Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Despicable Newt

Romney’s win last night likely decided the Republican nomination. What I want to talk about today, however, is the damage being done to conservatism by the desperate and despicable creature that is Newt Gingrich. Specifically, he’s been smearing Romney and anyone he thinks supports Romney in ways which are causing long term harm to the cause of conservatism, and it’s time for conservatives to turn their backs on this troll.

Let’s start with Romney. Newt has been slandering Romney in ways that will make it very hard for Romney to beat Obama. Indeed, he’s engaged in a scorched earth policy premised on the idea that we better pick Newt or Newt will make sure Obama wins:
1. Newt has repeatedly called Romney a liar, dishonest and pathetic, when Newt’s actually the one who’s been lying. A reputation for dishonesty is nearly impossible for a politician to live down and harms everything they do because much in politics relies on trust.

2. Newt has made misleading attacks on Romney for investments made by the blind trust Romney is required to use to hold investments. These attacks are anti-capitalist, class warfare attacks and further suggest fraud or tax evasion on Romney’s part.

3. Newt promoted a ridiculous conspiracy theory involving Romney trying to unseat Allen West, suggesting that Romney seeks to destroy the Tea Party.

4. Newt has recycled Rick Perry’s vile “heartless” attack for Romney’s stance on deporting illegal immigrants, a stance shared by all conservatives.

5. And vilest of them all, Newt has tried to inflame religious bigotry while smearing Romney as anti-religion. Observe. Newt began this smear by suggesting that Romney hate religious freedom:
“I think Governor Romney is extraordinarily insensitive to religious freedom in America and the Obama administration is clearly engaged in a war on religion.”
He then told Fox News that Romney made a decision to cut Medicaid funding for health services which would benefit Jewish and Catholic facilities. This was an attempt to both claim Romney didn’t care about religion and to imply that Mormons could not be trusted to protect other religions. And if you think I’m overstating that, look at how he repeated this on CNN:
“You want a war on the Catholic Church by Obama? Guess what: Romney refused to allow Catholic hospitals to have conscience in their dealing with certain circumstances. . . . Romney cut off kosher food to elderly Jews on Medicare. Both of them [Romney and Obama] have the same lack of concern for religious liberty. . . I’m a little bit tired of being lectured about respecting every religion on the planet, I would like [Romney] to respect our religion.”
Note that Newt singles out a war on Catholics and Jews and then finishes with the suggestion that Romney is not a Christian and that he would protect other religions, but not Christianity. What Newt is doing here is playing on the religious bigotry of fundamentalists like Robert Jeffress who still view Mormonism as a non-Christian cult.

Gingrich then issued a truly despicable robocall claiming that Romney forced Holocaust survivors to eat non-kosher foods:
“As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes. Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney’s compassion for our seniors? Tuesday you can end Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy on religious freedom, with a vote for Newt Gingrich. Paid for by Newt 2012.”
When confronted about this robocall, Newt denied having any knowledge of it and incredibly then said, “You might check and see whether the accusation is true.” Note the lack of condemnation of the call and, more interestingly, his adoption of the message.
This is all despicable and will not only dampen conservative support for Romney, but will hang around his neck in the general election and throughout his Presidency. These aren’t policy disputes, they are bigoted smears and slanders.

And it’s not just smears against Romney which are the problem. Indeed, Gingrich has been busy reinforcing generations of leftist attacks on the foundations of conservatism:
● His attacks on Romney’s wealth and investments and Wall Street bankers have been anti-capitalist.

● His attacks on Romney’s immigration policy play right into leftist claims that conservatives hate immigrants and are “heartless” on the issue.

● His attacks on Mormonism feed fundamentalists who oppose all but their own sects.

● His attacks on the Republican establishment, particularly his false description of them and the conspiratorial nature of his attempt to claim victimhood, widen the gap between Tea Partiers and the Republican party, again splitting natural allies.

● He undercut conservative attempts to reform Medicare and Social Security (the Chilean model), and on the flat tax.
Moreover, Newt’s surrogates are smearing anyone who disagrees. Ann Coulter, Jonah Goldberg, and George Will, all solid conservatives, have been labeled RINOs. Elliot Abrams, who pointed out that Newt is lying about supporting Reagan in the 1980s and produced copies of Newt’s attacks on Reagan from the Congressional Record, where Newt did things like call the Reagan Administration “a failed presidency,” was smeared by a Newt surrogate who suggested with no proof that Abrams was lying because he had been offered a job in the Romney administration. Another Newt surrogate smeared Matt Drudge, who does more to help conservatives than a million Newts combined, for “bias” and “being in the tank for Romney.” Etc.

In a world where liberals already smear conservatives in this manner, and thereby try to rob them of their credibility, conservatives should never give aid and comfort to liberal smears. Yet that is what Newt is doing. He is systematically burning key conservatives and conservative principles to the ground and insanely destroying the foundations of conservatism all in the name of his own aggrandizement.

