Thursday, February 23, 2012

Debate Wrapup: Some Did Worse Than Others

Rick Santorum (right) didn’t fare so well last night. Commentarama opinion seemed pretty unanimous that Romney de-pantsed him. All of the CNN analysts agreed, though a couple tried to claim Newt actually won the debate. But will it change anything? Ann Coulter’s article yesterday suggests it might not. Here’s what you “missed.”

Romney: Romney gave a solid performance all around. There were no slip-ups. He was solid on economics and foreign policy. He threw some social conservative punches at Obama. He had a great answer to the question of education reform. And he used Rick Santorum like a punching bag. Rather than recapping his performance, however, let me summarize an article Ann Coulter wrote. Here is her truly insightful conclusion:
“Meanwhile, Romney cheerfully campaigns on, the biggest outsider and most conservative candidate we've run for president since Reagan, while being denounced by the Establishment as ‘too Establishment.’”
Here’s her reasoning. First, why Romney is a conservative:
1. He balanced the budget without raising taxes, something even Reagan never managed in California.

2. He became a “deeply pro-life” governor of a liberal state.

3. His approach to illegal immigration in Massachusetts is the same approach Arizona is using.

4. RomneyCare was the conservative alternative to HillaryCare.
She then points out that many of the people attacking Romney (Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Rick Santorum, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, etc.) not only enthusiastically endorsed Romney as the conservative in 2008, but they are part of the establishment against which they rail. She also points out that these same people refuse to examine the issues because Romney comes up more conservative than the candidates they are pimping. She seems to suggest that their behavior is the result of a desire to have the Republicans lose to Obama. She doesn’t directly say why, but others have suggested that a second Obama term would help each of these people in the ratings department or in intra-party fights.

Essentially, she is saying that for self-interest reasons or tantrum reasons, conservatives have closed their minds and have proven themselves “morons.” If she’s right, then nothing will change conservative minds. Here’s the full article (LINK). I recommend reading it.

Santorum: Rick got taken apart last night, largely by himself. Rick’s record is that of an unprincipled big government liberal. Yet, throughout this campaign, he has freely lied about his record and then attacked others for things he actually did himself. That behavior caught up to him last night as Romney and Paul took turns tearing him apart.
(1) Here’s Rick trying to explain away his votes to fund Planned Parenthood: Rick opposed the funding, even though he voted for it, and he only voted for it because it was in bigger funding bills which included other stuff he wanted. Hence, we should ignore his lack of principles because that’s how Washington works. But don’t worry. Even though he didn’t have the courage of his convictions to vote against these bills, he would veto them as President because he’s courageous when it comes to standing on principle.

(2) Here’s Rick explaining his stance on women in combat. Part One: It’s misleading to say he opposes women in combat because all these “noncombat” military jobs are just as dangerous as combat jobs. Ergo there really is no such thing as a “noncombat” job. And since Rick won’t force women back out of those jobs, it’s wrong to say he opposes women in combat. However, he won’t open “combat jobs” to women just ’cause. Part Two: Rick has made up his mind, but he would let the generals weigh in on the issue if they want to. Although, Rick won’t accept any “social engineering” because this decision needs to be based on what the military says.

(3) On Romney’s foreign policy positions: Romney is right, so vote for Rick because he’s the only one who knows what needs to be done.

(4) On voting for No Child Left Behind: Rick voted for NCLB even though he never supported it because he was told to do that by the Republican Establishment, the same Republican Establishment he “courageously” stood up to repeatedly. Why did he go against his principles? Because that’s what you do when the “team” tells you to do it. But vote for Rick because he won’t do things just because the team wants him to.

(5) On supporting Arlen Specter: Rick supported turncoat Specter over conservative favorite Pat Toomey because Rick got a promise from Specter that he would support every Bush judicial nominee if Rick supported him, and in fact Specter kept his promise (Rick then named judicial nominees from ten years prior to the endorsement, like Reagan appointee Robert Bork). Then he tried to talk over Romney as Romney asked, “are you saying you think Pat Toomey couldn’t be trusted to support George W. Bush’s judicial nominees?” Rick kept talking over Romney until CNN cut them off. CNN also stopped Romney from asking why Santorum endorsed Specter for President.

(6) On earmarks: Rick opposes earmarks, but did them himself because everybody else did them and that’s how government works. And it’s hypocritical for Ron Paul to attack Rick on this issue. In fact, earmarks are a great thing because they let you help people you want to help, but Ron Paul is evil for using earmarks.
Basically, it was a supernova of hypocrisy, circular logic, and contradictions all wrapped up in a nice, smug package. The bleeding only stopped in the second half of the debate when Rick just starting saying, “I agree with the others.”

There was one particularly galling moment when Rick tried to claim he worked to reform entitlements, “unlike Paul Ryan’s budget.” Not only is it false that Ryan’s budget didn’t reform entitlements, but don’t forget that Rick created a $550 billion medicare drug entitlement.

By the way, here’s an interesting quote which surfaced yesterday by Santorum about the Tea Party he now claims to represent: “I’ve got some real concerns about this movement within the Republican Party and the tea party movement to sort of refashion conservatism, and I will vocally and publicly oppose it.”

Newt: Good Newt showed up and he stank. He was dull and forgettable, and he’s making South Carolina look like a total fluke. A couple of the pro-Newt analysts (notably Eric Erickson) tried to declare him the winner, but no one’s going to buy that.

Oddly, this may ultimately work for him.

On the one hand, Newt should have torn into Santorum to show that he’s the only legitimate Anybody-But-Romney candidate. But on the other hand, Newt’s popularity in polls has crashed since South Carolina, i.e. ever since he went negative. So I think he was banking on Paul and Romney taking Santorum out, and then having Good Newt win people back. I guess we’ll see if that works. The problem is that Good Newt just isn’t very interesting. Also, his grand ideas are starting to sound very confused and jumbled.

Paul: Paul ripped Santorum apart with wit and facts. In particular, he kept on attacking Santorum about his Washington ways, and Santorum had no idea how to handle it. Beyond that, Paul had a foreign policy problem last night in that every single answer eventually went back to surrendering in the Middle East. Even his answer on illegal immigration came down to Pakistan.

What does this mean for the next round of primaries? You tell me.

109 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

good summation, Andrew. Interestingly, the only two minutes of the debate I saw was Paul's l.o.l. moment when he claimed it was o.k. to call Santorum a liar because he is a liar. I jave always been a fan of Ms. Coulter. She has a great way of cutting through to the heart of a matter.

T-Rav said...

I think I'll go play in traffic.

Joel Farnham said...

Ann has some good points, how-ever, as this primary season has gone on, I have gotten the feeling that as Romney goes more Conservative, the Rockefeller Republicans a.k.a. "The Establishment" get more nervous and call for ANYBODY except Romney. It wasn't always this way. Romney had the backing of Establishment Republicans. Now, he doesn't?

At first, I wanted a not-Romney because of his RomneyCare. Now, I do believe that Romney as moved closer towards Conservatism, I get more relaxed that he will be the nominee. Also, I am extremely happy that Romney called out the media last night on Stephanopoulos' earlier absurd debate questions. I am getting the distinct feeling that Romney has lost most of his fear of the "Demon Mainstream Media" and speaks out when possible.

