Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Manatee Madness Debate Wrap Up

There was another debate last night. It stank. Yeah, even by the standards of recent debates, this was a turkey. Here’s what happened.

Winner: Brian Williams. Williams manipulated the candidates like a chess master last night. He got them fighting each other. He tossed mud and they re-tossed it. He had them buying into leftist assumptions all night and pledging fealty to leftist ideals. He also did his best to prolong the horserace and thereby help Obama by making Romney and Gingrich look bad while making Santorum and Paul look good.

Loser: Newt. Here’s why Newt should have lost. Newt lied through his teeth and proved repeatedly that he’s a slimeball. Here are some samples:
● Romney very accurately went through Newt’s baggage. Newt attacked him for telling “at least four lies.” What were these supposed lies? Newt sidestepped: “I’m not going to waste time going through them.” That’s because they weren’t lies and Newt knew it. But in making this kind of defense, Newt dodged his entire record and called Romney a liar, even though Newt was actually the one lying. This is a schoolyard bully tactic.

● Newt was sent packing by the House Republicans in disgrace. Last night, Newt actually tried to claim HE asked the Republicans to vote to censure him because he was becoming “a distraction to the cause.” How noble. Of course, this is a stunning lie and Ron Paul called him on it later. Newt also claimed he wasn’t fined, despite the $300,000 fine that’s on the record. Apparently, Newt is betting you’re too stupid to look it up.

● Newt claimed in prior debates that he created Ronald Reagan and Reaganomics. Anyone with a brain knows this is a lie, and last time, Romney countered that Newt is only mentioned once in Reagan’s Diary. Nevertheless, Newt repeated the claim last night and added a suggestion that he created Barry Goldwater too. This is Megalomania.

● Newt tries to pilfer supporters by talking about how much he agrees with certain candidates without ever actually saying how he agrees with them. Last night it was Santorum’s turn. He also pandered again to the Ron Paul people on the Fed and on gold by claiming views Newt has never held.

● Slimeball Newt keeps making smears while claiming he has no intention of smearing his target. For example, he said he wouldn't make an issue of the tax rate Romney paid. . . right before smearing Romney for not paying enough in taxes because he’s rich. This is the politics of envy and anti-capitalism.

● Newt lied big time and smeared Romney about lobbying. Freddie Mac’s lobbying office paid Newt $25,000 a month to act as a consultant, which apparently involved visiting Congressmen on its behalf. That’s called “lobbying.” Yet, Newt used a false technicality to claim he was never a lobbyist: he claims he was a “consultant” and not a “lobbyist.” Except lobbyists always call themselves consultants, and what really matters in determining whether someone is a lobbyist is what they do, not what their job titles are. Newt was a lobbyist and he knows it and he’s lying to hide it.

He also tried to turn a million dollar lobbying income into $30,000 by claiming he only got a small portion of the amount he was paid because the rest went to a business, which is wholly owned by. . . Newt.

Then he doubled down on gall by accusing Romney of being a lobbyist because Romney also worked as a consultant. Only, “consultant” is a generic title for anyone who performs special tasks under contract rather than as an employee. No evidence has been produced suggesting Romney ever lobbied or worked in the lobbying industry. Newt’s suggestion to the contrary is a lie.

He then also tried to claim that all of Bain Capital’s income was actually Romney’s income, even though the claim is ridiculous.

● Newt said he opposes the DREAM Act, but he again promptly said he supports its parts. Then he mis-described the act to make it sound palatable: Newt argued that it provides a path to citizenship for those who serve in the military. But that’s already the law. The DREAM Act gives citizenship for college attendance and uses taxpayer funds to pay for the tuition.
But conservatives are proving they aren’t smart enough to distinguish between substance and the Big Shiny, so that’s not why Newt lost. Newt lost last night because he didn’t deliver the Big Shiny. His attacks on the media fell flat, the audience didn’t whoop, he landed no blows, and he never looked commanding. And without the Big Shiny, he’s just an ass.

