Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm Calling Out Rush

Today, I’m calling out Rush. Rush has used innuendo to suggest that Ron Paul and Mitt Romney have cut some sort of dirty deal. That’s shameful. But my complaint goes even beyond that.

After last Wednesday’s debate, Team Santorum immediately suggested that Romney and Paul had cut a dirty deal to work together in the debates. Hence, we should ignore Santorum’s belly flop because the others cheated. Of course, Santorum has ZERO proof of this.

The following morning, Rush, who feigns neutrality in this race, ran with Santorum’s talking point. Only, Rush didn’t present it as a Santorum talking point, he claimed it as his own “epiphany.” Here’s what he said:
What I had detected, like an epiphany, all these debates I had never seen Ron Paul attack Romney, nor had I seen Romney attack Ron Paul. I saw Ron Paul attacking everybody else. . . .

The point is that there is an alliance between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. This is what I have been remiss in not mentioning. So last night after the debate, I start doing show prep and I see all this stuff in the British press about Romney may be offering Rand Paul the vice presidency and I'm saying to myself, "I know I mentioned this in an e-mail to some of my friends.". . .

I'm not being critical here. I'm just pointing out something that is obvious. Romney is never criticized by Paul but Paul has criticized everybody else that has become the most popular not-Mitt of the moment. . . And, by the way, if you are a Romney guy and a supporter, you're thinking, "This is brilliant, a brilliant campaign tactic."

Whether it's true or not that there has been an actual meeting of the minds in conversations and strategy developed between the two guys, it is clear that there's a hands-off policy between Paul to Romney and vice-versa. Paul does not attack Romney. Ron Paul attacks every one of Romney's opponents; Romney doesn't attack Paul.

And so last night, we start seeing these stories in the British press. One of them, Toby Harnden, was that Ron Paul would be offered the veep slot. Then another one followed that and said maybe Rand Paul, and then Rand Paul put out a statement saying he would be honored to be Romney's VP. And that's when I said, "Damn it! Damn it, I wrote that e-mail on the 13th of January. I saw this, I knew what was happening, and I didn't say anything about it."
Let’s break this down.

First, it’s not true. Ron Paul has attacked all the other candidates when he has attacked. By and large, however, he has not attacked anyone. Paul is an issues candidate who is there to talk about his issues. He mostly ignores the others. And when he has attacked, he has attacked each of the others as having a fundamentally flawed view of government. He has not omitted Romney from that. And his attacks on Santorum have been in response to Santorum attacking him as not a conservative.

Secondly, what Rush is doing is a standard smear tactic:

1. He argues in the conspiratorial. Indeed, the crux of his argument is this statement: “Whether it's true or not that there has been an actual meeting of the minds. . . it is clear that there's a hands-off policy between Paul to Romney.” Translate this logically: “whether it is true or not that there is a deal, there is a deal.” This is meant to mislead you by making it sound like Rush is only floating the possibility of a deal, when he is actually telling you the deal is a fact.

2. Then he suggests that this is more than mere speculation by telling you how it is being reported by others (i.e. the British Press). Except, the British Press were repeating what Santorum’s strategist said right after the debate. Basically, just like the MSM did with the Herman Cain smear, Rush is using the fact that an allegation has been reported as evidence of its being true. Then he doubles down by saying Rand Paul hasn’t rejected a VP slot, thereby implying Paul has affirmatively confirmed the deal.

Then he tries to confirm it himself by claiming that he told his brother about this back on January 13. This is the Herman Cain smear to the letter: (1) multiple people are repeating the same allegation so it must be true, and (2) I told my family before it hit the press, so it must be true. This is shameful reasoning.

3. Rush then misleads you further by suggesting that he’s not actually criticizing Paul or Romney for this deal, even though that’s exactly what he’s doing. Again this is meant to make Rush sound disinterested. But Rush isn’t disinterested. He supports Santorum, which is why he said this (which is now being used in Santorum mailers before a key primary): “Rick Santorum is ‘the last conservative standing’.”

And why he would say this about Romney:
“Something else I’m confident about saying: As hard-hitting and go-for-the-throat and take-no-prisoners as Romney’s going after Newt, he will not do this going after Obama. If you like Romney’s toughness in the way he’s taken out Newt, I’ve got a thing for you: He isn’t going to do that against Obama.”
Even though Romney is the only candidate primarily targeting Obama, and even though Rush said this in 2008 about the man he now treats as a RINO:
“There probably is a candidate on our side who does embody all three legs of the conservative stool, and that’s Romney. The three legs of the stool are national security/foreign policy, the social conservatives and the fiscal conservatives.”
What changed?

