Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2012 Campaign Weekly Round Up!

Lots of interesting news this week from the 2012 Campaign, one item in particular has me truly fascinated. . . a debate! Then there’s the other stuff. Bachmann continues to implode. Perry offers a plan to entrench liberalism. Santorum has indigestion. And George Will slapped Mitt Romney. Read on. . .

Item One: Lincoln Douglas II (electric boogaloo)! The big COOL news is this: Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain have agreed to engage in a “modified Lincoln-Douglas debate” in Texas on November 5.

Bill O’Sullivan, the treasurer of the Texas Tea Party Patriots explains that: “We initially wanted a forum with all of the candidates. But when we heard Gingrich say he wanted a more serious debate, like the Lincoln–Douglas debates, we wanted to do that, especially since watching the recent superficial debates has been frustrating.”

The debate will involve both men going back and forth, “in a respectful way,” with no moderator. Sadly, no network has agreed to broadcast this debate (HINT: INTERNET BILL!!!), but I would LOVE to see this.

Item Two: Flatsnake Oil Rick Perry. Last week Rick Perry told us he wants a flat tax. This week he finally released the rate. Who knows what next week's fortune cookie might bring?! His plan apparently calls for a 20% flat tax with a $12,500 deduction per individual OR household (plus all the usual deductions). This is a HORRIBLE idea:

○ 1) This makes the problem of 47% of Americans not paying any taxes much worse. This plan takes at least another 48 million people off the tax roles, which increases the number who pay no taxes to 62%. Way to entrench liberalism Rick!

○ 2) This doesn’t produce anywhere near the income needed. Hence, it is fantasy meant to dazzle you only. Do not take internally.

○ 3) This creates a massive marriage penalty, something Republicans worked for decades to fix.

○ 4) Perry's deductions only apply if you aren't rich, which he defines as making $500,000 a year. In other words, Perry plays right into the Democrats' class warfare strategy.

○ 5) Ricky also doesn't address what constitutes income or valid deductions, which is where people with lobbyist blood (like Perry) make sure their friends like GE pay no taxes.
Somebody drag Rick back to Texas before he hurts himself.

Item Three: Irritable Bowel. Ricky Santorum says a Ron Paul nomination would “give me indigestion.” Ironically, that’s how I feel about Santorum. . . only the pain would be lower and involves too many tacos. In fact, I would prefer the rollercoaster of a Paul presidency and his attempts to dismantle the government to the stifling idiocy of a Santorum presidency and his Jihad against the scary, essence-sapping homosexuals in our midsts.

Item : Mutiny On The Bachmann. For months now, Bachmann has been experiencing a steady flow of staffers quitting her campaign. Many have taken the highly-unusual step of calling her a liar on the way out. Indeed, I recall one of her senior Congressional staffers very politely explaining that he still supported her, but he just got sick of trying to explain away her constant lies and fictions to the press.

Now Bachmann’s entire New Hampshire staff has quit on her and badmouthed her in the process. She promptly went on the radio and denied this had happened and tried to blame other campaigns for smearing her, going so far as to say that she had “called the New Hampshire staff” and they “said that isn't true.” This was yet another lie. So yesterday, the ex-staff released a letter in which they describe the campaign as “rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel.”

Item : Duller Than Dirt Squared. George F. Will has always struck me as the dullest man alive. In fact, I’m pretty sure the first question doctors ask about coma patients is “were they listening to Will?” So when the Willster tells you someone else is dull, you should listen. You’ve probably stumbled upon the essence of dull, or at least dull extract. Will just slammed Mitt Romney by describing him as the GOP’s own Michael Dukakis: “[Cain] is rising as more and more Republicans come to the conclusion that the Republican Party has found its Michael Dukakis -- a technocratic Massachusetts governor running on competence, not ideology.” Ouch! Careful George, Mitt might strongly disagree with your premise in a very stern letter.

Item : Rolling In The Mud. I can't tell you how little I respect Karl Rove. If he gives you an opinion, you can put money on it being wrong. He’s now after Herman Cain because that's how Rove stays relevant. To that end, he’s declaring Cain “finished” because of five “gaffes” Cain supposedly made. Three of these involve foreign policy minutia, which doesn’t resonate with people. And the other two are Rove’s interpretation of Cain’s statements and require you to assume Cain doesn’t know the difference between “pro-life” and “pro-choice” and doesn’t understand his own 9-9-9 plan. Obviously, this is bull.