How this works out, I don't know. I do know that some talk show hosts will have to get new tea leaves.

tryanmax said...

Coulter's summary is excellent. I've gotten more confrontational with fellow Republican about their support for "anyone but Romney," trying to get to the bottom of it, and I feel that she is absolutely right. Much as Rush, Levin, et al like to assert that their listeners think for themselves, the response I keep getting is that "so-and-so doesn't like Mitt, so I don't either."

And for anyone curious, Ingraham did not disappoint this morning. Her initial declaration was that nobody won on account of the debate questions being irrelevant. She has since spent the entire morning explaining what Ricky really meant and cheering on callers who declare that no number of facts will ever sway their opinions.

Yay, conservatism! *waves a cartoonishly small pennant flag*

DUQ said...

I love the picture! How appropriate! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That was probably the funniest moment in the debate. Paul really scored there.

The whole first half of the debate when that way. It wasn't until the second half that things calmed down for Rick when they got away from his record entirely because it was mainly about foreign policy.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, LOL! That's how I've been feeling! :(

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I think the talk show hosts are wrong when they say Romney is the Establishment candidate. He may have briefly become that, but he certainly wasn't it.

The first one was Daniels. Then he bowed out. Then it was Christie. Then he bowed out. Then it became a Romney/Perry split. When Perry failed, they finally settled on Romney.

That's the point the talk radio guys (who need controversy) decided to back Newt -- who is pure establishment through and through. And that's when they decided that Romney "has always been the establishment candidate." From there the meme has taken off because it hides the fact they've backed an establishment guy.

Like Coulter, I suspect that there is another motive here. These guys (like Rush) are totally "the establishment" at this point. They go to the cocktail parties, they get the special invites, and they have a big voice in who gets picked (they like to forget they created Bush W, for example, who they now claim was foisted on us by RINOs).

But it doesn't sell to the public to be "establishment". So it's better for them to rail against the establishment. So they pick their buddies to support and then they blast the other guy as "the establishment candidate."

On Romney himself, if you forget his past, he's easily the most genuinely conservative candidate we've ever run. And even if you consider his past, it's only 1-2 issues where he was wrong and he was only doing what other conservatives were saying was conservatism.

Compare that with somebody like Rick, who is now openly a socialist and in the past he was a big government insider.

How in the world can someone like Rush think Rick is preferable to Romney unless he's basing his decision on some factor he's not telling you about and the rest is just marketing gloss?

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. As for how this will work out, never forget, these guys re-write their own histories all the time.

If Santorum wins and goes down in flames in the election, it will be because the Establishment betrayed him, and they fought against the establishment.

If Santorum somehow wins and destroys the Republican Party and the country as president, it will be because he was always an Establishment RINO and they always opposed him.

If Romney wins and fails, it will be proof that the Establishment needs to be destroyed.

If Romney wins and becomes great, it will be because he's a genuine conservative who they backed long before anyone else.

That's how these guy work. I've seen it over and over. They refuse to be accountable for their own mistakes, and they manage to find ways to create soundbites being on all sides of every issue.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I like it too... so many layers. The liar... the Democratic donkey ears... the guy in over his head... the done in by sin... and the getting utterly destroyed. :)

T-Rav said...

Don't mind me Andrew, I'm just having off-and-on suicidal thoughts. Again. Maybe it was all the bullying.

T-Rav said...

Incidentally, I've never been Ann Coulter's #1 fan. She writes brilliantly, I agree, and most of her books have been great at tearing down the leftist version of history; in person, though, she has a tendency to come off as abrasive and hostile. I will say that she seems to be doing a much better job of it in recent years, becoming more engaging with her audience and so on.

But personality aside, Coulter's proven her conservative credentials over and over again, and if we're going to call her a RINO, we're going to have to either call 80 percent of the GOP RINOs or re-think our definition of that term.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That was actually the response I expected. There is no consistency, no integrity with the radio talkers at the moment (if there ever is). They have made themselves willfully blind to support Rick (for a variety of reasons) and no amount of failure will change that.

They will only change their minds if the public changes their minds. Then they'll run to the front of the new bandwagon and declare that they created the bandwagon. Trust me, I've seen this over and over again with the talk radio guys. They are all front-runners because the magic formula for ratings is: always be right + always be outraged + always declare yourself the outsider fighting against "the man".

Santorums supporters fall into two categories mainly: true believers and sheep.

As for Santorum's actual supporters (i.e. the true believers), I think they won't tell you what they are really thinking because their support for him is based on an Obama tingle. It is a religious feeling and they want a "strong Christian" and they honestly don't care about the rest. So they can't defend the view in any rational way. So instead, they use all these proxy arguments to avoid speaking the truth. Sadly, none of that will change.

The question is, will the sheep wake up or will they just follow what the talk radio guys tell them? That's what I'm not sure about. The problem is that the talkers have so irrationally poisoned Romney that the sheep may never support him unless it becomes Romney v. Obama. And they aren't really thinking for themselves or they would abandon Ricky in a hearbeat.

tryanmax said...

Never a dull moment on the radio: Ingraham's final point of the day is that Romney set out to make Santorum look like an insider, so it doesn't count.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, From everything I've seen in recent weeks, she's easily become his strongest advocate. I just hope people will listen.

People need to look at the records. If after that they decide to support any of the four, then I'm fine with it. But right now the one thing all the ABR supporters are ignoring is the records. It is simply not possible to describe Ricky as a conservative, not by any real definition of the term. And it is doing a major disservice to the cause to describe him that way.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Suicide is never the answer... homicide is the answer. :)

Joel Farnham said...

The real problem I have with Ann Coulter is her backing of Christie. That alone is troublesome.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I can't really say I expected different, or that I even hoped for different. One brilliant thing about this primary season is that it has really sorted the sheep from the goats in my mind.

This is hard for a radio-junkie like me, but I've had to stop listening to about 2/3 of my regular shows to keep my blood pressure down. Ingraham no longer angers me because she's become a curiosity. I think I'm in a state of conscious denial over Rush. Beck talks about international stuff and history, so I tolerate him. That's my entire roster anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I've had the same problem with Ann Coulter -- she's very abrasive. I know it sells books, but it's a marketing gimmick which doesn't help the conservative cause. I also think she makes many of the same mistakes the others do, i.e. jumping on bandwagons for the wrong reasons.

BUT there is no doubt she's an actual conservative, as are so many of the other people who've endorsed Romney and who've refused to endorse Newt or Santorum (1 Congressman... that's it). The problem is the talk radio guys, who are themselves solidly part of the establishment, are feeding a line of bull about what the establishment is.

They are pretending the establishment is the same thing as it was in 1980 and it's not. It's much more conservative at this point. In fact, they are basically it. Yet, they rail against it for ratings purposes. And they've developed this conspiratorial/paranoid formula that anyone who endorses Romney is the establishment and thus must be a RINO. Forget that a whole host of conservative heroes are supporting him.

Then their followers run around declaring all these people RINOs.

It's very disturbing.

tryanmax said...

Uh-oh, Rush opens by pointing out that Ron Paul never criticizes Romney. That’s some nasty innuendo.

T-Rav said...