4. Third, note that nowhere does Rush mention that this is the same talking point Santorum’s people are spreading that very morning. Yet, this is the same man who often attacks the MSM for repeating Democratic talking points without pointing that out.

5. Nor does he mention that Romney and Paul both denied this. Nor does he give the more likely reasons for his (wrong) observations. Ganging up on the frontrunner has been the pattern throughout. Moreover, Paul strongly opposes Santorum’s brand of “conservatism,” (i.e. big government economic liberalism + neocon foreign adventuring + federal government intrusion in the bedroom). Also, it has been widely reported that Santorum has been entirely disrespectful of Paul. Those are all the likely reasons he attacked Santorum, not some dirty deal. But those don’t let Santorum claim he’s a victim of cheating.

But this issue goes beyond Romney/Santorum for me. For years, Rush excelled at rising above the smoke and mirrors and explaining genuine conservatism in a way that won people over. He did it with good will and good faith. But all that changed during the Bush administration when Rush began vehemently knee-jerk attacking anyone who dared to point out that Bush was not a conservative.

Since that time he’s been nothing but knee-jerk. He, like most of talk radio, jumped on every bandwagon he could find. He refused to vet people like Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, whose loss may be THE loss that keeps us from getting a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. He’s attacked everything the Republicans have tried to do, squandering every single long term opportunity just so he could scream loudest that he’s more conservative than those RINOs in Washington. Now he’s about to repeat the same mistake with the candidates because he won’t examine them with his mind rather than his ratings detector.

Conservatism needs better.

We are in the current problem precisely because people like Rush failed to vet candidates before the primary began. They went into this thing blind and without a plan, and have gone wherever the soundbites have taken them. They are stirring up the mob for no reason except ratings and he's no longer willing to take correct but unpopular stands. And that has brought us to this point, which should be the crowning moment of a new conservative age and instead has turned into a cluster-fudge of epic proportions.

54 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

Interestingly, I happened to hear that particular monolog by Rush. I get the feeling he is pro Santorum while trying to come accross as neutral. However, since I do not listen to him everyday, I have been hesitant to say that it is an actual fact.

Now he claimed his brother has the email where it was brought up prior to the debate. Whether that is true or not, I would have no way of proving. Sometimes he plays his own tapes to back things up; other times he can't. But hell yes, Rush is completely full of himself. Part of that is probably just entertainer's schtick, but part of it isn't. He genuinely has a monumental ego. When he is "on" he can be awesome. But he is hardly infallable. The fact he keeps pushing Santorum makes me think it is more than just wanting our eventual candidate to take all the heat now so he can respond with the "old news; asked and answered" reply in the general election campaign.

However, I didn't personally get the feel that Rush was trying to say "whether there was a deal or not, there was a deal." Without going back and looking at the transcript, I can't quote verbatim, and even your piece doesn't do that. I got the feel while listening that he was just saying: I can't say whether there was a deal or not, but it does appear Paul has never specifically gone after Romney. That has prompted some to speculate a deal for V.P. has been cut."

I guess the point is, it may be true that Rush is behind Santorum, but doesn't want to piss of the part of his audience who isn't, and/or doesn't want to appear anything less than infallable.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

What can one say, except that Rush got married and has other things on his mind. (Cheap shot I know, but Rush doesn't read this.)

Oh, yes, Jed. I stopped listening to Rush for a while because he is with Santorum. He and Mark Levin have done next to nothing compared to what Andrew has done in vetting Santorum. Conversely, Rush and especially Mark Levin have attacked Romney, doing the exact same thing MSM does. Leave out key information, attack a supporter should they get through and generally act as jerks.

I think Rush and Mark are hoping for a contested or brokered convention. Their favorite, Palin, isn't in this contest.

tryanmax said...

Unlike Rush, I can verify what my initial response was. I only accused him of nasty innuendo, but I think the choice of adjective suggests that I took it as deliberate.

The crux of Rush's hypocrisy lies in the fact that he routinely blasts the MSM for repeating Democrat talking points. He's been caught by the very same tide that all of right wing radio (RWR) is swept up in. And it is bizarre. This whole primary has been bizarre.

I think what happened is this: From the beginning, RWR has been split between Romney and anyone-but-Romney, but none would endorse. After Herman Cain dropped out, the ABR talkers went into panic mode and began blindly endorsing whoever was left, most of them blanket-endorsing the whole field. At the same time, the Romney crowd realized they had jumped eagerly into bed with the MSM to smear Cain and started having serious concerns about their street-cred, so they jumped Romney's ship. And now, here we are.