Perfect Attendance: Romney. Romney gave a great defense of capitalism, refused to apologize for being successful, gave a great defense of English only (it’s the key to success to “speak the language of America” and teaching students in foreign languages leaves them unprepared for school -- when they changed the law in Massachusetts to require English immersion their schools shot up the charts), and he landed a few solid blows on Gingrich. But I don’t think conservatives were listening. They’re too busy proving the media’s meme about conservatives having crushes on whoever is hot at the moment.

Winner: Santorum. Santorum is a noxious socialist and a liar. But Brian Williams helped package him as a “genuine conservative” by repeatedly touting his conservatism as a fact, by never asking him about controversial issues, by posing the questions as softballs, and by never following up on the answers no matter how ridiculous. For example, he didn’t even follow up when Santorum said there was good capitalism and “destructive capitalism.” He also let Santorum get away with implying he was opposed to illegal immigration because “they broke the law when they came here and every day when they work illegally” even though Santorum has actually worked to make it impossible to stop illegals from working.

Winner: Paul. As with Santorum, Williams did his best to hide Paul’s crazy. He tossed out softballs and avoided anything truly controversial.


All in all, last night felt like a wash. There was no decisive win, no decisive moment, and I doubt any candidate helped themselves much. The one guy who was probably most hurt was Newt who failed to deliver the Big Shiny, but we’ll have to see how that affects his supporters. At this point, Florida will come down to a few factors: (1) Will more moderates or more conservatives turn out on the 31st? Florida always seems to shift toward the center from what the polls predict. (2) Will enough people who know Newt come out and explain why they aren’t supporting him. (3) Can Newt get a Big Shiny in Thursday’s debate and will people remember it when they vote? Apparently, 1/3 of Florida has already voted. And (4) who will Democrats vote for to cause the most problems?

Finally, let me ask this. The complaint about Romney is that he flipped from moderate to conservative. That’s a legitimate complaint. But how does it make sense for conservatives to prefer candidates who not only held the same moderate views Romney did, but have never made the flip to conservatism?


Don't Forget: There's a new Politics of Trek today at the film site.

64 comments:

CrisD said...

Andrew-
Wow. Just wow, on recap.
I certainly don't like watching the sausages being made.

T-Rav said...

If this debate didn't hurt him too much, Gingrich will probably still win Florida. On your questions about the primary, Florida's is a closed one, meaning Democrats can't interfere; you have to already be a registered Republican. And I think the FL GOP electorate favors Newt. It includes 1) Deep South voters in the northern counties who, like SC, will go for him over Romney; 2) Latinos who will be somewhat favorable to his moderate stance on immigration (even if they are more Cuban than Mexican); and 3) seniors who will be happy that he's not talking about gutting entitlements. Romney can win the state, of course, but Newt probably has a better shot at this point.

tryanmax said...

I disagree that there is any legitimacy to the complaint that Mitt (or anyone) has become more conservative. More precisely, I am sour on the equivocation between flip-flopping and converting. I don't mean to say that it isn't a factor in how voters make up their minds. Clearly there are many that have bought into the equivocation. I guess I'm arguing the "ought" rather than the "is."

rlaWTX said...

Between this insanity and work craziness, I am considering taking up hibernation.


Oh, and I recently learned that the TX R Primary date is in question because of redistricting crap.
Yep, a nice quiet, dry cave...

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD, Yeah, it can get ugly. Unfortunately, this is what is happening and people get away with the lies because if you tell enough lies confidently enough, people stop listening to the substance and just go with the verbal momentum. And in that contest, whoever "sounds" right wins.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I wouldn't bet on the old people or the Hispanics favoring Newt. So I'm not sure it's clear at all who will win. And, as I note, Florida does seem to have a habit of drifting further left that polls show.

Also, don't forget, Newt has to survive another week before the vote and that's a whole week for people to grasp who this man is. I think he lost momentum last night.

But we'll see.