Well, this helps with my suicidal tendencies a bit. Maybe things aren't so bad. Poll

Romney leads Obama 50-46 according to Gallup, while Santorum trails by only one point. If these are the numbers now, I can't wait to see what they're like when unemployment jumps back up to 9 percent and gas hits $4.50 a gallon.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, These are all deceptive tricks which I've seen used in a whole lot of courtrooms. That's a classic: sure they proved his guilt, but that's what they were trying to do, so don't believe it.

It's intensely dishonest and shows a lack of substance and frankly a lack of integrity. And I have to say, I've heard crap like that from Ingraham all year (2011).

Rush is using something similar to defend Rick from his own recent series of gaffes. Basically, he is attacking people for attacking the gaffe on the basis that they would be the kind of people who would point out the gaffe, hence we should ignore it because the wrong people mentioned it.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I agree completely, and that was the incident I had in my mind when I mention in a comment above that she makes the same mistakes the other do about jumping on bandwagons. She fell for Christie because of a single video clip and never looked back.

That said, this article presents a much stronger argument because she actually states an affirmative case rather than just swooning. In other words, she is actually basing this argument on his record.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I haven't wanted to listen to talk radio for years, but I keep being exposed to it against my will and it's shocking to me how bad it's become. 10-15 years ago, Rush was brilliant. He wasn't biased. He didn't take shortcuts. He was brilliant at seeing the truth and pointing it out in a way which made sense.

Then I started hearing others like Hannity, who decides who is a "reel 'merkan" or not. And it was obvious that he was full of crap and his analysis was nothing but self-promotion. There were some other decent ones at the time, but too many who weren't.

Fast forward to the present.

These days, they are all mostly full of crap. They leave out facts which hurt their arguments, distort others to help their case. They spin and skew. They give knee jerk attacks and conspiratorial-type appeals... "sure, we know Obama went to a Christian Church his whole life, but we know he's secretly a Muslim who wants to ban Christianity and the Supreme Court's on-board with helping him! Support me because ONLY I KNOW THE TRUTH!!!" (And they call Ron Paul crazy!)

Now we're seeing the end result: anger and stupidity running rampant as they busily promote themselves over the ideology they claim to love (but which they can't even recognize). False arguments, strawmen, lies, omissions, spin... that's modern talk radio. With each one trying to top the others to be the only "genuine conservative" on air.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, On Rush.

1. That's completely not true. Paul has attacked Romney a lot. In fact, he's attacked them all.

2. That's a smear because it implies some sort of dirty motive. And anyone who implies that Paul is part of the Establishment is lying.

3. That's an evasion... "don't blame Ricky for failing, everybody ganged up on him and that's not fair (unless they gang up on Romney because he's the frontrunner).

ScottDS said...

I didn't catch the debate... I was busy washing my hair. :-D

I have no love for Ms. Coulter but I'm heartened to see her label some of her fellow pundits as members of the "conservative establishment." As an Independent, I would always think, "If there's a liberal establishment, doesn't it stand to reason there's a counterpart on the right?"

Having said that, what's an Indie swing-voter to do? Not that it will have an impact at all, but I'm seriously considering voting Libertarian.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You can't trust any of these polls. It's too early for people to commit. That means

1. Democrats will play up the Republican they want to face (Ricky... see Michigan where they plan to vote for him).

2. Rick's people will downplay Romney's support.

3. Romney's people will downplay Ricks' support.

4. Too many people haven't paid enough attention, so this only measure the intensity of the current supporters.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, LOL! I hope your hair is nice and clean! :)

The "establishment" is kind of a nebulous thing. What it really means is the people with the most influence over the process.

And talk radio guys became popular railing against the establishment, just as hippies railed against "the man."

However, just like those hippies who now hold the power in universities, the same people who railed against the Republican Establishment now are the Establishment. Only, to keep the listeners interested, they need to pretend they aren't. So they pretend the same Rockefeller Republican establishment from the 1970s-1980s still exists, and they decide that whoever they support is the outsider.

It's all public relations.

I too am glad Coulter is calling them on this, because they are doing a lot of damage to the brand all in the name of pushing a fake reality to support their own marketing efforts.


As for who to vote for, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the candidates, though don't feel any pressure if you don't want to do that. :)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Nice rundown! Thanks Andrew!

Not to be overly critical but "4. RomneyCare was the conservative alternative to HillaryCare." isn't true.

I know you didn't sy that, Andrew,. but Coulter is wrong.

Romneycare is less socialistic that Obamascare, but it still has the individual mandate which is unConstutional.

I'm a big supporter of the feds staying out of state business, but not when a state flaunts our Constitution which Romneycare does.

I think this is a losing argument for Romney (that his version of loonyversal healthcare is conservative or more conservative than Obamas).

I really wish he would simply repudiate the individual mandate part at least.
It would do much to garner good will among the conservative base.

That alone would help his campaign tremendously, I think, so this is more constructive criticism rather than just criticism.

That said, he's the most conservative candidate running, so I really do hope he wins.

Oh, and Santorum is an ass.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, why do you have to ruin my attempts to see the silver lining? Why?

Seriously, though, I am hopeful that as we get closer to November, the numbers for the Republican candidate will continue to improve, whoever he might be.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Like most of America, I haven't been paying as much as attention as you guys have. :-) Having said that, while you guys are convinced he won't be the nominee, I simply can't vote for Santorum. I can't.

Yes, I'm a little more liberal on some of the big social issues - the two big ones anyway - but I can't support someone who name drops Satan! You don't like gay marriage? Fine. But don't pretend they're second-class citizens who will bring about the end of Western Civilization.

(I'm done now.) :-)

tryanmax said...

Ben, with due respect, Coulter is correct in regards to the origins of RomneyCare. The concept, individual mandate included, was thought up at the Heritage Foundation who presented it as a "conservative" alternative to HillaryCare that seemed to be on the doorstep. As I've said before, under normal circumstances, Republicans would be going gaga over a candidate who takes cues from Heritage.

As to whether RomneyCare is the basis of ObamaCare, as I said last night, calling a chicken the basis for a 747 doesn't make it true.

Joel Farnham said...

tryanmax,

Where did you find that out about Heritage being the start of RomneyCare?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Tryanmax:

While I agree that the Heritage Foundation is a conservative organization I disagree that this plan, while better than Obamas is conservative.

Some parts may be conservative, but the individual mandate sure ain't.
I respect Heritage but they are wrong here.
And that's a big stumbling block for Romney IMO. It's anti-liberty and socialism-lite.

Most folks around here that I know are libertarians and conservatives and their main complaint about Romney is this issue. They want reassurances he isn't gonna simply replace Obamacare with his own version.

Fortunately, none of the folks I know support Santorum and I think they'll still vote for Romney, albeit reticently.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Thanks!

You're right -- that's not conservative. But I think the point Coulter was making was that RomneyCare was what the conservatives were touting at the time as the conservative alternative to the Democrats. And that is true.

Basically, the Democrats wanted a single payer and the conservative response was to force everyone to buy insurance and "let the private sector" manage healthcare.

I DON'T agree with that on principle at all, but it was what "the conservative establishment" was pushing. And so it's unfair to attack him for being a liberal on that issue when he was only doing what all the other conservatives were saying should be done at the time.

