Monday, October 3, 2011

Herman Cain Gets Noticed

Herman Cain is all over the news now. He was on Leno. Dennis Miller endorsed him. Leftist comic D.L. Hugley is making racist comments about him. Janeane Garofalo and Bill Maher are babbling that Republicans only like him because they’re racist. Now the establishment is noticing Cain.

Michael Barone is a smart guy. He’s an election geek with a solid grasp of politics and a deep understanding of voting patterns. But he’s also an establishment conservative. And that means he's blind to things that aren’t considered viable by the establishment. That’s why his article this weekend is so interesting.

Barone first notes that Cain has none of the traditional experience required of Presidential candidates. In the eyes of the establishment, that disqualifies him. Barone then notes that Cain has been largely ignored by the media. Even after his solid performance in the Fox cave debate and after crushing Perry in the Florida straw poll, he was still ignored. But now there’s evidence the public is responding to Cain, so the establishment is grudgingly taking notice.

Indeed, a Fox News poll last week shows Cain surged from 5% support to 17% support. A SurveyUSA poll shows Cain trailing Romney 27% to 25%. And Rasmussen reports that Cain trails Obama by only 5% in a head to head contest. Sunday he won the National Federation of Republican Women straw poll with 49% compared to 14% for the next highest vote getter.

This finally forced the establishment to take note. Indeed, Barone notes that Cain must now be considered a genuine contender. The Wall Street Journal has reached the same conclusion. On September 29, Journal columnist Daniel Henninger wrote that: “Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead.” And that, according to Henniger, makes him a "plausible candidate."

Here is what Barone thinks is drawing conservatives to Cain. See if you agree:

● His 9-9-9 tax plan and his generally conservative stand on issues.

● His youtube clip debating Bill Clinton on health care in 1994.

● His likability compared to Romney’s awkwardness and Perry’s “charm [being] lost on most non-Texans.”

● He being black. “In this, white conservatives resemble white liberals. . . white conservatives like to hear black candidates who articulate their views.”

● Cain’s claim that he can get 1/3 of black voters.
I don't buy it. I think these are side issues. Conservatives like candidates who share their views. And right now, Cain's the one guy really doing that. I also think what Cain has going for him is something the establishment is lacking entirely -- the ability to speak with us common folk in ways we understand, like and remember. Cain is not speaking wonk-speak and he's not talking at us. This is a lesson the Republicans must learn.

Of further interest, Cain took Christie down pretty hard this weekend. He said what we've been saying, Christie is "too liberal." Cain said this on Fox:
I believe that a lot of conservatives once they know his position on those things that you delineated, they’re going to not be able to support him. Most of the conservatives believe that we should enforce our borders. They do not believe people should be here without documentation. They do not believe global warming is a “crisis” or a “threat” — yes it might be a little bit out there but they don’t see it as a “crisis” or a “threat” and as you go right down the line, he’s going to turn off a lot of conservatives with those positions.
Then on ABC, Cain said that Christie does not pay enough attention to the very real threat of Islamic influence:
Some people would infuse sharia law in our court system if we allow it. I honestly believe that. So even if he calls me crazy, I am going to make sure that they don’t infuse it little by little by little. I’m sticking to it — American laws in American courts, period.
I'm glad somebody's finally saying it! FYI, at the same time Cain was making these policy-bases points, the left was attacking Christie over his weight. How substantive.

Cain's new-found higher profile has brought the Paul crowd out of the woodwork. They spent the weekend crawling the net reminding people that, as we told you before, Cain joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in 1992, and became its chairman in 1995-1996. Clearly, Cain is a Trojan Fed horse. Make of that what you will. . . you'll be seeing it everywhere.

In the meantime, expect the attacks to intensify on Cain. How he handles it will tell us a lot about his chances.


Tennessee Jed said...

happened to catch some of Rush's show today. He, correctly, took Cain to task for falling into the main stream trap of falling for their argument about the "booing" of the gay soldier and whether it was him or the question that was being booed, blah, blah, blah.

I think Cain is liked for the reasons you listed. Getting noticed does bring scrutiny, and Cain has stepped in it a couple of times. He could make a strong president, but would need the very best policy experts available particularly in foreign policy arena. Newt might be an asset.

tryanmax said...

I don't think Cain fell into the trap as Limbaugh supposes. (I think we caught the same part of the show.) I liked Cain's response, that he and the other candidates were paying attention to the question and not the boos.

For anyone listening to his words, Cain put it right back on the media. He said, "In retrospect, because of the controversy it has created and because of the different interpretations that it could have had, yes, that probably would have been appropriate."

Well, who created the controversy? Who is providing the strange interpretations? The Legacy Media, of course. Conservatives need to tread lightly on this one because the left has set it up as a trap. I think Cain gingerly sidestepped the trap with his answer.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I disagree with what Rush said. I think Cain was standing up for politeness and I don't personally think that was a mistake. In any event, I think this is a minor issue and he has tended to learn quickly from his mistakes.

I will be very interested to see how he handles things now that he's going to get the full treatment. Some of it is already starting with the racist attacks by the Hollywood left, but soon he can expect a whole slew of false accusers and other allegations of wrong doing.

I suspect he'll do very well, but we'll see.

On foreign policy, don't forget that there is an entire agency that handles 99.9% of it. He would just need to provide the overall policy goals -- and having conservative beliefs should do well enough on that count. That said, he would be well advised to latch onto a true foreign policy expert (not a Hillary Clinton). And honestly, being a former CEO, I suspect that's exactly what he'll do because CEO's tend to understand the need for delegation and finding good people.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. I think Cain handled it well by turning it into a minor issue and sidestepping essentially. It's the art of downplaying. And the proof it worked is that the headlines today aren't screaming: "Cain slams homophobic GOP!"