I can tell you one thing. I heard an interesting quote last night from a very strong conservative: "I cannot vote for Newt, it would be bad for the country and bad for the cause. I would vote for Obama." That's a bad sign.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, You made that point last night and I think it's an excellent point. A flip-flopper is someone who goes back and forth for their convenience. Romney's shifted from left to right, just as Reagan, Jesse Helms and many of our side's most conservative politicians. He hasn't gone back.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, At least the Republicans won at the Supreme Court -- that was huge because it prevents the Democrats from stealing three seats.

I know what you mean about the craziness. This has not been a good election cycle. What should have been a cake walk for a genuine conservative has turned into a circus of idiots.

LawHawkRFD said...

I watched most of the debate on the delayed NBC tape. Your summary says it all, and I'm suffering from debate fatigue.

CrispyRice said...

You know, I gotta say, I don't care one bit about the debates anymore. There have been too many, and I just... can't... care... anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I think we're all suffering from debate fatigue at this point. These things have dragged on far too long and it's just grueling at this point.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I realize the objections among many conservatives to Newt, which are very numerous and very valid.

BUT...

This "I would vote for Obama (or Ron Paul) before I would vote for Newt" crap is ridiculous. Newt would probably be bad for the conservative cause as President, but he could not possibly be worse for the country than (or even as bad as) Obama. Newt at least recognizes the necessity of, among other things, a tougher foreign policy against Iran and other threats, a stronger energy policy that includes stuff like opening up the freaking Keystone pipeline, and appointing conservative judges. We will get none of that with Obama. Newt should not be the nominee, but if he is, then we have to support him. (And before anyone asks, I feel the same way about Romney.)

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, You are not alone. A lot of people have stopped watching or caring. The ratings are down and they certainly don't seem to have much impact at this point. I wonder how that will change the race though because Newt is relying on the debates to keep his momentum alive?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm just repeating what I heard and this is from someone I believe it from. They've routinely supported every nominee or every potential nominee from Bush to McCain to Palin to Ron Paul.

I'm going to talk Thursday, by the way, about the issue of whether or not you should support certain nominees. I do think there are some people who conservatives simply should not support and go into the arguments why.

Tennessee Jed said...

appreciate the wrap-up since I had to walk out on the debate. Romney is the guy I like the most, but it is sad that many Americans who vote are not political junkies. They tend to elect soundbites. We have not had a really good candidate in 2008 or 2012 who can maturely, lucidly, and passionately sell free market capitalism and conservatism. I actually like Mitt Romney a lot (for a politician.) My biggest rap on him was his lack of charisma. I had hoped after New Hampshire, he was getting better, but this still is his weak point. Too many people are jumping aboard the Newt train because of a couple soundbites . . "the big shiney" as you call them. The only hope we have is that Obama is so bad, he may not even be able to defeat one of our weak candidates. This was the election we should have gone with a young, Kennedyesque charismatic leader. I cannot get down because the state of the Republic will change irrevocably with a second term.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I'm actually rather upset at conservatives at the moment. They have acted intensely stupidly and we are now reaping the harvest of that. For too long, conservatives have listened to idiots who loudly proclaim to be "genuine conservatives" and "real Americans" but who have NO idea what conservatism is actually about and don't have even the basic intellectual skills to ask questions like: "what does candidate X actually stand for?"

Thus, they've flirted with RINOs, uber-RINOS and the ideologically insane, all in the name of "he's the genuine conservative."

We've failed to find any actual conservatives in the process and destroyed or chased away the few who appeared by accident.

Now conservatives are running around like fools trying to believe the unbelievable and trying to pretend reality isn't what it appears. And frankly, the opposition to Romney is irrational. Is he a conservative? I doubt it. But he's way more conservative than the others and the reason conservatives refuse to recognize this is ego -- they've decided Romney is a liberal, the by default, the other guys must be conservatives. That's the kind of retarded thinking I would expect from progressives.

Because of this, (1) there is no conservative in the race, there are only moderates, (2) we have a poisonous set of candidates, and (3) we are on the verge of handing Obama a second term.... and conservatives are to blame.

AndrewPrice said...