I wish he would have repudiated it as well, but at this point I think it would cause him more harm to go back on the issue because it would only confirm the meme that he's an unprincipled flip-flopper.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I honestly believe that unless the candidate is Santorum the Republican will win. Obama is just that bad.

And yeah, I do think Paul or Newt would win... though Paul would be a close one.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Name-dropping Satan! LOL! Nice! :)

You're not alone. In fact, I have spoken with several confirmed conservatives who have said they won't support Santorum. And these aren't people who are fanatically attached to the other candidates. They simply see him as toxic for conservatism and would rather face 4 more years of Obama than 4 years of Santorum followed by 40 years of Pelosi.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I frankly don't understand the "basis argument" in any event. You need to look at each on their own merits. To argue that something is bad because someone else took the concept and did something you despise with it is insane. Rock and roll is the basis for rap. That doesn't mean rock and roll is bad just because you dislike rap.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I don't have a link handy, but that's been widely discussed when they went after Newt for supporting the individual mandate. He blamed it on the Heritage Foundation and that seems to have been true -- they proposed it in response to HillaryCar. And the complaint with RomneyCare is the same individual mandate, which is what the complaints about ObamaCare have wrongly been distilled down to.

The individual mandate was an attempt to solve the free-rider problem. From an economic perspective, it makes sense. But from a freedom/rights perspective, it's an obscenity.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, See my comment above. I think there is no doubt that this is not a "conservative idea." But it was an idea that was pushed by establishment conservatism. Thus, Romney was doing what conservatives thought at the time.

That doesn't make it right, but it explains it. And it shows that it's wrong to say he did something wildly liberal as if he came up with this idea himself in the face of conservative opposition as Santorum and Newt both try to pretend (both of whom supported the individual mandate, by the way).

It would be nice if Romney had rejected this, but I think that would cause him too many problems now, so he just needs to ride it.

In terms of imposing RomneyCare: First, he seems to have learned his lesson. Secondly, we are overstating the power of the president in these debates. Congress is the key player here and this Congress won't allow Romney or anyone else to create ObamaCare-lite.

tryanmax said...

Joel, I'm relying foremost on my own recollection of the time. But realizing that I was still an idiot schoolkid, I've confirmed it with Heritage's own website:

LINK
LINK
LINK
LINK

Andrew, that's exactly the point I was trying to make, that RomneyCare was concocted by a conservative organization, not that the plan itself was conservative. I think it is also worth remembering that the state of Massachusetts was going to get a state healthcare plan. Romney was not faced with a choice between something or nothing. It was a choice between something or another. Romney pushed the plan as far to the right as it would go. I'll leave it to the reader to decide which is more honorable: Mitt's decision to stand by his record or Heritage's attempts to bury theirs.

rlaWTX said...

I read through the debate thread and was very glad I had class last night.

Thanks for the sum-up. But, Andrew, you do realize that someone could possibly infer that you don't much care for Santorum from your comments. lol

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's the other point that gets lost in a contest like this where everyone is pounding their chest to prove they are the most pure. What was the goal? Should Romney have taken a stand and died on every issue or should he have done what he could to shift the state to the right as far as he could and hopefully wake them up?

I guess that's a question for people to sort out themselves. Personally, I think the real test isn't did he ever pass anything liberal, it's what did he do when he had the sole power to act? That's where Christie bothers me, particularly in his appointments. His appointments are ALL liberals, some of them very far progressives. There was no reason for him to do that even if he was in a liberal state.

I don't see the same from Romney.

tryanmax said...

Well, I know that so-cons prefer to die on issues rather than gain any actual ground. So...

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, It shows, huh? ;)

It was an interesting debate and I'm glad we covered it, but these things really need to stop.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, it's accurate to say that calling a chicken the basis for a 747 doesn't make it true....however, when the architects of the 747 start saying that, the natural reaction is to sit up and take notice.

As an aside, let me point out that this is another of Romney's many problems--conservatives are going to spend the next eight and a half months defending policies which they never would have dreamed of defending a year ago. RomneyCare should be seen as patently awful however you look at it and a near-fatal strike against Mitt's qualifications to be on the GOP ticket. And yet, here we are.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, It is very easy for some people to think like that (and I don't just mean hardcore socons, but a great many people).

Part of it is that people who think like that tend to have no concept of human nature and don't understand that the world won't suddenly wise up and see things their way.

Part of it is also that they are only looking at a single decision in isolation in the most black and white terms because that's an easy way to see the world. So they never think about what the consequences. Indeed, that's the same impulse which afflicts liberalism and which causes them to reach for the most obvious, easy solution to whatever current problem they are facing without ever thinking about the follow-on effects. It's all binary: yes/no.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Using that argument, the others are worse. Santorum and Newt have both supported class warfare attacks, new entitlements, big spending, global warming, open borders, gun control, Amtrak subsidies, etc. Comparing that to the single issue of RomenyCare, I'll take RomneyCare and because the more Obama talks about RomneyCare being like ObamaCare, the more he keeps ObamaCare in the news... and that spells doom for him.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, that's a perfectly legitimate approach to take, and maybe that makes Obama easier to defeat. (It also may not.) But let's not pretend that it's in any way conservative, something Mitt has repeatedly tried to do.

Incidentally, regarding these conservatives who say they won't vote for Santorum if he becomes the nominee, why is it that if the guy I don't want wins the nomination, I need to (and will) bite the bullet and do everything I can to make sure he gets elected, but if the guy they don't want wins, they get to take their bat and ball and go home?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, It's not conservative. I agree. And we should NOT try to defend it as conservative. To the contrary, we need to repeatedly point out when the Democrats attack that it's a liberal idea and we don't agree with it and we expect Romney won't try to use it as a model for anything.

I do wish he had repudiated it, but he didn't. So he's got to live with that now. But if you're going to suggest it's disqualifying, then I have to ask why this would disqualify him but Newt and Santorum mirroring Obama's record on a large variety of issues somehow isn't?


On the conservatives, that's not the point. These are people who are saying "my guy or no one." These are people who have moved around from candidate to candidate and currently support different people. And none of them has a strong preference right now. Nor are these fair-weather Republicans. These are people who have held their noses and voted for every single Republican in the past no matter how much they disliked them.

The reason they oppose Santorum is they see him as toxic to the ideology. They fear he will destroy conservatism for generations to come. They have made the decision (and explained it to me in discussions) that they think it would be worse for the country and conservatism to support him than to have Obama in for a second term and then try again in 2016. They are making the statement that Santorum is too far outside what they will accept.

And note for the record, they do support so-cons like Paul Ryan and several of them were Bachmann fans. They just see Rick as too hateful and too liberal on all other issues.

And I'm sorry, but you're going to find a lot of that if Santorum gets the nod.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, the people who are saying that are flat wrong.

First of all, none of us know the future. We don't know what a Santorum presidency would look like, or how popular it would be with voters. It could be that he would badly overreach on social issues and bring about the disaster in 2016 you indicate. It could also be that the economy will turn around, he'll get the credit for it, and provide a prolonged conservative government in Washington. Who knows?