However, Herm is making a mistake: he’s letting the establishment’s yammering heads get him frustrated and he’s shooting back. Cain needs to ignore them and stay positive -- counterattacking should be done by Cain's friends, not Cain. When the candidate gets dragged down into the mud, they cannot win no matter what they say. So let the pigs like Rove wallow . . . no one listens to them anyway.


DUQ said...

I take it Santorum is the "irritable bowel"? LOL!

I would really like to see the Cain v. Gingrich debate. I'm glad Herman's doing that because it shows he's got brains, knows what he's talking about, and isn't afraid to defend his beliefs. I'm more than glad they didn't invite the clowns.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Yep, that's the guy.

I would love to see that. The only thing I would add would be Paul because despite the crazy, he has a very deep understanding of the Constitution. I do hope they find some way to stream that or show it on television. I think that would be a much more interesting format than the slick made-for-television format the networks are using for debates.

ScyFyterry said...

I'm not 100% sold on Cain, but I am 100% UNsold on Perry.

rlaWTX said...

Cain & Gingrich - that'd be worth watching!!!
Paul, Cain, & Gingrich - that'd be entertainment!

Every little bit, I read something about how awful Cain is and how awesome Perry is (not necessarily in the same place) and worry for about 1/2 second that I'm backing the wrong horse. Then I decide that I don't care. Cain is still making me glad to see him in the thick of it.

Tennessee Jed said...

now that Perry has joined Bachmann, Paul, Santorum, and Huntsman on a list of truly horrible candidates, who do you like? New has his baggage, Cain has shown himself to be remarkably inexperienced in campaigning and could be vulnerable to an unrecoverable gaffe. I wanted Ryan and Rubio, but that isn't going to happen.
So, who do you like Andrew Wan Kanobi. if I had to pick today, I'd have to admit, it would be Romney and Cain as V.P.

AndrewPrice said...

ScyFyTerry, You don't have to be sold on anybody yet. That's the good thing about primaries.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I thought Perry would be the guy and I was prepared to like him based on his record. But he has truly imploded. Not only is his record not what it's cracked up to be, but his instincts are very, very wrong -- he plays into Democratic hands at every opportunity and he clearly does not like conservatives. I would honestly pick Romney over Perry at this point.

Paul definitely raises the entertainment factor, but don't discount his "smarts." He is a very bright man with some very smart view. He just mixes those with some really bad ones.

In any event, I would like to see a debate either way in that format and between the 2 or 3 of them.

rlaWTX said...

yeah, I'm the same about Perry - I wanted to like him. I knoew that he'd have a couple of hurdles (fighting being "another Texan" outside TX and fighting both the pro & anti Bushies [anti outside TX; pro inside]). But still wanted to like him - especially as he exploded onto the scene... then kaplooey! (isn't cold fusion supposed to be a type of implosion? maybe the scientists need to check him out!)

I am fully prepared to have my primary nominee not make it to the final stretch, and beating TOTUS is more important than my choice making it onto the November ballot, but dang it'd be nice! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, If I had to pick today it would be Cain hands down. Not only has he shown himself to be incredibly bright and well spoken, but he's shown that he's not an egomaniac and is willing to get the right people to tell him what he doesn't know.

Also, he's the only one who seems to understand that conservatism is not just tinkering with the current tax code, whining about gays, or doing the bidding of corporate donors. I honestly see him as the continuation of Reagan in many ways.

Moreover, he has all the right enemies. He has really worried the establishment (e.g. the smarmy Roves and the milquetoast Republicans) because I think they see him as a threat to their order. They see him as a Tea Party barbarian who actually wants to change things rather than just use that as a slogan. And that scares them.

The problem with Newt is that he's highly unappealing outside the base and I just don't trust him. He's been pandering lately to different party factions and that should give people pause because it means we don't know what he really believes. And when I look at his record, all I see is corruption, self-dealing and lavish spending of lobbyist money.

I can support Romney because he's better than Obama, but he represents a lost opportunity.

That's my view. Your mileage may vary. :)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Beating Obama is the most important, but I honestly believe Cain or Romney could both do that easily... the rest I doubt. So for me, it's come down to supporting someone I actually trust for a change.

On Perry, I was very prepared to like him. He had made a lot of the right noises before jumping into the race and I thought he looked like a solid conservative. He didn't strike me as stupid or obsessed like some of the others.

But then he just jammed a knife into my ability to support him over and over and over again. When he started whining that the reason everybody hates him is his religion or that the rest of us just don't have hearts because we don't like a policy he can't defend.... he really lost me.