I think he did just as well with the Rick Perry issue (with his hunting camp having a sign saying "n*ggerhead"). Some Perry people are saying Cain is acting like a politically correct liberal for saying he thought it was insensitive, but that is a truthful and very low key answer. What else was he supposed to say? Also, it's important to note he didn't call for a resignation or demand an apology or anything like that. His response was again very low key. And the proof it worked is that you aren't seeing headlines about it.

I think Cain is very media savvy.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I wanted to respond to a question you asked in the previous Cain post, "Should the Presidency be a person’s first political job?"

Cain is a CEO, and companies bring CEO's straight in at the top when they need things shaken up. The presidency gets shaken up every four to eight years, but not really. I think a shake-up is needed and there are presently few options to do it.

Anonymous said...

Cain is a successful businessman, a proven leader, a true conservative, and a fine gentleman. For once, it looks like the race card is going to backfire entirely. Calling him an Uncle Tom isn't going to work with most blacks, and calling Tea Partiers (and many other Republicans) racist for supporting him is too convoluted for anyone but a lefty to believe.

Cain is also capable of launching serious criticism of his opponents without becoming thuggish, crude or demagogic. Being a gentleman is not tantamount to being a wuss. He's a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

tryanmax said...

And if that doesn't work, the GOP can just seize the race card away from the left.

Herman Cain: He's ALL Black.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Good point.

I actually think the idea that the presidency should be a political job handed out after years of being in the political system is unAmerican -- not in the sense of being anti-American, but in the sense that it subverts the American ideal.

Americans have never viewed politicians as a master class. To the contrary, we've viewed them as citizens who go to Washington to do a job temporarily. We want them to have real world experience and to show they understand US.

Requiring presidents to work their way up through a political system in Washington is an establishment view that says you need to join the DC crowd and gain their approval. That's 100% wrong. It's also a trap to ensure that only people approved by the insiders get to run the club.

I think a business leader, church leader, military leader, or anyone else who has shown an ability to lead people and organizations, a grasp of the issues that affect the country, and an ability to make solid decisions is qualified to be President. And as an American, I want the best person for the job -- not the person with the right connections.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I think Cain has shown a definite ability to attack his opponents in a strong way without sounding like he's slinging mud. That's an important ability to have in modern politics.

I too think the race element is rather interesting this time. It really seems that the left is imploding over the race issue because they're coming up with incredibly untenable positions to explain how supporting a black man can be racist. It's nonsense and it's exposing that all of their claims to be concerned about racism are fraudulent. It's really quite interesting to watch.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That would be hilarious!

Notawonk said...

I propose this catchphrase for Cain: Cain Seems Sane!

Hell, at this point, that's what most conservatives are looking for, outside of being, well, a CONSERVATIVE!

Cain Seems Sane! And competent. And conservative.

So far, he's holding his own.

rlaWTX said...

it's kinda funny watching the predictable "yay my guy - your guy sucks" over on NRO on the comments about the Cain v Perry stuff...
I mean I won't support Christie or even Romney (unless it's in a them v Obama cage match), but there's no reason for me to scream what horrible losers they are... that's such a lib tactic that I think that conservatives, being people too, can fall prey too...

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, "Cain Seems Sane" LOL!

Sane and conservative. It's kind of sad that we're excited simply by someone who hits both of those points. But that does seem to be where we are these days.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I agree. Ronald Reagan used to say "never speak ill of another conservative." He did NOT mean don't point out problems with their policies and explain why you preferred someone else, but he absolutely DID mean don't run around slamming the other candidates. Unfortunately, a lot of conservatives didn't get that message. And all they are doing is upsetting people and creating divisions that will be difficult to heal for whoever the nominee ends up being.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. rlaWTX, I think a cage match would be a great idea! Obama's a chicken. I can't see him even stepping into the ring!

Writer X said...

Cain is currently my favorite candidate. I want to hear him say, however, that he will definitively repeal Obamacare as his first order of business. I'm not sure he's said that yet. I like his plan for the economy and, finally, someone with real business experience and not just a big-mouth politician. I'm ready to send money to campaign after I hear those words, loud and clear, about Obamacare.

I've soured on Perry and I don't trust Romney and who are the other guys again?! :)

Writer X said...

P.S. I had to laugh when I read news articles about McCain giving the candidates advice this weekend. Nothing like getting advice from one of the worst Republican presidential candidates that I can ever remember. Run like the wind!

DCAlleyKat said...

Let the 'razing Cain' begin...

Personally I'll take an outsider over an up the ladder insider...we've had years of inside ladder climbers and look where that's gotten us!

tryanmax said...

Since we're offering up slogans for Cain, I have another.

I like my president like I like my coffee: Strong, Black, and Made in America.


CrispyRice said...

I am so super excited to see Cain doing well. He's really one of the few Republicans I can fully get behind and be excited about.

Saw a great bumper sticker online at Zazzle --

Cain: A Pizza in Every Oven.


tryanmax said...

Writer X: Here it is!

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, Cain is my favorite at the moment too. And if he can prove that he can stand up to the pounding then he may be the guy we need. I like his resume, I like his personality and I think he's a very dynamic and intelligent man. I'm impressed.

I think he did say that about Obamacare, but let me check. I'll post it later if I find anything.

rlaWTX said...

Tryanmax: LOL

DC: I think that "razing" Cain is what the MSM has in mind...
[not to quibble, cuz I like the idea of "raising Cain"]

yeah, BO couldn't take a cage match inside chicken wire, let alone chainlink!