Koshcat said...

You have two number 3s. I thought I would point that out as an example of what so many do: focus on the minutia and not respond to the overall criticism. Plus, I make so many typos that it tickles me when I see others make them. :)

I have faith that Santorum will self-implode soon. Given all of Romney's fault the one part I like the most is he tends not to knee-jerk. I believe that quality would help make him a level headed executive.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I heard it as and I got a very different feel from it, especially as he kept repeating many more times than I reprinted here "Romney never attacks Paul, Paul never attacks Romney" which just isn't true.

But my point is a larger point than just this issue, though I think this issue highlights it.

For maybe 5 years now, I've found Rush to be an unreliable "reporter" of events. He's run off of conspiratorial tangents, he's presented hypocritical analysis, he no longer takes correct positions if they are unpopular (something he did a lot in the past), he knee-jerks rather than stopping to think about what is the better course, and he's waved a pitchfork rather than tried to open people's eyes.

I'm certainly no fan of Obama, but I have to say that Rush has even been unfair to Obama. There have been many moments where I've heard him attack Obama for suggesting something Rush himself said was a good idea when a Republican said it, or where he's just assumed bad faith no matter what the idea.

I think this is very bad for conservatism because it's precisely the kind of thing that has gotten us to this point where there is no genuine conservative in the race.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Jed, Even if there was some sort of agreement (the least likely answer by the way), so what? Notice that Rush never points out that this is part of politics. He just assumes there is some agreement, speculates as to some corrupt incentive (nepotism), and runs with it without ever mentioning that he could be wrong.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, My father, who does not read websites, is furious at Rush because Rush has been pro-Santorum. And my father hasn't settled on anyone yet, so it's not a "hey, he's favoring the other guy." What he doesn't like is that, like you, he's noticed that Rush is skewing facts and leaving others out to favor Santorum.

What frustrates me in all of this is two things. First, once again as we've seen for two years now, the very people who should be vetting these candidates (it's not hard) aren't doing that. Instead, they just accept "oh, he must be more conservative than the other guy because he says so." This is why they've bounced from person to person without ever really figuring out who they should have supported.

If they'd focused on that, then maybe we could have gone into this primary either with a candidate already chosen or with a small list of acceptable candidates or knowing that we needed more people. But they didn't. And now they are picking between RINOs and trying to declare them all the new Barry Goldwater.

Secondly, even beyond this election, I'm just not seeing the thoughtful, positive advocacy of conservatism anymore. Instead, I'm seeing a lot of knee-jerkism which alienates people rather than winning them over. If you looked at everything Rush (and the others) have said in the past two years, what kind of agenda could you create? Repeal ObamaCare and then it goes very, very vague. That's not good for us either.

Finally, on the contested convention, Rush says he wants a contested convention but (1) I think he only says that to leave open options so that no matter how this goes down he can claim he was always right, (2) the big name already being floated for a contested convention is Jed Bush, and (3) letting this thing drag on for months will be an economic and PR disaster.

LawHawkRFD said...

I stopped listening to Rush regularly during the latter Bush years. I still find him interesting, and occasionally prescient. But I don't see him in the same favorable light that I used to. He's better at attacking Democrats than he is at vetting Republicans.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's probably a good breakdown of how we got here. I have no doubt that this is all about perception rather than any sort of actual preference. In other words, this isn't the RWR guys actually wanting a particular candidate so much as wanting to appear to be behind the most conservative candidate.

I would also suggest that the reason they are opposed to Romney had nothing to do with his actual politics (which are to the right of their own choices) but with the meme that Romney is part of "the establishment" whereas lifelong Washington insiders like Santorum and Gingrich somehow aren't. Since it's intolerable for RWR to be seen as backing "the establishment," they turned on him.

Watch, I predict this will be the end of Paul Ryan as well. He will be destroyed as "the establishment".

But I think this has been the problem throughout the Obama Administration.

Most of them backed Bush to the bitter end... until the Tea Party came along. Suddenly they realized they had been on the wrong side and they freaked out that they would lose listeners. So they pretended they had never backed TARP or Bush or the bailouts, when they really did for the most part. And from that point forward, they decided it was safer to put their fingers into the wind on every issue and then rush to the front of every angry crowd rather than take a stand.

Thus, when Republicans suggested that Obamacare should be fixed rather than repealed, they screamed RINOs!! Even though a fix done right could have finally got the government out of the system. When Republicans suggested closing loopholes in exchange for lower rates (which would be good for the economy and the party) they screamed TAX HIKING RINOS!!! And a golden opportunity was lost. Any attempt to work with Obama has been blasted as a betrayal, no matter how good the opportunity.