I do not respond well to guilt trips, especially from politicians. And I hate whiners. Unfortunately, that's what he's proven to be.

Add in that he doesn't grasp what conservatism is and that he seems to think it's about doing the bidding of donors and I honestly see him as a true danger to our reputation as conservatives.

rlaWTX said...

oh, and the dust-up about abortion: what exactly can a president do about that issue? having a constructionist view of the Constitution will go further in SCOTUS nominees than an individual perspective on abortion... I understand single-issue folks, and that's their right, but in the big picture his other conservative views are even more important than the single-issue one (and I say this as a pro-lifer).

tryanmax said...

I've been waiting for a reason to use the term "Rick-Rolled" ever since Perry entered the race. I think now we have it.

I have to share that I had a rethinking of Ron Paul over the weekend. No, I'm not ready to throw in behind him. But I noticed a peculiar thing when visiting the coffee shop I've been frequenting since my college days. While it was no surprise to see a bunch of Obama bumper stickers on the cars out front, (along with those annoying "Coexist" stickers made up of incompatible iconography), I noticed a fair representation of Ron Paul bumper stickers.

Now, I still think that Ron Paul is wrong about a lot of things and his followers are just as brain-dead as an Obama-zombie. But if I had to choose between fools who would prefer to read the Constitution rather than burn it, I'd have to take the Paul-bots.

T-Rav said...

I'm sick of just about everybody except Cain and Gingrich at this point, so having a serious debate between them and them alone sounds like a great idea. Especially since Newt was the only one who kinda tempered the opportunistic criticism of Cain in the last debate.

I read that Bachmann's entire paid New Hampshire team (all five of them) has quit, complaining that there is terrible communication with the national campaign and its various branches. Maybe that's just true for NH, which she never had any prospect of winning anyway, but it still doesn't look good.

And of course, there are the two people I would just love to see go away but who are also the last two who will do so. I think you know who I'm referencing.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, The single issue folks are typically blind to reality no matter what their issue is. They rarely understand how the government works and they simply follow whoever sounds the most extreme.

But it's all pandering. For example, there is almost nothing a President can do about abortion. There are some funding issues and maybe some overseas stuff, but that's it. The rest must come from Congress.

That's why when a guy like Santorum talks about "we need to get people to marry" or we need to stop abortion or gays or whatever... all he's doing is pandering. He's telling the single issue folks what they want to hear, rather than the truth.

A true leader on those issues would give people a way to achieve their goals. But the panderers just say "elect me and somehow I'll make it happen."

Moreover, the only pro-choice guy in the race that I can tell is Huntsman. The rest are pro-life, so if someone is choosing a candidate based on that issue, then they are fooling themselves if they think they found the super secret squirrel candidate who really means it.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Paul is an interesting guy. I honestly think a Paul presidency would be better than people expect -- because he couldn't implement his worst instincts. But my fear is that it would turn into unending feuding with Republicans and eventually mutual destruction.

Also, he is a smart man and he has a strong understanding of the Constitution, but the honest truth is that his understanding no longer applies and neither the Congress, the Courts, the public or the bureaucracy would accept version.

In terms of the Paulbots, I think many of them frankly are only hearing part of what he says. Many of them think that Paul would install nearly pure libertarianism around the country, but that's not really what he advocates. He's only talking about limiting the Federal Government's power under the 10th Amendment. He has never said states couldn't be draconian -- in fact, he admits the opposite.... but they don't hear that part.

Now, all that said, I think Paul has tapped into the frustration people feel at being made patsies by a system that lets the connected steal from the taxpayers. That is a growing anger on left and right and probably fuels a lot of his support.

rlaWTX said...

the realization that "crazy Paul" would be better than the TOTUS and that I'd actually vote for Paul if necessary is -ummmmmmmmmmm- words fail me...

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, That would honestly be a hard vote because we would have no way to even guess what a Paul presidency would actually look like. He could turn out to be brilliant? Or he might end up getting deposed at 2 weeks. Or anything in between. It's hard to tell.

On the other hand, Obama is a proven disaster....

Yeah, hard choice, but Paul wins.

Anonymous said...

Andrew: Maybe all this jostling and repositioning is healthy. But frankly, I'm beginning to see it as chaos. And Obama is hanging in his web like a spider, waiting to pick off the moth that flies into it.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yeah, Obama and Biden just won't go away. :(

On Bachmann, yep... I mention that in the article. This is nowhere near her first problem with staff or with being honest.