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, Never mind, tryanmax has found it:


Thanks tryanmax! :)

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Writer X, Yeah, McCain should not be giving advice to anyone except on what not to do.

There's a quote from Gordon Gekko in Wall Street that comes to mind when Gekko is told a guy whose business is failing is giving a speech. He says: "What's he giving a speech on? How to lose money? If this guy owned a funeral parlor nobody would die!"

That's McCain!

AndrewPrice said...

DCAlleykat, I agree entirely. The insiders only know the system they've come up in. They don't want to change anything and wouldn't know how. It will always be just more of the same with them. And the same is what's gotten us here -- broke and failing.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Nice Airplane reference! LOL! I'm still partial to "Yes We Cain!"

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I'm glad you've found someone you like. I know I'm sick of going through elections feeling like I'm just voting for the lesser of two evils. Maybe this time will finally be different?

P.S. A pizza in every oven! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I honestly think BO would run for his life if he was told he had to get into a fist fight with anyone. . . much less a scrapper like Cain!

Yeah, razing Cain is probably the MSM strategy. I guess we'll see if he can take it?!

Tennessee Jed said...

I was listening to Rush's show in the car while doing errands so didn't really catch all of that segment. After reading tryanmax and your comments Andrew, I concur Cain didn't really jump on the bandwagon. There were two incidents, the gay soldier and the rock in Texas.

Possibly Cain would have better stated I don't know any of the facts so I am not going to comment vis a vis Perry and the rock. What he did say, was if true . . . etc. which isn't bad either. The point is, he will definitely have to be on his game now since the lib media will always try their hardest to trip him up, something they used to never do with Obama.

AndrewPrice said...

Oh, absolutely Jed. The media will be ruthless against him. Look at how they've treated Clarence Thomas. They've challenged his intelligence and his "blackness" and his ethics and everything else. And they've done it in nasty, underhanded ways that would have gotten them burned at the stake if they'd done the same thing to Obama. I expect they will do the exact same thing with Cain now.

I expect they will attack his intelligence, they will say he's an Uncle Tom, and they will probably dig up a harassment claim or two. Soros is probably hiring applicants as we speak for the role.

On what Cain said about both incidents, he may have been better served avoiding both issues, but he was asked directly and repeatedly both times, and he is a man who answers questions -- which I very much respect. I think he gave solid, low-key answers. Rush disagrees. But that's my take.

DUQ said...

This just in! 55% of people polled by the Washington Post think Obama will be a one-term President. Only 35% disagree.

tryanmax said...

Getting back to a question you posed in the article you wrote, Andrew, I actually think Barone has it right until he makes a race thing out of it. (The bit of fun I was just having notwithstanding.) It's hard to argue that a conservative stand resonates with conservatives.

I think the main thing people like about Cain that Barone is not capable of acknowledging is that Cain is not establishment. That is why Barone has to scrounge up other reasons for his popularity. He's liked for his likability, for example.

The last paragraph of Barone's article betrays his position. He almost sounds hopeful for Cain to make "a disqualifying mistake."

tryanmax said...

Well what does Limbaugh suppose the Legacy Media would do to Cain if he just tried to skirt the question?

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I'm not surprised. Obama appears doomed and I don't think people are prepared to give him another shot.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. I think the establishment does not grasp how much the public is sick of the establishment. They see themselves as wise professionals who have been naturally chosen to lead us unwashed masses and they assume we see the same thing. In reality, I think most people by now see them as arrogant bastards who have robbed us blind to maintain their fiefdom. I think they don't realize how ready the public is to be finished with them.

And I do agree that part of Cain's appeal is that he's not part of the establishment. I think that is a strong part of his appeal actually and I don't know if Barone is blind to that or just doesn't want to acknowledge it? I get the feeling a lot of conservative politicians and talking heads really are blind to this schism and they don't realize that making appeals on behalf of Fortune 50 companies and professional lobby groups and lifer politicians no longer sells.

In terms of Rush, I honestly think Cain had to say something. If he didn't, they would have spun it to put words in his mouth supporting whatever their nastiest interpretation of the events was. Ditto on the Perry thing. I think what he said really did a good job of minimizing the issue.

Ed said...

There have been a lot of great Cain bumberstickers lately.

I can honestly see Cain winning it all, which I couldn't see a few weeks ago. I don't know if that means anything, but I like to think it does.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I suspect what you're seeing is the sense that his candidacy has moved up a notch into the genuine contender category.

T-Rav said...

Crap, I missed a great thread! Oh well.

Cain was on the Tonight Show last Friday. I'll link it if I find it, but I'm sure it's on the NBC website. I recommend watching it if you get a chance; Leno interviews him about some of the quasi-controversial remarks he's made (Muslims, etc.) and he handles it like a pro. Good stuff.

AndrewPrice said...

I'm sorry T-Rav, this thread is closed and we asked everyone to put down their epencils. Your answers will not be accepted. . . you have failed. You must now repeat the 12th grade..... ;)

Just kidding. Feel free to add your thoughts.

T-Rav said...

Fine then! I'll just go to this room in the back where the lady lets me play with the shiny objects... ;-)

However, I did just see a poll of Florida GOP voters, which now has Cain at second place among the candidates, trailing Romney 28 to 24 percent. Not bad. Third place, incidentally, is...Gingrich, with 10 percent. Perry is now at fourth, with 9. Ouch.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yes, play with the shiny objects! LOL!

I'm told that the Republican Women's thing I mention in the article is actually an extremely influential group, so that's a pretty impressive and consequential victory.

And you're right, ouch on Perry. Ouch on Bachmann too, she's all but vanished in these polls.

StanH said...