And it goes even further. Our foreign policy is a mess and the Afghan war isn't working. Yet any suggestion that we rethink it brings squeals of RINO appeaser. Any suggestion that we do anything other than build a huge fence with Mexico is RINO illegal lover. Etc. Etc. In each case, before they even hear the idea, you're smeared as a RINO.

And I'm serious, in my comment to Joel, assume Rush were elected President right now. Tell me what his platform would be? He has said nothing in two years to suggest how conservatives should government except not be Obama.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, You wouldn't believe how many typos I make these days. It's so many I'm starting to wonder if my damage is brained? :(

In any event, excellent point because that's one of the many evasive tactics that I see employed so much these days -- both on the right and the left: attack the messenger, attack some minor point, distort some minor point and then attack the distortion, interpret the argument and then attack the interpretation, leave out key facts, add assumed facts, etc. etc.

The one thing so very few people are doing these days is discussing things straight up.

It's time that everyone took a breath, conservatives in particular, and used their brains. That's why we have them. And if we don't start doing that, we're going to lead ourselves to disaster.


On Romney/Santorum, Santorum keeps imploding, but right now the base isn't listening, they are in full-on emote mode. They have been fed this idea that a vote for Romney is a vote for the establishment and thus they will go for anyone but Romney. This strikes me as obvious from their utter resistance to actually examining Santorum's record. It's like someone who tells you they know something to be true, but then irrationally resists the tests to prove/disprove it.

In the end, I suspect Romney will still win it, but it's going to be ugly for a while. And then we need to pick up the pieces of conservative and learn the lessons of why this was all such a mess. Unfortunately, I doubt anyone will be willing to do that.

DUQ said...

Andrew, All of talk radio is turning me off. There's so little there right now except outrage.

BevfromNYC said...

This is why I stopped listening to him. Rush annoys me and isn't helping at all. And from my perspective, WHO CARES if they made a deal. This it politics. Isn't that what happens anyway - smokey backroom wheeling and dealing? Maybe their deal was to cut through the crap and discuss the issues as much as possible, and not attack each other for the sake of attacking. Maybe they are just both gentlemen who want to fight on the level of issues

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I'm the same way. there was a point where Rush was a brilliant advocate for conservatism. But those days are gone. These days, he's good at attack Democrats, but that's about it.

And even there, I honestly have to say that I've heard him say things that weren't true and which were simply intended to outrage people rather than enlighten them.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I'm in the same boat. Here's my concern as simple as I can say it:


1. For conservatism to work, conservatives need to look at our government and decide how to fix it.

2. That means finding the right people to put in power and giving them the right ideas to implement the things we want.

3. Talk radio is shifting the focus from that to purity tests and pitch forks. It attacks anyone who strays from this false purist ideal (e.g. anyone who suggests closing a crony loophole is now a "tax hiking RINO"). That makes it impossible for conservatism to work and it guarantees that we will only support people who will lie to us at the expense of those who actually know how to make progress.

That is what is killing me here.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I agree. This is politics. Deals are part of that. And if two candidates think it's in their interest to ignore each other or even work together, then SO WHAT?

But more to the point, whereas Rush could have been talking about the debate itself, i.e. what was said, what was good or bad, where candidates were right or wrong, he instead went off on this conspiratorial slander.

Thus, his audience did not get a breakdown of what was said at the debate or why they should or shouldn't support people. Instead, they got him suggesting that something untoward happened and that they should turn against Ron Paul and Mitt Romney because of it. (I omitted a lot of nasty comments about Paul from the above quote, btw -- Rush HATES Paul.)

In other words, rather than building up one or more candidates and tell us why we should support them, Rush spent his time tearing down the two guys he doesn't like. And he didn't do it with facts, he did it with innuendo based on a wrong assertion that Paul and Romney haven't attacked each other.

This is not helping.

Doc Whoa said...

I still prefer Rush to the rest, but I'm getting a little tired of them all. I think you make a good point that they aren't adding anything to the debate. Almost every days it's like an air raid siren: "waaaah Obama is doing this." And when I check, it's almost never what they describe. I don't know if it's just Obama Derangement Syndrome or if it's just for ratings, but I'm finding talk radio unreliable anymore.

Doc Whoa said...

Also, I'm sick of this Us versus Them mentality. If I support Newt or Romney or Rick (or even Obama on an issue), that doesn't make me the enemy. But talk radio acts like it does. How can so many solid conservatives become RINOs just because they decide to support someone other than the host?