I think a Cain/Newt debate would be great. I would even like to see a Cain/Newt/Romney debate just to let our better candidates get out there and show that they actually do have brains rather than letting the MSM attack them with loaded questions and then try to create Jerry Springer hour.

I also think they need to start excluding the lower tier. Either the organizers need to do this or the top candidates need to simply need to stop going to those debates. It's not helping to let the kids snipe away at the people we need to examine more closely.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I think it's become counter-productive. It is clear at this point that most of them have no chance, so why are they still here and why are they allowed to attack the other candidates when the real target it Obama?

Ed said...

Andrew, Thanks for the update! I'd love to see the debate too. Let's hope they learn to stream it if they can't get it on television.

I was listening to Rush today and Cain had a really good commercial on Rush. Plus, Rush talked about it, which was nice. I don't really remember Rush talking about Perry's flat tax, so I guess that's not the hit Perry thinks it is.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I doubt Perry's plan will get much traction. It will make his supporters happy, but I honestly think he's no longer in play for anyone else, so what he says is not relevant.

At this point, I think the only relevant candidates are Romney, Cain, Newt (if Cain slips) and Paul.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, first off, congrats on not taking the bait there ;-)

Secondly, I think excluding the lower-tier candidates is a good idea. Not only is it obvious they're not going to win (well, it might not be obvious to them personally), but their only function in the debates at this point is bomb-throwing. The primaries are less than three months out; it's time we get substantive. Right now, they should probably be restricted to Romney, Cain, Newt, Paul, and Perry (and with Perry doing 6% in the new NYT/CBS poll, he should be pointedly told he's on thin ice himself).

On that note, the same poll has Cain at 25% versus Romney's 21%. So, it would seem Cain's stumbles the past week or so haven't significantly hurt him. Apparently, running a positive campaign can make a difference.

AndrewPrice said...


First, I was sorely tempted, but I figured calling Santorum "the irritable bowel" was enough for one day... my work here is done. :)

Secondly, I am of two minds on the lower tier guys. I don't like the idea of excluding people early on because you never know. But at this point, we've got several people who had their moments, peaked and now are crashing -- but more importantly, all they are doing now is throwing bombs trying to get noticed. That's the problem. You don't invite someone to a debate whose goal is to disrupt things to get noticed. It's not good for the party or the other candidates.

Third, in terms of Cain. I do honestly think there is more going on than people realize. The establishment sees 25% and thinks "well, that leaves 75% who don't like him" and "each of the others flamed out, so he will fail too." In fact, both Rove and National Review have said Cain has "peaked" and expect that he will now fall away just like Perry and Bachmann.

I think that's wrong. To the contrary, I think Cain is gaining momentum both in terms of numbers AND loyalty. I am hearing people everywhere talking about him and they are really pulling for him. That's why I say he's like Reagan, because he is making people believe in him and his ideas. I haven't seen that since Reagan on either side.

Right now, I suspect Cain's support is much larger than people realize and it's in the most important group -- people who will vote. I suspect Cain will win both Iowa and New Hampshire by huge margins and that will settle this race.... then the establishment will try to redefine and co-opt him.

That's my guess. And I think the establishment will be shocked when Romney does poorly once the voting starts in the primaries.

I don't think the Republican public is willing to accept another go-along-to-get-along Republican. I think the natives are restless and they want someone with Tea Party cred.

BevfromNYC said...

Bachmann, Perry, and Santorum need to regretfully bow out. They are all just mudding the waters and making themselves look bad.

Romney, Cain, Gingrich, and Paul still have something to add. I can't wait to see a debate between Gingrich and Cain. That should be realy interesting. I'm still rooting for Gingrich for Sect of State...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That is a job at which Gingrich would excel. He has the knowledge base and the right amount of... for lack of a better word... "aggression" to go to other countries and tell people they better get in line.

I want to see the debate too. And it makes me wonder how some of the others would do in that kind of format... like Obama. ;)

T-Rav said...

Andrew, why don't you just keep referring to him as Beeker? ;-)

On Cain, I really hope that's true. I know that when he was in Memphis a week or two ago, he made a very positive impression on a lot of people, who said the same thing you've been saying--that he's the first guy in a long time that's got them excited to vote FOR, and not AGAINST someone.

I don't know if he can win NH, it seems too loyal to Romney. But if he can win Iowa and South Carolina, which seems at least somewhat likely, and makes a strong showing in NH, then I'd say he's gone a long way towards sewing up the nomination.

AndrewPrice said...

If you get a chance folks, check out this very strange and yet funny ad for Herman Cain:


T-Rav said...