Secondly, I don't buy that Santorum is "way out on the left" or something. I think he's a big-government culture-warrior conservative in the stamp of George W. Bush. And no, that's not anything to write home about. But consider the argument here. Consider everything that Obama has done to the country while in office. We cannot have him in the White House for another four years. We just cannot. There are going to be Supreme Court justices dying or retiring (as likely to be Thomas as Ginsburg) and needing replacement; ObamaCare is going to be locked in if it is not repealed before 2014; and if we retain the House despite an Obama victory, there will be continued deadlock, meaning more and more power grabs via regulatory agencies. As weak as Santorum will be on so many things, we can at least count on him to be sound on those issues, just as we can count on Romney and Newt to be sound on those issues. Or if we can't, I need to know why we can't.

Santorum is not a great candidate. I have always been open about that, and I have always been open in saying that he is not the candidate we need, especially not this year. But if he should win the nomination, he will be our candidate, for better or worse. If these conservatives can't understand that, and deal with it, then....well.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You make good points about the court (though Santorum is on the far left), but it changes nothing.

Rick is toxic to a vast number of people. And they simply will not support him no matter what Obama does because they see the damage he will do as much worse. They worry that he will make it impossible for conservatism to ever win again, and then Obamacare is only the beginning.

And these are not free-loving libertarians. These are people who also oppose abortion and gay marriage. And they see Rick as a hateful troll and are unwilling to let him represent them.

I'm sorry, but that's the reality.

But in the end, it doesn't matter anyway because Rick is incapable of winning even if all conservatives rallied around him because he will win 0.0% of the independent vote.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Let me put it this way.

1. So-con wants someone who agrees with them and will fight for their issues.

That's doable.

2. Santorum supporters ALSO want someone who makes that the primary (if not the sole) issue. They want someone who speaks like an angry preacher, who expresses hate for gays, who hints that women shouldn't be in the workforce, and who attacks people because their version of Christianity doesn't like up to Rick's requirements... all while "cleverly" denying that's what he doing.

That's unacceptable.


That's the problem with Rick -- number 2. Not number 1. Stick with number 1 and everyone can get along except the extreme libertarians. Try for number 2 and people will fight back.

Add in that Rick never met a liberal idea he didn't support outside of the so-con issues and you've crossed over into a line where it is very legitimate for people to ask whether they can accept him as someone to carry their banner.

And I assure you, you would have the same reaction if the candidate was Ron Paul Jr., an Islamist, who was proposing to legalize drugs, end all restrictions on abortions, bring about gay marriage, and cut the military budget in half tomorrow.

There are some lines candidates cross at their own peril, where it becomes untennable to support the person. Santorum crosses those regularly.

Joel Farnham said...

I think I know why the Talk Shows are rallying around Santorum. It is to keep this in the news so that possibly a brokered convention will be in the offing. John Ziegler had a piece at American Thinker that speculated on that. He turned it into a small screed on Palin, but his theory is sound. Keeping this in the news keeps the radio guys relevant.

AndrewPrice said...

That's very possible indeed. I really do believe that much of what they do is about ratings and has little to do with actually promoting ideology.

In any event, I think their primary goal is to run to the front of whatever bandwagon conservatives are jumping on at the moment. Because it's important for them to be seen "leading" the conservative movement rather than playing catchup.

And talking about a brokered convention is a great way to hedge their bets. Because that way they can "be in two places at the same time" by supporting a candidate and yet saying they prefer the magic candidate to be named later.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, if that's the way they want it, I guess that's the way it's going to be.

tryanmax said...

Magic Syrians, Magic Candidates. How can I enroll at Hogwarts?

As to Mitt repudiating RomneyCare, he's kind of in a tough spot on that. Yes, right now all the pundits and such make it sound so simple, "Just admit it was a bad idea and it will all go away." But I can practically guarantee you that the moment he does that, suddenly all the pundits become experts on Mass. politics and turn it into, "So you're saying it would have been better to let the Dems pass the HillaryCare!?"

And can you imagine the firestorm that would come down if he tried to call out on the Heritage Foundation? He'd be better off burning a Bible. Saying that it works for Mass. but is bad for the nation and unconstitutional to boot is about all he can say.

Joel, as an avowed but slowly reforming talk-radio junkie, I'm afraid your theory is correct. There was a time when I thought better of Rush, but that was two whole weeks ago. Now I don't think any of them are in it for anything but self-aggrandizement. (aggrandizement, that's a great word)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The magic candidate, like the magic Syrian, is a great tactic because you get to shadowbox with the ideal. It's the same thing like fighting against "they" or "the establishment" -- you get to define who your opponent is and no one will actually defend them because there is no such person.

In this case, you can say, "I support X because he's the best choice, BUT I would support an ideal candidate if they would only give us one." Note that this has given the speaker a total out. If X is a winner, then they were right all along. And if X squanders that, then you point out that you had misgivings about X. And if X is a loser, then you point out that you were prepared to jump ship the moment the better candidate came along.

And it explains why you don't have to jump ship now to a better alternative, because because you're holding out for the ideal... a person you never really need to name. In fact, they will all say things like "someone LIKE Ryan" rather than "Ryan." Why? Because this is all about not getting pinned to any particular candidate. It's about selling the illusion of a plan.

tryanmax said...

I will give Rush one thing, though it isn't much. At least once a week he explains to a caller "why" he can't pin himself to a candidate. In essence, he's confessing his ideological mushiness. But cult-of-personality is a strange thing, and he can make these confessions without losing credibility with his audience. To be sure, it almost seems to increase it with them.

...they will gather to themselves teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear...

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Actually, it's funny you should say that because my dad was complaining a little bit ago about Rush. Apparently a woman called him today and accused him of having made up his mind for Santorum. Rush denied it, but it seems pretty obvious to everyone that he has made up his mind.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew:

I was pondering whether to ask you what a 'merkin is and just as I was about to do so it finally hit me (I don't have a 4G mind, mind you).

LOLOL! I too have lost any sort of desire to watch or listen to Hannity who presents more of a neoconservative populism than conservatism (same could be said of all of talk radio, actually).

Not that they're always wrong, per se, but the best they offer is usually shallow conservatism at best.

The worst we have been seeing, generally speaking, for awhile now.
As you said, spin, circular arguments, etc.. Certainly not at the same level and occurance as the MSM but it has become a huge problem nevertheless.

Tryanmax and Andrew:

Thanks for clarifying and I concur.

T-Rav: hang in there pal. It could be worse (even when it's worse then it could be worst).

Or something comforting sounding. :^)

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, "even when it's worse then it could be worst"... now that is optimism defined! :)


I think you're right that it's shallow neoconservative populism. It's basically pro-establishmentism masquerading as outsiderism and it's ideologically vacant.

At one point, Rush was very good at outlining conservatism. But for the past few years, he's become little more than anti-liberal. The days of him pushing thoughtful ideas are long gone, and most of the rest never tried.

Yeah, Hannity has always bothered me because he groups the world into "Great Americans" and "others." That is in and of itself insulting as it means any disagreement means you're unAmerican. But even worse, there's no consistency to it. All you need to do is get on his good side and suddenly the angriest leftist can become a "Great American." Hence, he defines "Great American" as someone he likes and everyone else is unAmerican. Well who made him America's judge?

I also find it amazing that he uses a song about spouse-abuse as his intro song because it talks about freedom. Does the NRA use "Jamie's Got a Gun"? WTF?!!!

rlaWTX said...