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, That's been my feeling too about the air raid siren. Some headline will come out, and then they run with the headline and go on the attack without ever bothering to ask (1) what is really going on and (2) is this something we should support or not. And they all say the same thing, each competing to be more outraged than the last.

I could go down a list of issues, but I won't. They are like a wildfire right now, being tossed around by the wind, trying to destroy anything they touch all in the hopes that they will attract enough listeners to get rich.

It has become incredibly rare to hear them think about anything more than the moment.

This is bad for conservatism, unless you believe conservatism should stand for irrational anti-liberalism.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, The "us v. them" meme is a specialty of political agitators. You see it among the populists, the racists, and anyone else who wants to create an impassioned cult-like following. The idea is that the world has secretly aligned against you and only I can guide you though the traps set for you by THEY.

It also happens to be a very effective tool because it plays on some problems with the human brains, specifically the herd instinct and the desire to find order from chaos.

In all honesty, anyone who is trying to use the "us v. them" theme is not someone you should trust.

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, Obama is doing the same thing right now with black voters. He's out there pushing the us versus them theme.

Also, did you see that Brewer endorsed Romney? I thought she was going to endorse Newt. I really did.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I saw that. I don't know if her endorsement is genuine or if she thinks Romney will simply win the state? It would have meant more if she hadn't waited for the polls to start favoring Romney strongly.

Obama and the Democrats are masters of the "us v. them" theme. Right now they and their surrogates are basically telling blacks that if they don't support Obama, whites will re-institute slavery. They are also telling Hispanic-Americans that they will be deported. They are telling women they will be forced out of the workforce into marriage. They are telling the leaches that they will lose their benefits. They are telling old people they will lose their social security.

The Democrats traffic in us v. them because that's all they have to offer.

Ed said...

Believe it or not, I had the same thought about Paul Ryan. They love him now, but legislating is about compromise and once they realize that he's actually included things in budgets they don't like to get them passed, they will turn on him.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, That's the problem with the current way of acting. It favors political theater. It allows people who avoid hard votes to claim purity when all they've really done is avoid votes. And it tears down people who are actually on the ground, trying to make the country more conservative. In other words, it favors those who scream the loudest but take no responsibility over those who are trying to make a genuine effort.

tryanmax said...

I consider it a done-deal that Paul Ryan will be on the outs soon, and it will be a direct result of the ridiculous US vs THEM mentality. As evidence, I offer the Ryan Plan vs. Simpson-Bowles. The two are so similar that their mutual existence is practically a joke. Factor in a dozen other similar plans and it goes beyond absurd. Obviously everyone in Washington knows and to some extent agrees on what needs to be done to start fixing Washington. But as long as the wrong guy's name is on the cover, it's trash.

It's only a matter of time before some opponent of Ryan's puts together that the his plan looks and awful lot like some "compromise" plan or some "leftie" plan and uses it to destroy him, regardless of the merits.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think you already see this happening. Don't forget that Newt attacked the plan as "right wing social engineering" when he was trying to win over Paul people.

And then Santorum slandered it at the debate to prove that his "fiscal conservative credentials," and show his interest in entitlements.

A lot of talk radio guys also jumped on the idea that it didn't cut enough as soon as Coburn outbid Ryan by claiming to cut $10 billion in ten years. And then the "in thing" became to want to cut a billion in the first year.

So far, none of this has hurt Ryan because there hasn't been a sustained attack. But once you get opponents intent on attacking him, they'll go with all the usual lines -- never worked outside of Washington, took money from lobbyists, voted to fund ABC, is courteous to Democrats, failed to support birther movement (or whatever). Why... he's clearly a RINO!

This is HIGHLY destructive but it's become the norm. And the really disturbing part of this is the blind hypocrisy. The same people who attack "establishment candidate X" are ignoring the fact that "anti-establishment candidate Y" does the same things they claim are unacceptable in X!

It would be like picking between identical twins and calling one ugly for various reasons but then overlooking the same issues on the one you prefer. It's nonsense.


That's a really good point about Simpson-Bowles, by the way. I keep seeing this with Obama. He has at times made proposals that conservatives should have embraced. But because he's the guy making the proposal, it's considered poison and any politician who dares address it will be destroyed by the self-described purists.

In effect, this is a pogrom or terror regime aim at our own party and it's making it impossible to govern.

Ed said...

Andrew, How do we change that?

AndrewPrice said...

