt has discovered some mathematically feasible way to pay for gigantic tax cuts. So why wouldn’t he tell us? Well…
    1. His plan would be wildly unpopular with moderates. Given that he’s an ultra-wealthy businessman, odds are pretty good that anything he’s got on hand wouldn’t be with the middle and lower class in mind, likely slashes to social programs and the like.
    2. His plan would be wildly unpopular with the base. Okay, etch-a-sketch comments aside, Mitt can’t just abandon Republicans entirely in the hopes of courting the middle/left. So let’s say the only way to pay for tax cuts is via chopping away at defense spending and other GOP-friendly programs. What then? Keep a lid on it.
    3. He’s under the impression that tax plans are intellectual property and he doesn’t want Obama stealing it. If, you know, Mitt is just completely bonkers.
  2. He has no plan at all.Maybe he’s lying. Maybe Mitt is banking on the lie carrying him into the White House, hoping…
    1. By the time he gets elected he’ll come up with something. We’ve all done this and you know it. You say you have a plan for something before you do (I totally know how we’ll sneak you into the concert), crossing your fingers that when it comes time to actually do it, you’ll have it set.
    2. He can just get into the White House and not worry about it. So this one is pretty cynical, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Make a crazy claim with a “secret way to do it”, knowing that there’s kind of a “no backsies” policy with electing presidents, so he can just refocus on other things once in office like how Bush ran solely on an anti-terror platform in 2004 and immediately set about attempting economic reform.

These are all just possibilities. Who knows.

Mitt Romney: bravely going into uncharted territory

Specifically, writing off all of his “home states” for the election: Michigan, Massachusetts, and California.

Sure, you can make the observation that those are decidedly blue states, but at least in the case of Massachusetts that’s where he was friggin’ governor. We’re talking about a man who is pretty much everything one could have claimed about a typical liberal elite (Harvard educated New England politician who doesn’t drink, has a load of money and no connection to the common man), but had to completely turn his back on himself in order to court enough GOP voters elsewhere to give him a chance on the national platform.

Many of you might remember in 2000 when Gore lost, that many on the right wanted to dismiss the Florida debacle by deriding Gore for losing his home state of Tennessee, but even then it was a bit of a surprise loss. Romney’s just giving up on where his roots are, in the hopes of winning the presidency. If anything, it’s a perfect analogy for his whole strategy: abandon the Mitt Romney of X years ago and turn into whatever Mitt Romney he thinks can win in 2012. Does he actually have deeply held beliefs? I don’t know.

QotD and some rumination thereof

Mitt Romney on the world, security, and US military strength:

We have two courses we can follow. One is to follow the pathway of Europe, to shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs. The other is to commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world, second to none, with no comparable power anywhere in the world. We choose that course. We choose that course for America not just so that we can win wars, but so we can prevent wars. Because a strong America is the best deterrent to war that ever has been invented.

There are so many problems with this statement it’s almost difficult to begin with.

First of all, Europe is an ally. Or at least they’re supposed to be. I have no idea why the Republican strategy seems to be to insult the entire continent whenever possible, and use the word “European” in the pejorative, as if to say that Europe is a disaster and we should avoid being like them. Then we can’t seem to figure out why they don’t want to back us up when the shit hits the fan.

Secondly, this notion that the only path toward security is throwing trillions of dollars into the military to build more tanks and bombs is such a childish view of strength I’m surprised the phrase “tree fort” didn’t Freudian slip its way in there. We’re not in the middle of the Cold War or WWII. The era of needing swarms of fighter jets and six million boots on the ground is over. Technology is advancing, and so is military strategy. In the 21st century, we’re capable of tactical bombing into someone’s toilet with our iPhones and ransacking a dictator’s HQ with a team of six.

Add in the fact that we have billions upon billions of dollars being wasted every year on projects that go nowhere and produce nothing, and the amount of money we can trim from the military budget without having a negative impact on our ability to defend ourselves is enormous. Mitt Romney’s blockheaded “WE NEED MOAR TANKS” nonsense is what someone who only cares about dick-waving says. Someone who’s less concerned with genuine capability and more concerned with being able to strut around talking about how we have more missiles than anyone else.

And finally, I don’t think I can say nearly enough how much I hate this notion that the United States is what keeps the world safe. Yes, the US had a great spurt between 1910 and 1950 where we helped win some damn big wars, but after the Cold War, Vietnam, and our Middle East adventures, it’s a safe bet that the world largely sees us like that guy who you always want on your side in a bar fight but tends to cause more problems than he helps. A rottweiler with a bad attitude that guards the house but also bites the neighbors.

Our military budget isn’t a numbers game, nor is anything else. Look at the world we live in. It’s not terrifying. There has been one significant terrorist attack on US soil in the last 20 years, and it caused about 7% as many deaths as traffic accidents that year. Since then, the worst thing Americans have had to worry about has been whether or not they’ll have a job and how much gas will cost. We’re not living in Beirut or Damascus. No one walks out of their house and goes to the store crossing their fingers that a guy wearing a TNT sweater vest will fuck up their day. Our leaders aren’t afraid of having stadium-sized rallies, because they know no one’s going to shoot at them or set off a dirty bomb. Our police aren’t worried about IEDs and we don’t need the military patrolling our streets.

Some places of the world may be unsafe, but the United States is quite safe, and wrecking our economy just to impress no one with how much we spend is a disastrous policy.

And the birther movement continues…

What I want everyone to remember is that this has nothing to do with protecting the integrity of the Constitutional requirements for holding office, and everything with people doing whatever they can to prevent Obama from getting elected.

“First, I have been on the record since 2009 that I believe the president was born in Hawaii. I am not a birther,” [Arizona Secretary of State Ken] Bennett said in his statement.

“At the request of a constituent, I asked the state of Hawaii for a verification in lieu of certified copy,” he said. “We’re merely asking them to officially confirm they have the president’s birth certificate in their possession and are awaiting their response.”

The better question is whether this would similarly be extended to every candidate. After all, if he believes Obama to have been born in Hawaii, he should also ask for verification from every other candidate who he believes to be a natural born citizen. For every office.

What’s really pathetic is that guys like Bennett lack the balls to come out and say they don’t believe Obama is American, and hide behind “at the request of a constituent”. As though he were beholden to do whatever random constituents ask him to. Like next week we’ll read “I find them uncomfortable, but at the request of a constituent, I’ll be wearing burlap pants for the remainder of the month.”

My hypothesis still stands.

Mitt Romney is like the caricature of John Kerry (the out-of-touch elitist waffler) times ten. I know I’m not a fan of harping on gaffes, but this one’s pretty good.

I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was.

Addendum: updates slowed down not just due to job, but I snagged a rescue dog and he’s needed some extra TLC. I’m really trying to keep this site up and running full time, but it’s gettin’ tricky. Any of my regulars got free time and feel like writing? 😛