Cain was just on Hannity in which he clarified the name on the rock. As the gentleman that he is said it had nothing to do with Gov. Perry and that in and of itself is insensitive, case closed. He reaffirmed Christies liberalism, and didn’t mention the gay soldier. However knowing Cain once he get more clarification, he’ll slightly modify his position, because in reality I believe Rush was trying to help him…we’ll see. As far as repeal of Barrycare, without question he has stated that unequivocally, he will repeal the bill. Being from Atlanta, I listened to his show on a regular basis, he will get better as the attacks come, overcome and adapt, Herman Cain is sharp as a tack. I couldn’t be more pleased.

Oh, if he comes to town, go see him. Extemporaneous, heartfelt Americanism of the first magnitude, in bass tone…absolutely awesome.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I think "gentleman" is the operative word. Cain strikes me as a guy who understands courtesy and is not going to shoot his mouth off like a regular politician. But he also isn't going to be a patsy for liberal attacks.

I think Cain is much more media savvy than people expect and he's not going to make the kind of mistakes that Republicans so often do.

On hearing him speak, I've heard he's very good at electrifying crowds.

T-Rav said...

There was a Tea-Con Midwest event over the weekend--I don't really know what that is, but Cain was the only candidate there, and he apparently had the same "electrifying" effect you and Stan mention; it must have really won people over, because he then won the subsequent poll held at the event, with 77 percent of the total. No, that's not a typo.

Incidentally, Obama was also on the ballot--why I can't fathom, but as it turns out, he actually came in third-to-last. Gary Johnson and Jon Huntsman tied for the bottom, with zero votes each. Excuse me while I giggle.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's funny. Didn't you know Obama is a big Tea Party supporter?

On Cain, I think he's actually the first real Tea Party candidate in the race. I know the media likes to makes Bachmann a Tea Party leader, but I've noticed a ton of resistance to her from our Tea Party crowd. They seem to like her, but don't consider her a genuine Tea Party person. The others only claimed Tea Party credentials (Perry, Santorum) once they decided to run for President.

Cain on the other hand.... I remember hearing Tea Party people talking about him before I even knew who Cain was. He seems to have been involved on the ground floor so to speak.

Perhaps one of our Tea Party people can add to that (or tell me if I'm wrong), but Cain strikes me as the only genuine Tea Party candidate in the race.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, now that I've had time this evening to scroll through the news today (Monday is a busy class day for me), I'm a little irked by how these DADT and Perry "controversies" are being spun, and I do mean spun.

First off, I haven't heard or read the text of what Cain said about either of these, so I can't comment on that. I will say that one flaw I've noticed thus far is he's not always as "careful" with his answers to questions as he should be, which is something he needs to work on now.

However, some of the blogs I browse have gone off the rails on this. In particular, RedState commenters have been calling him a sellout, "the Al Sharpton of the Right," etc., because of his response on the Perry campsite flap. Again, I don't know precisely what he said, but I suspect it was not even close to justifying a charge of race-baiting.

Personally, I think this is a backlash against Perry's collapse in the polls. For reasons I could never understand, a lot of blogs got super-excited when Perry got into the race, treating him like the Second Coming of Jesus or something. I think people just assumed since he was from Texas, he'd have to be awesome. And apparently they can't accept his sudden failure and have to project it outward onto others. Whatever the case, they need to get their act together and stop lashing out at other candidates just because their favorite disappointed them.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think you've put your finger on it. This is entirely a response to Perry's collapse. They are lashing out because their guy is flaming out.

The truth is this. The name on the camp sight was insensitive. But it is apparently a dead issue and it's not likely to be a big deal with voters. However... it is the kind of issue that arises during campaigns and it needs to be addressed by Perry. And they cannot complain when Herman Cain doesn't go against reality to protect their guy. He's under no obligation to cover up Perry's mistakes or issues.

Cain did not seek this out. He was asked about it. He said it was insensitive. That's it. (Romney called it offensive today). Cain didn't demand an apology or say this meant Perry needed to resign. He's not demanding reparations or holding protest rallies. He's not trying to leverage this into any new federal program to make amends. That's race baiting. Calling it insensitive is not race baiting.

In fact, what Cain did is the exact opposite of what the left wants -- he said the word was insensitive and left it at that. That’s not political correctness. That’s anti-political correctness.

And let me ask the people who are whining about it, what was Cain supposed to say? "Hell, I love that word, let's spread it everywhere." It IS insensitive, just as it is insensitive to dunk a crucifix in urine and call it art. And saying that this is offensive is not "playing" anyone's game. Nor is it race baiting.

Also, they are confusing political correctness with simple politeness. Part of living in society is to make certain concessions to avoid offending people. You need to bathe, wear clothes and avoid saying certain things. That doesn't make it political correctness or race baiting.

And let me add, the people who are making these attacks on Cain are the same people who call everyone a RINO the moment they disagree with them. RedState really has become a cauldron of idiocy where self-destructive morons get together and apply hypocritical purity tests to destroy all conservatives one after another.

T-Rav said...

Huh. So personally, how do you feel about all this, Andrew? ;-)

Seriously, I think that's the long and short of it. Although I wouldn't take that response around to any of the Perry shills; they'll probably manage to turn it into proof of a plot by Romney AND Cain to deny Perry the nomination.

I don't wish to single RedState out, as they do often have some useful info on the site, but even early on, one thing I noticed about them was their tendency to ban anyone who threadjacked or even strongly disagreed with them. It's gotten to be an echo chamber. They're not the only ones guilty of bashing Perry opponents, but I don't want to name any more names. Anyway, it's getting on my nerves and should stop.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, It does bother me.

Conservatives have become stupid. We are letting ourselves be led around by soundbites and echo chambers that fall for soundbites without ever bothering to look any deeper. That's how we end up with horrible candidates who wouldn't know conservatism from communism.