That's a good question Ed. I'm honestly not sure except to point out the problem, except no excuses, and pick up the slack where they won't. Hopefully, people will take note and start to demand a higher quality.


I know that's not very comforting, but as I'm not a billionaire who can fund his own think tank to take on the conservative establishment, that's really all I can recommend?

Ed said...

Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. Let's hope one of your readers is a billionaire! :D

In the meantime, why not go through a list of what you would like to see as a conservative. What would the Andrew Price platform be?!

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Let's hope! LOL!

I could do that. We could go issue by issue and come up with a platform. That's a good idea in fact. :)

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Have you noticed, that some blogs like RedState are going off the deep end? If you wander over and say something like "Romney is great!" They jump all over you as if you said,"Allahu Akbar!" On some, it is Newt that is defended.

TownHall is extremely susceptible to this.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I have absolutely noticed that -- Red State in particular. If you don't toe the line that Romney is the world's greatest leftist villain, then you will be shouted down by dozens of people who will call you all sorts of names.

I know I've pushed the Santorum thing rather hard (and I honestly do want to stop talking about him), but I do respect people's right to choose their candidates. I just want people to go in with their eyes open and not pretend they are supporting conservatism with any of these people.

We can agree to disagree and still be friends, and that's what conservatism should be about. It should not be about groupthink and personal attacks, but that's what I'm seeing at so many other places -- be it pro-Perry, pro-Newt, pro-Santorum, pro-whatever. It's become believe or die.

Let's take the emotion out of this and think things through because at the end of the day, we as conservatives agree on so much more than we disagree about.

Tennessee Jed said...

You know, as I've read through the comments this afternoon, I was struck with an obvious fact. Most of politics is served by highly partisan, red meat types on both sides, who have a tendency to over-simplify almost everything. It is the opinion people on t.v. news, syndicated columnists, who boil stuff down for (perhaps) the majority of people who are not political junkies AND willing to take the time to seriously consider issues.

In fact, many partisan opinion shapers automatically disagree with anything and everything stated by the opposition. That doesn't mean some are not more sophisticated in their analysis, but the reality is, most voters have not invested much, if any, time in getting objectively schooled in the issues. It is hard to criticize them because it does take time and effort. Nevertheless, it may be an indictment that we get the leadership we deserve, proves demogaging and negative advertising continues to work, and so on.

We have made the case that Romney is a transactional politician rather than a charismatic leader, and yes, he is prone to the gaffe from time to time. As the early "prohibitive" favorite, he fed into that perception by using the time tested front-runner tactic of avoiding controversy. As National Review pointed out very well in their latest issue, it could be time to really lay out just what he would bring to the table. It actually is quite a lot. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Very well said.

I think you've distilled the problem precisely.

Most voters don't have the time or inclination to do their own research. So they put their faith into others who they trust will do the research for them. In return, they expect the right decision to be made and that decision to be conveyed in an easy to grasp manner. In other words, they turn to a guy like Rush (or Brit Hume or Rachel Maddow or whoever) for a simple statement of why they should pick one candidate over another.

Unfortunately, this relies on trust, and often the pundits are abusing that trust. Indeed, rather than doing the thoughtful leg work and distilling their findings in an easy to understand way, they are either merely repeating conventional wisdoms, or they slant their views toward a favorite.

(And that's leaving aside that these things don't have simple answers in the first place.)

Further, they have learned to cover their tracks with demagoguery. Why? Because fear and hate blind the ability to reason. Thus, if I pound the table and tell you that someone is a mortal danger to you, you are more likely to buy in and less likely to ask questions about how thorough my research was.

Moreover, with people shopping for a "genuine conservative" in a world of phonies, the demagog hosts will do better at attracting people because they sound more "genuine" compared to the guys who are being truthful and realistic. That makes it that much harder for the rational analysts to compete.

In effect, the entire system is a disaster because it lead to the exact things we should be seeking to avoid. And since voters keep falling for it, we are getting the leaders we deserve.

That's why Obama has been such a disappointment to the left and Bush was such a disappointment to the right -- because we never looked at the real person, we only listened to the screamers who assured us this person was the real deal.

I would like to see someone, like National Review actually lay out the case for and against each of the candidates. I think it's long past time for that. They should have done that a year ago before things even started.

CrispyRice said...

Ugh! I'll be so happy when this election is over. I'm tired of it all.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, You and me both.

AndrewPrice said...

Apparently, btw, Google has now given us a different look on the comments page. This was not our doing and I can't say I like it.

StanH said...