Now there is a campaign slogan: "It could be worse (even when it's worse then it could be worst)".

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, That's the Obama Administration motto!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew:

LOL! I'm partial to Saturday Night Special myself, but even Aerosmith can't compare to Skynyrd, talent wise, IMHO.

rlaWTX:

I never thought of it in that way, ha ha!
It would be less annoying than Dope N' Change or We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For (which makes no sense on any level. Was it DMV, big government bloated bureaucrat type of waiting, ER waiting or just waiting in general? And why did they wait for themselves?).

Reminds me of a funny tv moment where someone on a show I watched said something to the effect of "It's like hell in here."

The other character, having dealt with hunting evil creatures for several years said "No, hell is like hell."

I always try to remember that when I get too cynical, jaded and well on my way to Mister Pessimistville.

BTW, funny homicide joke, Andrew!
30% funnier because of your profession. :^)

Koshcat said...

Two comments:

First, Romneycare is not my biggest concern about Romney. A plan was going to come out of the legistlature. He was able to drag it a little to the right. My concern is his position on climate change and energy. As governer, he nominated Gina McCarthy to the Environmental Affairs office. She is the person who is currently trying to destroy the energy industry through her position at the EPA. She worked in the Clinton administration but was let go because she was too radical. John Holdren was also an advisor to him when he was governer. These people are insane! He hasn't been playing it up much, but where does he really stand here? Will he get rid of them as president?

Koshcat said...

The other issue is this "banning contraception" issue. They brought it up a little early, but is a tactic used before during the Ken Buck senate race here in Colorado in 2010. At the last minute, Bennett ran a bunch of ads accusing Ken Buck of wanting to ban "some forms of birth control." Buck was confused because he never said anything like this and was not part of his platform. I believe he was against making the morning after pill OTC, etc. By the time he responded, it was too late. Women fled from him, which irritates me. Just how ignorant and shallow are some women that they don't even bother to check the facts? We should be prepared to see this tactic again.

Grumpy Gus said...

I'm not a pessimist! Why do people keep calling me that?

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ben! And thanks for the 30% bonus! :)

I'd go with something from Tom Petty myself! Maybe "Last Dance With Mary Jane"... that doesn't have any hidden meanings, right?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Mary Jane...Mary Jane...that name sounds so familiar for some reason.

Of course! Peter Parker's girlfriend/wife/girlfriend/ex-wife/girlfriend...sorry, I can't keep up.

And why are they rebooting Spiderman again anyway? Just tell a decent story for a change. Sheesh!

Where was I?

AndrewPrice said...

Koshkat, Good point on Romney and a valid concern. It's one of the things people should be asking if we were being more rational in vetting our candidates.

On the birth control thing, the problem is that Santorum embraces that rhetoric. Buck absolutely didn't. He never said anything about it. But with Rick, you have a long history of repeated statements implying that he wants to eliminate birth control, keep women from working and get gays back out of society.

He now denies that he would actually implement those views, but then why does he even mention them in the first place? And why does he make these promises to church groups and then disclaim them on the Sunday Morning talk shows?

People have the same reaction to that which they have to Obama saying to Democratic audience, "I'm gonna get them conservatives" and then going on television says "I didn't mean it, trust me."

The problem with what Santorum is doing is that he's reviving a caricature of the Republican Party as a throwback obsessed with a 1950s that never was. It took decades to get rid of that image and he's bringing it back. That is political death for us in the short and long term.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I have no idea? I guess nobody does it better than Spidey?

Maybe they think we already forgot about the last couple?

AndrewPrice said...

Anyway, I'll be back in a couple hours -- going to dinner.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Oh yeah, now I remember.

I can't imagine Petty singing anything with hidden meanings. Or perhaps they are too well hidden for my hidden meaning detector to detect?

I knew I should've used Duracell!

Old Coot said...

If you dance with mary jane you'll wake up with the devil's weed.

tryanmax said...

Koshcat, thanks for bringing up McCarthy and Holdren. I'll have to do more homework to find out what led to those associations. As with most things, there's bound to be more than meets the eye.

Just how ignorant and shallow are some women that they don't even bother to check the facts?

I don't have an answer, except to provide early 20th c. Constitutional history in a nutshell:

1919 - Prohibition of alcohol is amended to the Constitution
1920 - Okay, now that we've all quit drinking, can we all agree that women should have the right to vote? Good.
1933 - Dear God, what have we done? I need a drink!

Or something like that. ;)

Koshcat said...

LOL!!!

Although it probably went something like this:

1919 - women push for prohibition
1920 - women threaten to keep prohibition unless get right to vote
1933 - drinking sorrows

Bev, please kill us softly.

Koshcat said...

should be drowning sorrows

T-Rav said...

Thanks Ben. I feel much better now. Or maybe dead inside, I'm not sure which. :-)

tryanmax said...

Koshcat, LOL! Although that may be more historically accurate than you mean it to be. I know that the temperance and suffrage movements were very closely related.

Either way, we went from Coolidge to FDR in those years, and you'd have a hard case to make saying sobriety was the cause.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Yep, Petty never would have done anything like that.

How funny would it be to use all these songs with obvious hidden meanings if you ran for office. Then you deny having any knowledge of the meaning of the songs! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Dangerous ground tryanmax, dangerous ground! LOL!

Individualist said...

Andrew

I don't dislike Romney.. Heck I have now voted for him twice in two Presidential primaries. The problem I have is I want an untarnished champion of conservatism that I know I can trust. I was stuck wioth Romney in 2008 and now again in 2012.

Romney is a great businessman and he is competent so there is that. The others I just had issues with and honestly I find it hard to beleive these issues arise. I really thought Gingritch would be more steady and good for the race.

The one thing that I have a problem with is Romneycare. I know the argument is that it was the conservative alternative to Hillary care at the time but this does not sway me.

I think the conservative alternative should actually be something conservative and Romney care as not. Yes it is less liberal than Hillary Clinton but then what isn't less liberal than Hillary... Obama I guess...

I guess I understand the ABR camp becuase for a while I was in it before coming to the conclusion that I wanted Romney before the Anyones on the list. I don't have faith in the people willing to compromist even if that is the art of politics. This is because the compromise never includes eleiminating regualtion and spending and we are to my mind at the cusp of losing the ability to regain a free society if we go much further.

I just don't know in the end but I want Ryan or West or Jindal or Brewer or Rubio. People that I have seen be unconmpromising on conservative principles even when they have had to compromise on legislation. People that have stood up to the MSM onslaught.

I guess my problem is that Romneyu is too diplomatic. Maybe that is why I am wrong on this issuse. In the end I am not sure.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, To quote Bobby McFerrin, who actually did not kill himself contrary to urban legend... "don't worry, be happy."

:)

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I understand your issue because I really do share it. Romney is not my first choice, I'm very suspicious that he will be a conservative and I don't think RomneyCare is conservative no matter who else was pimping it at the time.

But the guys I really want to run never jumped in the race because the universe hates me. In fact, if they did, I would just to them in a minute. Heck, we would rename the place Rubio-arama.

But since we can't have that, we need to look at what's left. And the problem I have with the ABR camp is that they are using two different standards:

1. v. Romney, they ignore and dismiss his conservatism and they play up his prior liberalism.