Further, Newt told us last night exactly what kind of administration he would run if elected. He demanded that the Republicans in Congress give him things that cannot be delivered, i.e. a repeal of ObamaCare on the first day, and he made it clear he would lump Republicans and Democrats into the same group and fight them all if he didn’t get his way.

This troll must be stopped.

Finally, let me say a word about Herman Cain. Cain endorse Newt this week. I find this extremely disappointing. When Cain left the race, it was clear he would endorse Newt because he and Newt are friends. But Cain didn’t do that. Instead, he created this rather corny, but oddly genuine political theater of endorsing the people. This rekindled the Tea Party’s love for him and was enough that they picked him to give the Tea Party response to the State of the Union.

Implicit in all of this was that he would represent the views of the Tea Party. As such, he should have worked to make sure each of the candidates acknowledged the Tea Party and agreed to address its concerns. Endorsing Newt (or anyone) was a violation of trust. This was like being appointed commissioner of a sports league and then cheering for one team. Cain should not have done it and should apologize for it now. You’re better than that Herm.


Tennessee Jed said...

my back is already turned. Newt is about Newt. Clinton was about Clinton. I'm not sure Cain really is better than that. He was an incredible disappointment. His "bimbo" problem either was a monumental problem he thought wouldn't come out, or his team was incredibly naive in not making plans to bring it out early and put it to rest.

T-Rav said...

I've already washed my hands of this salamander. (See what I did there? 'Cause a newt is a type of salamander...oh forget it.)

On Jed's point--as much as I hate to say this, because I really liked him, I think we were taken in a bit by Cain. A few quirks of his worried me at the time; namely, going back to his 999 plan at every other question and what I thought was a tendency to be as far right as possible to appeal to the base; but much of this is said with the gift of hindsight. At the time, I was okay with it, but it was there.

Notawonk said...

andrew: as i talk to folks, i am hard-pressed to find one that supports newt. he is awful and needs to step down. as far as cain supporting him, WHAT?! i was shocked and disappointed. you can't be aligned with the tea party AND newt. they aren't the same thing. it's like the right still hasn't caught on: we want conservatism. we want a fighter of socialism/liberalism. we want less of what the establishment wants to convince us we still need.


Kit said...

YOU ESTABLISHMENT RINO TRAITOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YOU MAY HAVE BEEN BOUGHT BUT I WON'T BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SCREW THE GOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kit said...


Gingritch in Witch Burning Crowd said...

"She turned me into a Newt....

evidently I didn't get better"

T-Rav said...

Also, I noticed last night that Gingrich refused to call Romney to concede the Florida race. Generally, the winner comes on and speaks after the runner-up does. Real mature, Newt.

tryanmax said...

Newt is at the bottom of his barrel of rhetoric. When a liar is reduced to straight-out declaring as liars those who speak the truth, he's in the corner. But don't expect Newt to go away--indeed, he's already made it clear he isn't leaving. I've called Newt a chameleon in the past, but I now expect a rabid mongrel. And, yes, I say that with full knowledge of how nasty he's been thus far.

Sadly, unlike Patti, I do know some folks who "Rewt for Newt." What they are interested in has nothing to do with reality, history, conservatism, or simple facts. What they want is a Classical Sophist a la 0bama: a clever spinner of words with a puckish grin and a haughty attitude toward his political enemies. They've set aside any illusions of virtue and settled on simple political aretê. *sigh* This is not the sort of excellence I thought conservatism encouraged.

Yet, even as a sophist Newt is a fraud. The "Big Shiny" as Andrew has called it was purely the result of taking jabs at moderators who were in no position to jab back. His response to the so-called negative ads against him was to go truly negative on his opponents (see article above). And of course, calling someone a liar isn't automatically true any more than any other possible smear.

I recall my biggest disappointment upon exiting school and entering "the real world." It was finding that the whole world is a schoolyard. (Jaded at 22 is not a disposition I recommend.) What Newt has done is counterfeited for excellence the talent--if it may be called such--of dragging all around him down to the playground and then bullying everyone.

rlaWTX said...

Unfortunately, I think his "establishment" attacks worked on some of the pundits. They were so astonished to discover they were considered to be "establishment", they immediately started chewing on Romney to prove they weren't.

While I agree that some of the big GOP names do try to push their perspective onto the national scene, especially over the Tea Party noise, I think randomly accusing consistent conservatives as being RINO's or "establishment" because they have the temerity to
disagree with you is ridiculous.

That's what the online comments are for - not the articles and speeches! ;)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I had a lot of hope for Cain and I kind of still do, but this was disappointing because it shows the wrong instinct. The very idea of the Tea Party is being about the ideas, not the personalities, and making an endorsement was about personality.

On Newt, I'm really getting mad at the guy. He's doing incredible amounts of long term damage with his tantrum and someone needs to tell him to shut the heck up and leave.

Kit said...

I will be fair, Romney hit Newt with a bombardment of negative ads.

It was Shock and Awe.

Of course, Newt did himself few favors by using attacks on Romney that sort of confirmed Romney's attacks.