And I'm not just talking about Perry's followers, because Perry is just their latest crush. It's been the same over and over and over. We've become a party of the stupid leading the blind.

I'm sick of it frankly. I'm sick of conservatives defending the indefensible, twisting their ideology to fit their crushes, and selecting candidates based on how they look in the suit. And I really sick of this attacking anyone who says or does anything we don't like as a RINO. Conservatives spend more time knifing each other in the back than they do trying to stop the democrats.

It's really gotten pathetic.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, And let me add... when you think that everyone else is a RINO or is part of some RINO conspiracy, shouldn't that tell you something about where the problem really lies?

tryanmax said...

Amen to the RINO nonsense. I'll admit that I don't spend much time on sites like RedState. As I said when I introduced myself to this site, I don't like being drowned out. I crave validation. But part of the reason for that is because high-traffic forums like that are almost certainly echo chambers.

Unfortunately, even the commenters on the Breitbart sites are prone to it. Just to be clear, not talking about the site owners and contributors there. But my Intense Debate rating plummets the moment I write anything "unorthodox." (For example, suggesting that Rand's Objectivism is merely Romanticized Utilitarianism. Only an idiot would say something so stupid.)

Honestly, I don't know what to make of "stupid conservatives." I have to put that in quotes because I don't think conservatism can really be ascribed to by stupid people. I guess the stupid ones are just right-wing ideologues who only exist in opposition to their leftist counterparts. They are the ones who just want "their side" to win rather than their ideals.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, My experience with the high traffic sites is the same -- you either get with the echo or you face full on attack. But what's the point in even participating in that kind of environment? It's not fun, it doesn't help conservatism, and it doesn't help our own intellectual growth.

I have in the past tried to get people to snap out of it at some of those places but found that it just wasn't worth the price in terms of aggravation. You can find some good people there, but they will be swamped by the thought police.

So I'm a good deal happier at a place like this with our audience. We definitely have opinions (obviously) but we do honestly want people to share any different opinions they may have. We know we're not always right, so it's good to hear other people's thoughts. And sometimes, there isn't even a right or wrong. Take the candidates for example, I can't tell you who is best because (1) we're still learning about these people and (2) what's best for my views might not be best for a reader's views. So I share my thoughts and let people share theirs with the promise that I'm not going to demand any sort of conformity to be part of our community. I am open to having my mind changed on any issue.

That said, how dare you say that about Rand! Just kidding! ;-)


AndrewPrice said...

On the "stupid conservatives," yeah, that's a complex issue which is hard to address properly in just a comment. I think conservatism is by its very nature an intellectual ideology because it requires thoughtfulness to understand how its principles work and why they work. Liberalism by comparison simply appeals to feelings.

For decades, I think conservatism was well served by a very strong set of thinkers who wrote editorials and books, etc. etc. But in the past decade, as people realized there is money to be had in writing conservative books, people got into the field who weren't trying to help conservatism but were instead trying to help themselves. And they realized that they could make more money by being outrageous rather than being thoughtful. This has changed the way average conservatives think... and not for the better.

In particular, this has introduced victimization into conservative thought. That's what's poisoned a lot of conservative minds. Rather than deciding what is right and wrong, they now use a reflex action to form their beliefs: if liberals attack something, then that must be something we should support. That's horrible logic, but I see that all the time now.

Moreover, this group also realized that the real money comes from the fringe because those people will spend a fortune to hear someone parrot their views. So suddenly a lot of stupidity was brought into conservatism from the fringes (mainly conspiratorial type thinking) because these book-sellers knew it would make them money.

So now we see the consequences of that when you visit a high traffic site. Instead of thoughtful debate, you see people trying to play the victim card. You see people who define conservatism as anything that upsets liberals. You see people who fall into the self-described purist category. These are people who think they know what conservatism "really" is, even though they don't really have a clue what they're talking about. Those are people who tend to take absolutist views on things like the Constitution -- "if it isn't mentioned by name, then it's not in there." And none of these people has any tolerance for anyone who doesn't subscribe to their beliefs.

These are the people who are making conservative sites so unpleasant. But at the same time, they're the most prized by the commercial sites because they are obsessed. They will spend hours at the site, buy the site's products, click on the site's links, and call all their friends to do the same. They are looking for affirmation, not conservatism.

Unfortunately, they are also what the media (even the conservative media) focus on because they are the most vocal and the most easy to find. So the thoughtful conservatives get drown out by people who really don't know what conservatism is.

That's why these people are bad for conservatism.

tryanmax said...

Exactly, and well-put. They are the types who will trample the Constitution just as quickly as any liberal if it means advancing their version of "conservatism."

My favorite example is the "conservative" who denies a right to privacy because the abortion lobby hides behind it. But as soon as their own privacy is encroached upon, it's amazing how quickly that right rematerializes.

(Incidentally, I do personally believe the 4th secures a right to privacy, but that Roe v. Wade was a misapplication of it.)

Joel Farnham said...

Herman Cain is the front runner in this race now. I am not talking about the polls. I am talking about the responses to his candidacy. He now is at or near the top of the hill and pundits just can't resist shooting at him.

There is a guy at Red State who thinks Cain has shot himself in the foot with the remark about the rock. Which is kind of absurd since the most Cain said about it was that it was insensitive. Erick Erickson said some snarky remarks about Herman Cain as well.

I am starting to think that Red State is rapidly becoming the Conservative version of the Huffington Post. It is all over the place. It doesn't have that much showing for it.