2. v. the other guys, they ignore current liberalism, ignore their own words promising more liberalism, and then pretend these guys are conservative.

That's not how you pick the best leader, that's not how you find the most conservative guy, that's how you con yourself into thinking you've "fooled the establishment."


All that said, you are right about being sick of guys who compromise because that has always moved the ball left. But right now, the guys moving the ball are in the Congress and they will move it right. A president who sits by quietly and lets the Congress lead is exactly what we need, not a President who has his own liberal agenda and will fight the Congress. We've already got that.

tryanmax said...

Here is an article that should be of interest to those engaged in the conversation.

The only thing I would point out, and it is not central to the article's message, is that the author does not discuss the differing political climates in Massachusetts state vs. the U.S. as a whole.

tryanmax said...

Another point of interest, from a 2005 Boston Globe article, a summary of Romney's vision for an individual mandate prior to passage:

Romney's plan would require all residents in Massachusetts to have some form of health insurance or agree to pay their medical bills out of their own pockets.

...

If they refuse, the state could recoup the medical costs in several ways, Romney said yesterday: The state might cancel the personal tax exemption on their state income taxes, which is worth about $175. It could withhold some or all of their state income tax refund and deposit it in what Romney called a "personal healthcare spending account." Or, it might take money out of the person's paycheck, as it does now to collect child support.

AndrewPrice said...

Wow, interesting article. There's a lot of conservative names (Milton Friedman) attached to that.

Of course, that doesn't make it right.

This is an economically sensible idea, but politically wrong. In other words, while it solves the problem and does it better than a single payer or an employer mandate, the problem is that genuine conservatism should have said the problem wasn't one that should be solved by the Feds.... although clearly conservatives failed at that point.

Of course, I do understand that they were also dealing with an inevitability problem, i.e. if they didn't propose something, the Democrats would win the argument by default. That happened a lot in the 1990s. But it seems they were pretty proud of this mandate.

In the end, I think my position is that (1) it is unfair to say that Romney acted like a liberal when so many conservatives advocated the same thing, but (2) that doesn't make RomneyCare conservative.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Interesting addition. That's actually something we mentioned in CommentaramaCare, the idea of solving the free rider problem by making medical debts non-dischargeable. That would give people an incentive to buy insurance, but wouldn't force them to buy insurance. And the punishment would be that they basically have to bear the consequences of their choice.

tryanmax said...

I just figured that one was worth sharing. I'm trying my best to get to the bottom of the issue as it was at the time. Most of the arguments lobbed against RomneyCare are done in hindsight. To be sure, there were groups like Cato Institute that were steadfastly against it all through. One could make the argument that Mitt picked the wrong think tank. The fact of the matter though, is no hands in the race are clean.

I think a lot of folks want to see RomneyCare as equivalent to Reagan's "Therapeutic Abortion Act" error, or like the "Debacle of '82." In other words, they want the history to be simpler than it was. But that's like wanting the sky to stay blue even at sunset.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think it's an interesting issue, but I also think nothing will change minds. When I look at other websites that push these issue from the Ricky side, they don't want to hear it. They've made their judgement and they are only spinning further down the rabbit hole. They've even got a defense mechanism, "anyone who tries to explain it or defend it is a RINO." By the time you reach that kind of thinking, it's impossible to reach those people.

AndrewPrice said...

Here's an interesting article which takes apart the Santorum conspiracy theory that Romney and Paul have worked up some dirty deal and it points out that the reason Paul hates Santorum is that Santorum is an ass.

It also makes this interesting (and very accurate) statement:

And consider as well that Paul speaks of himself as the grandfather of the Tea Party. If he’s not going to get the nomination, does he want a Gingrich or a Santorum to crash and burn, taking with them the reputation of the Tea Party? Or would Paul prefer a Romney figure, who will either win (and then take his advice and calls in the White House) or lose and not be seen as confirming the Tea Party’s demise?

There is an additional factor at play. The Tea Party, Paul has repeatedly said, has brought the party closer to him, meaning it has been focused to a greater extent than in the recent past on individual liberty, limited government and sound fiscal policy. Gingrich’s erratic policy positions and personal instability would place that progress at risk. Santorum’s zealous interest in pronouncing on personal morality would shatter that alliance as well. So, from Paul’s vantage point, better to have a stable businessman who is not obsessed with contraception than either of the other two.


Here's the article: LINK

Joel Farnham said...

Santorum should note, Ron Paul is just not into you.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, LOL! I think the article actually makes some interesting points. First, that this conspiracy theory was started by Santorum's people. Secondly, that despite the claim that Romney = the Establishment, the Establishment was running around re-tweeting this, i.e. supporting it. Third, Santorum's campaign staff are as nasty and arrogant as he is AND it's costing him support.

I also think the Tea Party point being made about Paul is clear -- the Tea Party will be destroyed if they hook themselves to Santorum. He does not represent their views (he's the opposite in fact) and if they get tarred with being connected to him, they'll pick up all his baggage -- baggage they struggled to unload already.

I think they could survive an association with Newt unless he really goes off the deepend. But there's no way they will survive an association with Ricky.

Also, fyi, Romney is now up in Michigan and Arizona after the debates.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I saw that earlier. Hot Air had originally posted that Santorum was up. Then came back and updated that Romney was up. Also that the original poll was before the debate, and the second poll was after the debate. Still, there are rabid voters on both sides. "My guy or I don't vote!" is posted a lot.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I expect a lot of that because most of these websites have become very angry places for the most blind-loyalists to duke it out. I generally tend to dismiss most of the "my guy or nobody" claims, although this time will likely be a little different. For one thing, this is about more than just the nomination -- there is a real question of how you define conservatism going on and there is some incompatibility there which simply might not be "bridge-able."

For another, there is a tremendous amount of "conspiratorial thinking" being blasted over the radio. Rather than saying they prefer one or the other, they've turned it into an "us v. them" fight, and that is the kind of fight which tends to break the loyalty bonds.

In the end though, I think the "I won't vote for him" is only a problem for Santorum for two reasons: (1) he's pushing a view of conservatism that is simply at odds with everything a great many conservatives believe and he's pushing it as "conservatism." In other words, he's declared intra-conservative war, and the winner in that kind of war often loses the other side in the process. No one else has done that. (2) The Santorum people HATE Obama and will vote for anybody over Obama. Many of Romney supporters, however, will see Rick as less acceptable that Obama -- particular moderate Republican women.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Also, I would not count out an independent run by Ron Paul if Santorum wins. He's really the guy with the most to lose if Santorum gets to redefine conservatism.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, Joel, the incongruity of Paul supports Romney/Romney = Establishment is the first thing that hit me when I first heard about the "secret pact." I'm glad somebody else pointed it out. You're probably right, Andrew, that nothing will change certain minds. After all, who likes to admit they were wrong? But this primary has gotten so absurd, I just have to believe pointing it out will make some people snap out of it.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, "Absurd" is a good word for it. Anyone who thinks Ron Paul is the establishment is lying or a fool.