Andrew, I noticed that. Well, if nothing else, it gets people talking, doesn't it?

Speaking of links, here's an interesting piece over at HotAir:


This is sort of a cutesy poll and I'm not sure how much significance it really holds, but it's surely ominous for Perry that his personal likeability score is implicitly lower than Mitt's. And that Gallup poll the article brings up is an even bigger one. I recommend reading the whole thing. Tax proposal or no, with numbers like these, Perry's goose may already be cooked.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I didn't think he could win New Hampshire either, except recent polls have him tied with Romney.

I think Romney is weaker within the party than people realize, and Cain is stronger than the Republicans realize because his support is sitting just outside the party, waiting to vote.

Also, it's reactions like the one you mention which make me think what I do -- I'm seeing people everywhere who are really inspired by the guy. And I don't mean inspired like Obama inspired liberals -- who saw him as black and electable -- but inspired as in "someone I would totally trust in the office." That is truly rare. And when you see a lot of people coming around to that position, then you know you've got something. It's like buzz for a hit movie... you can't fake it and you often don't know it's really out there until it appears.

Moreover, the other candidates are making a huge mistake in that they're trying to mimic him with things like Perry's flat tax. All that does is tell the public who the guy with the real idea is -- it's the same way all those Hondas and Toyotas that copied BMW made BMW seem like it was in a separate league.

(P.S. You'll notice, no one bothers to copy Romney's policies or even talk about them.)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Here's your link: LINK

I think the chart in the middle of the page is really telling and accurately reflects what is going on. Cain is clearly running a different kind of campaign. He comes across as (1) POSITIVE, (2) not political, (3) competent and (4) honest.

The others don't. They all come across like people who've been in politics too long and think scoring nasty points on their allies is the same thing as telling voters why they should like you.

In effect, Cain is in a different league and voters are responding. That is what the establishment can't see -- they are blind to this effect, just like Hollywood is blind to independent films that hit. The establishment is a prisoner of the conventional wisdom.

On Perry, that's pretty horrible for a man who decided to charm us all into submission rather than win us over with policy. The problem, IMO, is that he comes across as a snake oil salesman. Dining with him would be like dining with a used car salesman.

Joel Farnham said...


I don't think Cain is doing anything wrong when he gets angry at a yammering head. Reagan got angry. It help him. Cain is getting in the face of some of the nattering nabobs of negativity. He is voicing our frustration.

Also, how many times have we been bombarded by our own people? Instead of getting behind the voters' choice AFTER a primary Karl Rove went on the air and deliberately dissed a Republican candidate. I know he didn't like her, but just which side is Rove on? The Republicans?

Dick Morris has yet to prove that he knows anything about the electorate. He hasn't been able to coherently provide anything useful. These and a few others are trotted out each week to tell us what WE are thinking. I used to think that they were intelligent. Now I KNOW better.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I think the problem for Cain is this:

His campaign has placed him beyond the process. In other words, he's out there talking with the American people while the establishment is off in its own world. For him to crawl down into the mud with these guys pulls him into the establishment world and not only validates their importance, but also injures his image as something truly outside of the system.

That's why I think it's bad for him to play their game.

Remember, they win if they can get him off his game.

I agree about Morris and Rove too. They are neither loyal nor smart.

T-Rav said...

Personally, I lost all interest in what Rove and Morris had to say after they started predicting a 100-seat swing last November, and we got considerably less than that. Why are these people valued as political geniuses?

tryanmax said...

I guess what I failed to clarify is that the coffee shop I went to is a perennial college/hipster hotspot--demographics usually dominated by the left. It's encouraging to see them growing cynical of entrenched liberalism.

Makes me wanna be like, "Nyah, nyah! I was conservative before it was cool!"

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I've been steadily losing interest in these guys for years as it becomes more and more clear they're just parroting what everybody else is saying and they are never held accountable for being right. Anybody can tell you what they heard, especially if no one ever calls them on it.

Plus, it started to dawn on me at some point that they aren't telling you want they think is true, they are telling you what they want you to believe is true. Huge difference.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, "I was conservative before it was cool" -- LOL!

Paul is definitely a great counter-force to liberalism at the college level. I wish there was a better way to exploit that. I've love to see the next generation be libertarian instead of liberals.

rlaWTX said...

that Cain spot was hysterical! and the comments are pretty funny (in a pathetic, whiny, I'm-a-liberal-with-no-sense-of-humor kind of way...)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I thought so too. I especially like the bit about the yellow flowers -- "why does it always have to be about color?!" LOL!

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