The reason why Red State considers Perry "their guy" is that Perry showed up at the annual Red State Gathering. It sort of legitimized them. It may be Perry's undoing because Erick Erickson pulled a stunt on Sept 30, 2011 over Palin not announcing her candidacy. It left a bad taste for Palin supporters. Perry needs those supporters to win. Erick seems determined to snark at Palin or her supporters every chance. Kinda stupid.

Also, Erick allows, like Obama, the various would-be-but-never-can-be pundits to gang up on people who write or support someone Erick doesn't like. Erick should look into selling it. He is the originator who isn't up to task of running it. It may go the way of LGF (Little Green Footballs). For a while, it was THE PLACE to go for interesting information. Now it is just another vanity blog.

Outlaw13 said...

Mister Cain makes a lot of sense in many of the thing he says. He does however have a lot of things to learn in foreign policy. While I know most people are focusing on the economy, foreign policy is something we ignore at our peril.

@ Andrew, since I'm from Texas and know a little more about Rick Perry that some others I wanted to point out, that he first started hanging out with the Tea Party people as early as 2009. It was at a Tea Party rally in Austin that he made the statement about secession that got him so much heat.

Perry's problem is the debates. He has a better track record of proven success in government than the other candidates. If you listen to him in interviews and in speeches he articulates his views and ideas soundly. But for whatever reason he whiffs on easily explainable issues when they are brought up in the debate format.

If you wish to support him that's OK. If not that's OK too. I just find it odd that based on two poor outings where basically everyone piled on him and he poorly articulated his responses everyone is ready to jettison him as unworthy of even consideration.

The hunting land wasn't his or his family's they rented it and he hasn't gone there since 2007. As I said before I live in Texas, have lived here the majority of my life and never heard about this till the other day. Believe me, politics around here are pretty nasty and if someone could have made that stick they would have used it by now. I believe that this whole situation was another set-up to try and get Republicans sniping at each other while loosing focus on the main issue...Obama.

What I really find irritating (not so much about Cain as others) is the willingness to lie or mis-characterize things about other Republicans in order to get ahead. If they are willing to do this now, why should you trust them to lead this country? Why should I believe anything any of those liars have to say ever again? I mean they've already shown that they will lie to get the nomination, how do I know where they will draw they line? I have no issue with someone highlighting policy differences or saying, "that decision you made I would have done this instead for that reason." But this crap that has been going on in the debates (like retarded little girls caused by Gardasil) If we really want that kind of leader we can just keep what we've got they already proved they are a bunch of lying sankes.

This whole Republican field has the air of a team that will get to the "big game" and choke and that's sad because we can't afford another 4 years of what we've got now.

tryanmax said...

The right didn't go off the cliff, Little Green Footballs did. LOLZ!

tryanmax said...

I think its worth introducing into the conversation that Reagan was considered very weak on foreign policy before he was elected. And look what happened, he brokered what was arguably the greatest diplomacy success in the 20th century. I think it backs Andrew's earlier statement that all the President has to do is set worthwhile policy goals and let the staff handle the details.

Really, when you think about it, that's all the president really can do on the domestic side of things, too. And that's the thing that CEO's do. What this country needs is a president who is willing to lead from the front rather than from behind.

T-Rav said...

Joel, I noticed that about Palin and Erickson's coverage. Since she did imply that the end of September was a "drop-dead date" for her candidacy-wise, I think he was right in asking her if she was yay or nay on running, just so we can settle this whole thing. But I also think he went way too far with his hourly updates--"Hasn't said anything yet." "Still nothing." Etc., etc. That struck me as juvenile, especially after a few people who objected to his tone were told not to let the door hit them on the way out.

And again, to be clear, RedState is not the only one doing this. I noticed other blogs (Ace of Spades in particular) who started bashing Bachmann after the second debate, because of her claim that Gardasil had caused mental retardation--or rather, that a woman had told her it made her daughter retarded. I don't think that was right; but they accused Bachmann not merely of getting carried away but of deliberately lying, which there was no evidence for. And these blogs had pulling hard for Perry; the emotional tone to their attacks was obvious. That's when I first began noticing this.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I think you're right about a lot of the conservative pundits. That's why I don't buy a lot of their books. If they're from actual thinkers, like Buckley, Chambers, etc., sure; otherwise, I'll probably pass.

tryanmax said...

I got an awesome collection of Buckley writings and speeches for dirt-cheap when Borders was closing.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I've run into that a lot too and it drives me nuts, where these self-described conservatives will talk about the Constitution granting everyone the freedom to do something and they say the government can't interfere in any way.... and then they suddenly turn around and say the government should ban people they don't like from "misusing" that freedom.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I'm not sure what stunt you're referring to, but that sounds like a huge mistake. There's really no reason to anger people's supporters and there's no reason to snipe at people. If you have a legitimate disagreement with someone, then state the basis, but ganging up on people and sniping as a lot of those sites do is simply the wrong thing to do.

I'll give you an example. I don't like Christie's politics. I've made that clear in my postings that he is not a conservative. If you decided you liked him, I can respect that. I won't be sitting here making fun of you (or of Christie). I don't hate the man or want to destroy him. I just don't want him as the nominee because I don't think he would be a conservative President.

But I know that at other sites, people go way beyond this and start getting snarky and then nasty and will blast people for anything and everything, like they've become obsessed.

I know there is a need in this field to find something to talk about, but seriously, folks need to grow up a bit.

On Perry's RedState supporters hurting him, that's become a legitimate danger out there and Perry's not the first to run into it. Paul and Palin both run into that too, where their supporters are turning people off much more than the candidates. That seems to be a new thing that candidates will need to learn to defuse... "please don't be jerks on the net folks" might soon become a standard statement among politicians.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, Thanks for the Texas perspective on Perry, I wasn’t aware he had joined the Tea Party people that early. I stand corrected.