Also, I check out a lot of other websites just to see what people are talking about and a lot of what I'm seeing can at best be described as insane. There are people who think Santorum won the debate by virtue of being attacked, i.e. he must be strongest because he was the target, thus he won. There are people who are now attacking Ann Coulter as a RINO because "she called conservatives 'morons'." How dare she be so disloyal! Note that these same people fill their articles with smears of anyone doesn't support their current crush.

There is suddenly a small but angry anti-Rubio crowd because it turns out he was Mormon for a couple years as a child. Thus, he's forever tainted. These same people, naturally, are Santorum supporters. Basically, they are telling you the real reason why they hate Romney by using Rubio as a proxy.

I am seeing conservatives lie, distort and completely mislead in article after article. I've seen them demonstrate that they have no clue what conservatism means.

This is messed up.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

This isn't messed up. This is human nature. Also, if we don't manage to elect a Republican despite all the advantages that Obama has practically laid at our feet .... on golden platters no less, we deserve what we get. Still it is noteworthy that most of these websites have been infiltrated by stealth progressives. People who are doing their level best to obfuscate, blind and confuse everyone about just who said what, when and why.

I can't follow most of their reasoning.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, You said something very key there:

if we don't manage to elect a Republican despite all the advantages that Obama has practically laid at our feet .... on golden platters no less, we deserve what we get.

One of the things you learn as an attorney is to "never care more about a case than your client does." Translation: If your client is determined to mess things up, there is nothing you can do to stop them and you should just let them go their own way.

That's kind of how this election is. If the Republican base is prepared to commit suicide and hand this golden opportunity to Obama, there's nothing we can do about it. But we don't have to play along.

I think that was the reason for Coulter's article. She's basically saying, "you all want to be blind idiots, delude and lie to yourselves, and won't listen to reason, then so be it... be my guest. But I'm not going to pretend that you're not morons."

****
It's a good question how many of the really venomous commenters are stealth progressives? I'm sure there are a good number. To me, the bigger problem is that many of the big names, i.e. the people who built the sites, are playing the same games. Eric Erickson has been twisting himself into knots trying to maintain the idea that Newt is winning everything. And so many of these people are trying to destroy Drudge because they think he should be on their side. This is serious long-term damage.

Joel Farnham said...

This process isn't over. More and more I am finding the sites NOT to go to for new information or for honesty. Few sites like Hot Air, Drudge and Commentarama at least maintain an air of congeniality. Seriously, I read some really horrendous things aimed at Palin and Palin defenders just because the rest of her e-mails were made public today. There is a definite Palin Derangement Syndrome still going on. She isn't even a candidate, and this was at FOX news!

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, We like for people to be able to speak their minds here because people do think differently and you can't really win anyone over unless everyone is free to say what they really think! :)

I saw that with Palin. It is absolutely a Derangement Syndrome. I've spent many years reading e-mails looking for smoking guns for litigation and I saw nothing in the e-mails people have produced from her which reflect anything worthy of criticism. In fact, it shows a lot of good faith on her part.

I guess we've just reached a point where politics is so poisonous all around that it's no longer possible for many people to use their brains anymore and to be fair about anything.

AndrewPrice said...

Surprise, surprise. Specter is now saying that Santorum is lying about making any promises on judges to Santorum. And I believe Specter because of his statement:

“I wouldn’t do it,” he said. “It would be wrong to make a promise in advance of knowing who the nominee was and what the qualifications were.”

That's actually the way Specter thinks. He's always been clear that he looks at qualifications and doesn't prejudge judicial candidates, and I've always found that frustrating with him.

Also, since Rick has been lying left and right about everything, I would give the benefit of the doubt to Specter here.

Naturally, Rick went on Laura Ingraham today to call Specter a liar over this.

I guess they don't teach honesty in Rick's church.

LINK

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Normally I disdain Ms Mona Charon. Normally I would never subject the fine folks who visit here the disjointed ramblings of a certifiable, but like a broken clock, every once in a while she is right. Her latest column, Now We Know Why Not Santorum is spot on and a far superior reason to not pick Santorum than trying to convince the world he is a liar. The media will not allow him to forget Satan and combined with his prickly personality.....well let's just say it could get ugly.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I see three big problems with her argument.

1. Problem one is that her assumptions about Rick being a conservative with only a few exceptions is wrong. That’s a horrible mistake because it feeds the nuts. They love Rick for his theology and don’t care about the rest. The only area in which they can’t defend him is his lack of conservatism. If you start by saying “well, he is a conservative,” then you’ve given them a green light to ignore you as just a RINO who wants to bring down a genuine conservative. At that point, she’s lost the argument by conceding an untruth.

This also critically gives cover to the people are willing to overlook his theology on the basis that he’s more conservative than Romney (the talk radio sheeple). Those are the people who need to abandon him, and wrongly conceding that he’s a conservative plays right into Rick’s hands with them.

2. She is wrongly assuming that Santorum is really kidding about all the whacko stuff he says. When Rick says "... but I won't try to do that as president," he's lying. How do I know? Because why else would he bring it up if he didn’t plan to do something about it as president? And by accepting this lie, she is giving Ricky’s Cult cover because they will use this to dismiss people’s concerns about Rick as overblown – even though they actually know he’s lying. And why do we know they know he’s lying? Because the reason they are following him is because of the wild-ass things he says. If he's being truthful that he won't try to do anything about what he says, then what exactly is he offering them? So they either know that this is a lie he has to tell to get elected, or they are retards.

This is the same thing Democrats do with issues like cutting the government and tax cuts. They accept that their people need to lie to get into office, and they expect that once they get into office, they will do what they originally promised.

In fact, this reminds me very much of our MSM and liberal elites who say about Iran, "well, we know they aren't serious about destroying Israel, even though they say they want to, because no one would really believe that!" Wrong. People do believe that.

3. Finally, her argument will fail with his true believers precisely because they think that what she calls a distraction is a winning issue. They actually think that talk of Satan, rounding up gays, and sending women back to the kitchen will spark a revolution in this country. So when she says "these arguments will be a distraction," she has fundamentally misunderstood Team Ricky.

Indeed, the people who understand what for a problem Rick’s rhetoric is have already abandoned Rick for other candidates or never came on board.

That said, her argument is completely rational and makes total sense. It just won’t work with the target market.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, if you want to see delusional, check out this article: KoolAidDrinker.

Not one thing this guy says is accurate. Literally, every sentence is delusional and packed with lies and misstatements.

This is the perfect example why reason can't reach these people, because they've created their own reality.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I didn't mean for her column to be used for the KoolAidDrinkers like Hawkins, which interestingly enough mirrors American Spectator's two blog columns. One saying Santorum is gaining, the other saying Santorum is falling behind.

No, I meant it for here, where it can be used with thinking people as a shortcut with regards to Santorum.

AndrewPrice said...

Ah, Sorry, I misunderstood you. In that event, you are absolutely correct because she makes a great point that even if you like what he says, it will be a distraction and his candidacy will become a nightmare of him backtracking and trying to explain every single day as Obama just stands back and lets the MSM turn Ricky into a pile of goop. I would think anyone who looks at him rationally would see that.

The KoolAidDrinkers are beyond help at this point. They've made up their mind and they will use any fact (real or imagined) to convince themselves they're right -- just like Hawkins. Wow! What a stunning bit of mental gynmastics. I would honestly never take anything he says seriously again.

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