Well I’ll be the turd in the punchbowl. Rush has done more for conservatism than perhaps anyone in America, save William F. Buckley. He brings a different point of view that until Rush was only heard on talk radio, in pockets around America. I thoroughly enjoy his “show,” notice I put show in quotes, it’s entertainment with a political twist. Does he have everything correct, certainly not, but be certain however when Mitt locks this down, and the safe money says he will, Rush will be his biggest supporter and perhaps most important, as he did with McCain. As far as a deal between Romney/Paul who cares, as was stated above. His point was, as I heard it was he had that thought in an email with his brother some months earlier, and used it as a talking point about something that was happening in real time in the press, of which he is a member. I’m a firm believer of Reagan’s 11th commandment, “thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican.” In doing so only reinforces the continual attack that Rush endures from the MSM, like it or not he’s important to the conservative movement. As far as who wins the primary, and I believe it will be Romney, I will support with every fiber in my being, including Santorum.

StanH said...

I saw this as a side note, thought it was interesting with the coming vote.
“Reagan economists Gary Robbins and Peter Ferrara have scored Mr. Gingrich’s plan using dynamic, rather than static, scoring, a method which takes into account behavioral reactions to changes in tax policy. In other words, when people and companies pay less in taxes, they tend to do things like start new businesses, hire more employees, and invest more money. Their conclusion is that the former speaker’s economic plan will provide six million new jobs in two years, and balance the budget within the first term of his presidency.”
In addition, Art Laffer, another Reagan economist and author of the Laffer Curve, said, “Newt Gingrich’s plan is the only fiscal policy that would effectively boost the nation’s economy and spur growth.” In endorsing the former speaker, Mr. Laffer added:
Gingrich’s flat tax proposals — along with his proposed balanced budget amendment — would put a quick stop to overspending and return America to fiscal soundness. No other candidate comes close to doing this.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, There's no denying Rush's influence or what he's contributed to conservatism. Without him, much of modern conservatism simply wouldn't exist. He's the guy who let everyone know how many conservatives there truly were in this country and he's the guy who taught conservatives to finally speak up. Those are vital contributions.

My biggest issue with Rush has been that for some time now, he's no longer the voice he was. He used to be the guy who kept conservatives on the straight and narrow path. He told people when they were right or wrong, and he did it in ways that really taught people how to understand the world.

But lately, he's been very negative and the intellectual aspect of his show is missing. In other words, he's gone from reaching out to people and explaining why they should be conservatives to preaching to the choir. In the long term, I think that's bad for us.

So my point is that I want to see Rush get back to doing what he used to do because I think that's vital to conservatism.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I saw that on Newt. When Newt is focused, he can come up with very good plans. Let's hope people in Congress are paying attention and some of this works its way into the next budget no matter who wins the election!

StanH said...

Andrew: Agreed, he seems to be flailing at times, with a massive caveat, he’s the consummate professional entertainer/orator by any measure, who delivers a fair three hour conservative oratory, all things being considered. But my biggest personal beef with Rush, at times, he tows the party line, as others had said up-thread, if somebody’s wrong they’re, no matter what party…not speaking as the keeper of right and wrong. With the assault of 98% of the MSM media, if not Rush, then who?

What you say about education is so true, our “leaders” of the conservative movement like William F. Buckley, Dr. Sowell, etc. must teach. I think Rush tries, but he does have an obligation to entertain as well, but I agree.

Patti said...

as i look over the field of crap candidates, all i can wonder is: why is this so stinkin' hard?

it's obvious what the majority of Americans want: a true conservative. yet, the establishment is playing with us. it's nothing short of making something harder than it has to be. and for what? that's the question, isn't it. what is to be gained?

i swear every day i get thismuchcloser to turning my back on all politics. i don't know how much more i'm willing to take.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, Well said and I agree completely. You have in fact, just encapsulated my thoughts on the matter.

Also, let me add, that we should all keep in mind too the tremendous pressure Rush is always under, particularly from the MSM which sees him as Satan-incarnate.

So take my criticism for what it is, a wish that he (and others) would get back to top form, but certainly not a condemnation or an abandonment.


And for the record, I truly miss William Buckley. :(

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I do want Rush to get back to his humorous analysis of liberals and their intentions. I dislike this backing but NOT-backing of candidates. This "faux-fact-checking" that, until this cycle, had been the exclusive domain of the Democrats/Liberals/Socialists.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, I feel the same way. This shouldn't be so hard and yet the powers that be, establishment or otherwise, seem to make it impossible. It's like some great game of frustrate the public.