I agree that Cain will have a lot to learn, especially in foreign policy. I’m also not thrilled with his support for the gold standard and I ultimately think his 9-9-9 plan will never pass. I think those are certainly valid criticisms, as is the question of whether he’s prepared to deal with a bureaucracy, as that’s something he’s never had to deal with before.

On Perry’s flame out. I think Perry is a victim of his own expectations. By jumping in late and letting people build him up as the conservative savior, he really needed to hit the ground running. Any slip up was likely to really be blown out of proportion. That may not be the fair or the smart way to look at candidates, but I think that’s how humans do it. It’s the same way we criticize minor errors in great films while looking past glaring mistakes in horrible films, or how we consider the Super Bowl loser to be a horrible team even though they are the second best team in the league -- humans simply judge on a curve. And Perry sold himself (intentionally or not) as the very top of the curve. I think he’s paying for that now.

I also think Perry is paying a huge price for his immigration stance.

My particular beef with Perry is the cronyism issue. Lately, our presidents have become nothing more than Trojan horses for large, connected companies that want to raid the treasury and add regulations to hinder their competitors. I am concerned that Perry fits that mold completely and his answers to that concern have not only not changed my thinking, they’ve only made it worse.


AndrewPrice said...

On the hunting issue, I honestly think it’s a minor issue and the Perry people are making a mistake by attacking the people who are mentioning it. This is your standard media generated controversy that no one cares about and which goes away after a day or two unless the candidate or his supporters do something to keep it alive. Perry’s actually lucky it’s playing out now and not the night before a vote.

On Republicans lying and mischaracterizing each other, you’ve said that before at your site and I couldn’t agree more. It shows opportunism and it shows a total lack of trustworthiness. I am a firm believer that people should be evaluated on their records and their stated plans. I really do hold it against candidates when they lie or distort an opponent’s record and I don’t think Republicans should tolerate it in the primary (or ever actually). I also think your example of the supposedly retarded girl is a great example that I do hold against Bachmann. She has proven to me that she has a record of saying whatever she wants, whether it’s true or not, and I simply cannot trust anything she says.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Great point about Reagan.

Few governors get any real foreign policy experience, but I think the real key to foreign policy is the overall values the President sets.

Peace through strength, supporting your friends and not rewarding your enemies, and only getting involved when vital American interests are at stake (i.e. the conservative position) will give you a solid foreign policy.

Acting out of weakness, placating our enemies and abandoning our friends, and using our troops randomly for do-gooder missions (i.e. the liberal position) will lead to disaster.

And I do think, as you say, that what Presidents do primarily is set policy goals that others implement -- just like CEOs. They set policies and then surround themselves with competent people who can execute those policies.

Now preferably, that doesn't mean we should elect somebody who isn't familiar with the issues, but it does mean we need to realize that not knowing ALL the details isn't something we should hold against a candidate. I instead prefer to look for a candidate who is generally knowledgeable and has shown that they've given these issues some thought.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think there is a natural tendency to choose sides. But I would like to see conservatives resist the instinct to take that further and make people out as enemies. There is no reason to bash people who should be our friends.

On the pundits, yeah, a LOT of what's out there is pure pandering. Unfortunately, it's also the most inflammatory and thus people talk about it the most and it gets the most attention. And that's hurting conservatism because we're being associated with the inflammatory stuff rather than the thoughtful stuff.

Buckley is great. I'm also a big fan of Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell -- they've been solidly conservative and intellectually honest for as long as I can remember.

tryanmax said...

A relatively newer voice that I like is Mark Steyn, if only for his wit.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I've heard a lot of people like Steyn. I've liked what I've heard, but I haven't listened to much.

Outlaw13 said...


I can understand why some might be miffed at GOV Perry in regards to the border. But I would say if you lived on the border there are issues that need to be delt with, hense the in-state tuition policy that passed the state legislature with 4 no votes. This policy was explained rather well in a Weekly Standard piece found HERE

The Gov has said repeatedly that he is for securing the borders. The thing that gets some people's panties in a bunch is the fact that he doesn't support a fence across our entire southern border. I don't either because that would be a waste of money. He supports building a fence in areas where it makes sense to do so. But of course a lot of people don't listen...they just hear what they want to.

As for cronyism, I just don't see it. If that's how you feel that's fine. If he's to win the nomination he's going to have to explain things like that a lot better than he has anyway. So maybe he will down the line a bit...or not.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, It's an interesting article, but it still misses the fundamental thing that is angering people -- I would have to pay more to go to school in Texas than someone who shouldn't even be in this country. That rubs people wrong. Why are actual Americans being treated worse by Texas than illegal aliens?

On the fence thing, I actually think the fence is a stupid idea designed to make people think something is being done... it's pandering. But, sadly, it is effective pandering.

On the cronyism, there have been a lot of reports about it. Here are some of them: LINK.

T-Rav said...

To chime in, I don't think each of Perry's positions on immigration, in and of themselves, are that bad individually--I get the argument for the in-state tuition thing, even though I disagree with it. Collectively, though, it is a troubling weakness; and even worse is how Perry responded to the criticism. To say "I don't think you have a heart" if you oppose tuition for illegals? Sorry, but I've heard too much of that crap over the past few years, and in all honesty, I'd rather hear it in an effete, faux-sophisticated voice than with a Texas accent attached. That just adds insult to injury.

The only reason I would support Perry is because I don't like Romney, and he appeared to be the most viable anti-Romney candidate for a time. That qualification no longer holds up--whatever else Romney is or isn't, he doesn't seem likely to beat me over the head with straw-man arguments and emotional appeals.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I know you're a bigger fan of Bush than I was, but I think the problem with Perry's "you don't have a heart" response is that it echoes of Bush's "compassionate conservatism" and Bush Sr.'s "kinder, gentler country" before that. Both of whom turned out to be very not conservative.