Here's an interesting aside. I see almost no discussion of the debate in the usual places today. I think they didn't get the result they wanted.

AndrewPrice said...

Put this in the AH-HA category. Newt is threatening to pull out of the debates if the audience can't cheer.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. He NEEDS the Big Shiny and he can only get the Big Shiny if he has a laughtrack to make him sound clever and make his zingers work. Without the audience to validate his attacks, he has no way to know if they've worked or if he's gone far enough or too far and (more importantly) the home audience has no way to know that they should be impressed -- he wants the studio audience to trigger the herd instinct (aka peer pressure).

This is all about style and not substance and should trouble people.

DUQ said...

Andrew, Thanks for the recap. That's interesting about Newt, and it does seem the media found his weakness by taking away his "laugh track" as you put it.

DUQ said...

By the way, did you see Oliver Stone said he would vote for Ron Paul before Obama? What do you make of that?

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, You're welcome. I really think Newt is seeking the laugh-track principle, where people are more likely to sympathize/enjoy/emulate something if everyone else is doing it too, i.e. peer pressure. He needs that audience applauding to make his zingers work. Without his zingers, he offers nothing to the public.

ScyFyterry said...

I can't watch any more of these. I'm glad you do the wrap ups because I really don't want to watch anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I am actually not surprised. Having watched Wall Street II finally (which is a mess), there are some seriously Paul-like impulses in that film. Stone is basically attacking the establishment in that film, not conservatives, Republicans or Democrats -- everyone. So it wouldn't surprise me if he backed Paul.

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, You're welcome! We aim to please. That said, these are getting harder to watch.... a lot harder.

rlaWTX said...

soooo, ya gonna watch the State of the [dis]Union Address tonight?
Cain's fb says that he is giving the "Tea Party" response to the address.

I have no problem with that, but how does one decide who speaks for an un-organized, grassroots group of people? Just a random thought to keep me from dwelling on the TOTUS speaking tonight.

rlaWTX said...

(and is there really another FL debate Thursday??)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Not only will we be watching, but we're having another T-Rav's Theater tonight because the only way to watch Obama speak is with the aid of sockpuppets... and booze. :)


Yes, sadly, there is another debate on Thursday. We are coming to the end of the debates though and that's good. We'll cover that one too.

On Cain, that's a good question. I think it's just the media making the selection for us -- as always.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, you forgot drugs. Lots and lots of drugs.

AndrewPrice said...

And a mallet... wood or rubber, it's up to you.

Ed said...

I have to agree with the others, no mass. Please stop. No more debates. Ahh!

I have to agree with your analysis of Newt, but I also have to say that sadly I don't think anyone is listening. They just want someone other than Romney and Newt is "Big Shiny" enough.

You are right, by the way, that Newt clearly failed last night. I think that's what's behind his demand that the audience be allowed to applaud. As you say, he needs the laugh-track to make his schtik work.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew and T-Rav: NO DRUNK-BLOGGING TONIGHT! My fear is that all of us will vow to take a shot of booze each time Obama says "middle class." We'll be bombed five minutes into his speech if we do that.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I think the lack of crowing from the newly converted is evidence that Newt failed and then Newt really made it clear by whining about the debate format.

Yeah, I don't think people are worried about substance right now, they are judging on soundbites. And if Newt fails, it will be because of a lack of soundbites.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I can make no promises. In fact, I'm not sure anyone can make it through one of Obama's SOTUs without being drunk... or drugged.

Ed said...

Andrew, That's true, there isn't much crowing this morning, only hand-wringing. I am finding this whole primary process depressing.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, A lot of people seem to be sharing that feeling. :(

tryanmax said...

RE: AH-HA -- So, Gingrich supporters are monkeys? That all but confirms that the John King opener for the last debate was a candygram for Newt.