It is enough to make you want to give it all up and just walk away. Except I refuse to let them win.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I agree. There's something very wrong about the "fact checking" of things that aren't facts, but are instead opinion. Especially where it's done selectively. Unfortunately, that's been something everyone left and right has adopted.

I agree too about the backing but not backing. It's deceptive.

We have a no endorsement policy because we want people to be able to speak their minds. But we do have opiniond, and I've shared my opinions/thought-processes throughout -- as you've seen those opinions have changed significantly. But I won't pretend I have no opinion and then give you all a slanted version of reality. Far too many others are doing that.

I'm not saying Rush is necessarily doing that or that he's anywhere near the worst. I get the feeling he is leaning toward Santorum but I can't say that for a fact. But others I've heard have been flat out in the tank for people while claiming "oh no, I'm 100% neutral."

I think that's unfair the audience.

StanH said...

Yeah Patti, you’re a street fighter, the conservative movement needs you. This is what establishment Washington wants, for the Tea Party people to slip back into coma, conservative apathy. But brother I’m with you, at times this crap is very bad for the blood pressure. And like Andrew said, we can’t let the bastards win.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, So true. No matter how messed up the Republican establishment gets, we can never stop fighting. I've seen the party move a lot in my lifetime, so it is possible to change the party. But we can't achieve that if we quit.

Ed said...

As expected, the left is encouraging Democrats to go vote for Rick Santorum in Michigan and some other states. It wonder if it will be lost on his supporters that the Democrats see him as the joke candidate?

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/15/1065052/-Announcing-Operation-Hilarity-Let-s-keep-the-GOP-clown-show-going-?detail=hide

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Read the last line of the article:

"And in any case, it's freaking hilarious. I mean, Rick Santorum? Really? The Republicans have offered up this big, slow, juicy softball. Let's have fun whacking the heck out of it."

Here's the link: LINK

DCAlleyKat said...

If you listen to Rush on a daily basis you'll know he has been educating and vetting conservatism and Republican candidates for a long time. Same now, he's pointed out their good points and their not so good points. He's also educated many as to the money strings of the party, and their determination to have their candidate rather than let the primary process run its course.

In defense I have to say the candidates are to blame for the current state of affairs. Rather than creating an anti-Obama policy platform and then going out and hammering it home, they've allowed themselves to get down in the mud where a whole lot of people wanted them to be. Two errors:
1. It takes the focus off Obama.
2. It plays into the 'these guys don't know what they want and are just hot air for hot air's saked.!
Rush warned all of them of this. They did not listen. And now as we near the final stretch look what conservatives have to pick from.

Let this be a lesson to all conservatives. The moneybags of the Republican party are NOT conservative, and they are going to do all they can to shove their candidate down your throat, and then blame anyone in the crosshairs when it doesn't go over the way the want it to!

Conservatism is what is taking the hit here. The last thing it needs is for us to help it along.

Run against Obama, and progressivism.

A flea would be better in the White House four more years than BHO!

AndrewPrice said...

DCAlleyKat, Conservatism is taking the hit here and that's the real problem.

We have a race right now with no actual conservatives in it. Yet, we are being told that we need to support one candidate or another because they are "the only conservative in the race." This is what is killing me.

We have come to a point where we are being led to believe that big government liberalism is conservatism just because one guy claims it is and because too many conservatives who should know better are buying into this and repeating it. They should be screaming at the top of their lungs that this is a trick and that we are being offered RINOs under the banner of conservatism. But they aren't. They just mindless repeat what the establishment tells them.

We literally have two establishment people trying to attack the two outsides as part of the establishment, and people are falling for it!

I agree that Obama needs to go, but we can't let someone pretend to be a conservative when they aren't, and then let them re-define conservatism as big government liberalism. We need to stand up and expose that. If people want to vote for a RINO, that's fine, but don't call him a conservatism when you do it.

We need people like Rush et al. to stop pretending any of these guys are conservatives (except Paul).

I agree too that the candidates have largely brought this on themselves, but again, we are as much to blame as they are. Why? Because Candidate X says, "here's what Obama did wrong" and everybody ignores that so they can focus on the latest punch one candidate threw at another.

But in the end, I think the real fault here lies with the conservative establishment, which failed to find acceptable candidates BEFORE the primary and make sure we have some people representing us. That's where this all went wrong.

Moreover, now that we are in this position, they are handling it poorly by trying to relabel a RINO as a conservative rather than taking an honest assessment.

DUQ said...

Did anyone see that Santorum is now asking Democrats to go vote for him? Shameless.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I saw that this morning. I guess we'll see what happens tonight

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