Also, if you want to talk about playing into leftist propaganda, that's it right there: Perry paints conservatives as heartless. And I think what Perry said (intentionally or not) painted conservatives as racist. Conservatives aren't heartless about illegals and to suggest that not giving them in-state tuition is heartless just plays into all the identity-politics propaganda the left has been playing for decades.

That is exactly what the Perry people are claiming Cain did by calling the word "n*ggerhead" insensitive -- playing into liberal propaganda -- only Perry did it to conservatives as a group and he did it on a highly charged issue.

That is a huge mistake that will turn people off viscerally.

T-Rav said...

Okay, so there are now three PPP polls showing Cain with not only a lead, but a significant one in Nebraska, North Carolina, and West Virginia. He leads by six in WV, and that's the SMALLEST of the three leads. Meanwhile, a CBS poll has him tied with Romney for frontrunner status nationally.

Not to suddenly get jittery, but I really hope this amounts to more than a flash in the pan. In some ways, I think this puts even more pressure on Cain to do well in the debate next Tuesday. Nobody wants a repeat of Perry; that is, a rapid rise and then a flame-out. Also, it's probably worth asking if he can come up with the rich donors to match his popularity (and the treasure chest on Romney's side). These poll numbers are great, but should also serve the Cain campaign notice that it's time to knuckle down.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I saw those polls. I honestly don't know what to make of them except this (a guess):

A LOT of people listed Cain as their favorite, but never picked him because they thought he couldn't win. With that gone, the flood gates have opened? Or he's the flavor of the month? Hard to tell yet.

You are right though that the stakes for him will go way up at the next debate.

ALSO, he needs to really build up his ground game/organization right now or he will win the polls but lose the elections.

He also needs more money and endorsements, but that will come in a flood once the establishment realizes he's a legitimate candidate.

Outlaw13 said...

Andrew, I don't expect you to know this about in-state tuition rates and really this is getting down into the weeds but, for a illegal child to qualify for in-state tuition they will have to have graduated from a Texas high school and have lived in Texas for at least 3 years (which is by the way the same amount of time required for anyone to gain in-state rates). Additionally since Texas has no state income tax and all school monies are derived from sales taxes, illegal residents pay as much into the system as anyone else living in Texas. Third and most importantly it's something that Texans are OK with and want to do...this is something GOV Perry has done a miserable job of communicating. He has walked back from the "no heart" statement...but that horse has left the barn.

I am quite certain from his deed and word that if he were elected President he wouldn't force the Texas way of doing things down your gullet, that in-state tuition thing like many other things is something he feels that states should handle on their own. On the other hand he has said numerous times that border security is the job of the feds and they haven't been doing it, and that he wants them to do better.

Outlaw13 said...

Andrew, reference the link on cronyism...anytime you see the name Debra Medina, you might want to get another source because she's a truther and somewhat goofy. He's got people in Texas like Medina and SEN Hutchinson that hate him for one reason or another and aren't opposed to doing whatever it takes to see that he doesn't succeed. You can throw Rove in there as well.

Given the amount of money that Merck donated over the 10 years he's held the governorship, if that's what it takes to buy Rick Perry that's pretty sad indeed.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, That is something I appreciate a lot about him -- I do think he's sincere about the Tenth Amendment, which is an issue that resonates with me a lot.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not sour on him. In other words, I'm not saying he needs to go or that I'll never vote for him. If it comes down to him v. Romney, I'm in his camp all the way. I just have concerns that he hasn't addressed (the crony thing mainly -- the rest is just theater to me). He still may, but so far he hasn't done a good job of assuring me on that issue, and that's let Cain move ahead of him in my mind.

But all that said, I think he's in serious trouble with the Republican public. I hate to say it, but I don't think they care about nuance right now and I don't know that their minds are currently open enough to changing an opinion once formed. And some of what he's said has easily been spun into the area where the public sees it as intolerable. I'm not sure how he recovers from that?

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, Thanks, I'll check her out. If this stuff isn't true, then I'd like to know it -- and Perry should get out there and explain it to people.

(I don't really put any faith in Rove.)

tryanmax said...

Just an FYI on Cain's numbers in Nebraska. We don't count for much here, having one of the last primaries and a small population. Also, keep in mind Godfather's is headquartered in Omaha and many people (not me) can still tell you where Cain used to live in town.

So, yes, I am basically telling you to disregard any number from my state.

AndrewPrice said...

Godfathers is from Nebraska? I had no idea.

I actually grew up on their stuff before they suddenly vanished on us one day. I don't think they ever did come back to Colorado, so I can't tell if it's the same or not. I've been tempted to stop by whenever I pass through Missouri, where I know they have one on I-70, but I'd also like to stop driving cross country.

Outlaw13 said...

Andrew, I agree he has issues and he hasn't addressed the questions people not from Texas have about him...kinda sad because I think he'd do a really good job.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, Unfortunately, that's the biggest part of the game. I wish it weren't true, I wish people spent more time doing real research (or that our media did that for them), but they don't. So it all becomes about image.

tryanmax said...

Maybe this is a little metaphysical, but I think image will always be a part of the game. But that is not the problem. The issue is that so many people think the president should carry an image of either urbanity or folksiness. Few consider a true image of competence.

That said, a competent leader will certainly carry a degree of affability, but one needs come before the other and not the other way around.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Good point. If we looked for the same image we look for in a doctor or business manager, we'd be in great shape. Instead, we're looking for an image that has little do to with how well they do their job.

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