I very much appreciate you devoting your site to the debates regardless of the outcome, Andrew. These outlets that ignore what doesn’t have the desired outcome are engaged in just as much chicanery as if they were spinning events out of shape. T-Rav was probably onto something with take on the Goldberg and Steyn articles he linked yesterday. But NBC delivered an unspinnable disaster. Without applause, Newt was left exposed. And by accusing Mitt of lying every other sentence, he might have forced a cadre of fact-check articles this morning. But instead…chirp--chirp--chirp

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think you're right that the John King moment was vital to Newt. It gave him exactly what he needed to shine. He probably could have walked off the stage after that and still would have won South Carolina. But that kind of support only lasts as long as the emotion lasts. That's why I think he's so upset/desperate today because the debate last night sucked away the emotion and left him with nothing with which to win supporters.

I suspect he will have a very hard time maintaining momentum in Florida for another week based just on that debate. He will need to find some other way to make himself a victim if he's going to win Florida.

You're welcome about our debate coverage. I firmly believe in being informed and I think these debates are very informative -- good and bad. I know that my own view of each has changed (some worse, some better) throughout the debates as I've seen them play the game.

And you're 100% right. If someone was really interested in fact checking, Newt gave a goldmine last night to debunk, yet there are no articles about it today. And they can't blame any inherent difficulties in finding information here either, Newt lied about know, easily-provable, on-the-record facts. This should have been a no-brainer for any "fact checker." Yet there's nothing. Why? Because Newt because is a mess and he's probably the guy the left would most like to see as our nominee.

BevfromNYC said...

Lawhawk - Maybe it's better if we drink whenever he says "us" or "we", because we know he will never use those words.

Or maybe we can use these guidelines:

http://www.drinkinggame.us/

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's great -- Unicorn wine! LOL!


Here's the link: LINK

BevfromNYC said...

rlaWTX - As to Herman Cain speaking for the Tea Party tonight. The only thing I cn tell you is, like any movement, the leaders of each TP group is in communication with the other groups around the country and have formed a "Committee Who Decides These Things" committee.

As a charter member of the TP, I don't mind if he speaks for me, but I would like for him to qualify that he is speaking as a TP member and not TP leader.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Was he actually picked by this Tea Party secret committee? Or did the media just pick him?

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I just happen to have a bottle of Unicorn wine (right next to the jar of secret stuff that changes lead into gold), so I'm all set.

AndrewPrice said...

Ah yes, Paul Powder. It counter acts the effects of Fed Dust.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I cannot say for certain how Cain was selected, but I would imagine that the TP people who regularly appear in the Media (and actually do have a national committee), were asked if they wanted to put someone up for a rebuttal. Cain is a great choice because he's a great speaker AND he's Black.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I do think he's a great choice. He's also very well spoken and should provide a strong rebuttal. I just hope whoever the Republicans pick is good as well. But we'll see.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, I think another objection to my theory (which some talk-radio guy pointed out this morning) is that Romney's well-funded enough and motivated enough that he wouldn't dream of dropping out in favor of another candidate agreed to by the establishment: and the entry of a new candidate would almost certainly be part of a deal struck by that group. So it's unlikely at best. That said, I have seen a lot of buzz about pushing Mitch Daniels (who will be giving the GOP rebuttal tonight) into the race, so maybe if his wife will let him, things will change.

T-Rav said...

And of course, just as I say that, I find this. It may or may not be anything, as it comes from Andrea Mitchell, but....well.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Interesting. That's a very stupid thing for anyone on Team Romney to say because that's almost an invitation to the party to find someone else.

CrisD said...

Bev,
drinking game is awesome. Did they say "fair share"? Down the hatch!!

Anybody know who is going to mangle the moderation of Thursday nights debate?

tryanmax said...

Without a name, I remain skeptical. Of course, when it comes from Andrea Mitchel, I start out skeptical.

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, It's going to be CNN again. So probably John King or Wolf Blitzer.

And it appears there are only five more after this and they are spread out over three months.

Yah!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm skeptical for those reasons and because this sounds like a very stupid thing for anyone associated with the campaign to say. It's basically campaign-suicide.

This sounds to me like she asked someone, off the record, a couple of very hypothetical questions and then ran with the answer as if it was something they brought up without any context.

For example, she could have asked: "If you can't win Florida do you think the establishment would prefer someone else in the race?"

A: "Sure, maybe someone like Mitch Daniels or Jeb Bush and I'm sure there are people talking about that.... but we don't care."

And she then presented the first part of that as unsolicited.

That's my guess.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, given that it's Andrea Mitchell, it wouldn't surprise me. The Romney campaign has been fairly well-disciplined up to now and this would be a truly boneheaded statement to make. She's probably either wishcasting or resorting to "creative journalism."

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's the other thing. They have been very disciplined so far and this would be a very uncharacteristic crack. It also flies in the face of his ability to see this through to the end and his repeated statement that he would win this by hanging in as the others exhaust themselves.

There's also a problem with the fact that it's too late to start adding names in many of the primaries.

Not to mention, unless they found a truly top notch choice, I'm not sure being "the establishment's guy" is a great platform.

rlaWTX said...

Thanks, Bev, for that TP background. I wasn't sure how "connected" things were.


OK, Andrew, either my brain is already hibernating or Santorum's website is pretty straight-forward conservative. I know that individual answers can take the "party line" in another direction. So, I need some info on his more gov't based solutions. Can you help with this (kind of an update on the profile)? Sometime - no rush.

rlaWTX said...

And this is supposed to be a selling point????
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/01/23/white_house_ad_touts_actions_obama_has_taken_without_congress.html

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I'll see what I can do. Here's something I've already done on Santorum's record:

LINK.

But to give you a sense, here are some of his positions as they really are:

1. Supports internet censorship to protect Hollywood and MSM.

2. Opposes all attempts to prevent illegal aliens to get jobs. Supports amnesty (but won't say the word).

3. Tax policy involves picking favored industries and giving them tax breaks while taxing everyone else at around current tax rates. He supports a variety of tax hikes including taxes on internet purchases.

4. Supports subsidies for industry, farmers, Amtrak, etc.

5. Wants to ban contraception (not just abortion) because "it allows people to do things that aren't natural."

6. Has never opposed government spending.

7. Favors affirmative action.

These are just some of Rick's positions. And except for number 5, he's basically indistinguishable from Obama.

The reason his website looks conservative is that he's a liar, quite frankly. He lies about his record and misleads people about his current goals. The illegal immigration thing was the perfect example.

1. He's fought all attempts to stop illegal immigration and even now refuses to oppose amnesty or the ideas behind the Dream Act.

2. Yet, in the debates, he wrongly attacks Romney (and before that Perry) as not really opposed to illegal immigration even though Rick is actually the one who is pro-illegal immigration.

3. Then he gives this speech about how illegal immigration is wrong and criminal and thereby gives the impression that he opposes illegal immigration, but he never actually says that because it's not consistent with his long-standing beliefs.

Rick is utterly shameless. What he is doing is what Democrats do when they say "I oppose tax hikes." They know this is what people want to hear, so they say it, but it's just not true.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Here's you link: LINK. I'm not surprised. Obama's view of the middle class is skewed.

BevfromNYC said...

Did anyone notice that the campaign ad was on Whitehouse.gov? Isn't using the Office of the President of the United States as a campaign office a violation of campaign law? I thought he couldn't campaign within the Oval Office?

CrisD said...

Andrew @#5....did we really need to hear that!!!!!!!!
LOL

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Yes, that's illegal, but it would take an independent Justice Department to do anything about it and Holder is anything but independent.

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, Tell me about it! LOL!

rlaWTX said...

thanks, Andrew - I even read that one (and commented) but forgot about it... sorry for not truly appreciating your work!!!!!

I just keep seeing a friend's posts and was revisiting all of this mess...

You and Commentarama are awesome!

AndrewPrice said...

No problem rlaWTX, all artists are unappreciated in their time! Just kidding. No biggie. Sometimes I even forget what I've written about or haven't.

Good luck with your friend. I suspect they probably haven't looked very closely except at a couple issues.

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