He shot himself in the foot while sticking his foot in his mouth. And there is no way doing both of those at the same time can be smart.

Tennessee Jed said...

Kit - are you a Ron Paul guy? I have to believe you are not buying in to Newt's b.s. about him as the little guy, conservative outsider. Newt lost me at "the Ryan plan is right wing social engineering" then continued to insult my intelligence with nuanced sound bites he learned from Clinton. "Depends what the meaning of "lobby" is. Ron Paul is consistent in his libertarian message, but has no chance. Reality is that it is very hard to run as an ideologue and win. Obama, an ideologue, pretended to be moderate, ran against Bush, and used platitudes. Patience sometimes has to be a virtue. Apparently, the youg guns that came in 2010 were just not ready to throw their hat in the ring. Romney is going to be the guy, and I have no intention of helping Obama to a second term where he can continue to legislate from the oval office via his czars.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I did see what you did there! :)

I wish more of the conservatives who are defending him would wake up and see the truth.

Yeah, I'm not sure about Cain. I really want to like him and I think he had a lot of potential, but there are things that make me wonder and this endorsement is definitely one of them. It wouldn't have bothered me if he'd just endorsed Newt right away, but to add the theater first and then accept the responsibility of becoming the Tea Party rep before endorsing really feels like he's using us.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, Newt draws more derision from people I know than any other candidate -- even guys like Jon Huntsman. People don't trust him, don't like him and don't think his views are consistent with conservatism. And it drives me nuts that so many big name conservatives are out there not only defending him and supporting him, but also smearing people Ann Coulter for supporting him. This is unacceptable and they need to realize how much damage they are doing to conservatism.

The Cain thing is disappointing because the Tea Party is meant to be about the ideas, not picking a leader to follow.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Yep. I'm thinking of changing the name of the Blog to RINO-arama! ;)

Monty Python said...

"Build a bridge out of her!"

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I hadn't heard that, but nothing surprises me at this point. Newt is fighting the classic scorched earth campaign. It's personal. It has no limits. And he views Romney as an enemy to be destroyed, not a competitor to be defeated.

And if he didn't call, which is a tradition, that's as pathetic as a coach who won't shake hands after a loss.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax--Ha! I was jaded at 21, thank you very much! I win.

Unknown said...

Andrew: I have nothing to add to your excellent overview of an arrogant loser. I do think he hurts the conservative/Republican cause short-term, but will simply become an oddity and a footnote to electoral history. But he'll milk it to the very end.

rlaWTX said...

and just in case you thought that the anti-Mormon bias was a figment of the past, read the comments on this article. FLDS is bad enough, but the crap posted as comments in this good ole boy neck of the woods is ridiculous!

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, that's what I get for taking a fifth year.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Very well said.

This is not the sort of excellence I thought conservatism encouraged.

That is the thought that has been going through my mind this entire debate process as conservatives have made snap judgments based on youtube snippets, adopted liberal talking points, let the media smear their compatriots without complaint, and attacked each other over distorted minutia.

And now Newt has taken it to a whole nother level. His latest smears are truly bigoted and exploit fringe-wedge issues within the party, e.g. the idea that Mormonism is a cult. He's basically attacked conservatism as something that hates immigration, wants to help the rich crush the poor, and is synonymous with the hard core of evangelicalism, i.e. Robert Jeffers. He's even repeatedly suggested antiSemistism.

None of this is what conservatism is about, yet he's smeared us as such.

He's also doing as much personal damage to Romney as possible. As you put it, he's a bully and he doesn't care about anyone else except himself.

And I agree with you that he ultimately lacks a talent for anything except making himself look good by bullying others. You're right that John King really couldn't fight back, nor can the nebulous "establishment" Newt claims is trying to make him a victim because there is no such person. And then he further shows his bully/Stalinist instincts by smearing anyone who dares to disagree as enemies of the state.

I compare his followers to the Paulbots. The Paulbots are crazy, but they aren't hateful. Newt's people are hateful and he's fully encouraging that.

Finally, conservatism has never been about being a victim. Conservatism is about standing up for what is right, not what is easy, and whining about being attacked for doing so is pathetic -- it's not conservatism. That's something that always bothered me with Palin, she made herself into a celebrity by pretending to be a victim. Newt is now adopting the same strategy (something Alinsky advocated by the way), with the same conspiratorial, suck-punching results.

He is a disaster.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, There are clearly establishment types (Boehner) and RINOS (David Brooks). But people like Matt Drudge and Ann Coulter and Johan Goldberg (author of Liberal Fascism) are not that.

And what Newt is doing is trying to wrap himself in the victim shroud. This is something Alinsky actually said was the best tactic -- to goad the establishment into attacking you to make yourself seem more powerful. Newt is trying this and he doesn't care who he hurts in the process, so he's attacking anyone who even slightly hints at criticism as part of an all-powerful establishment, run by Romney, with the intent of destroying Newt, and conservatives, and you... they're under your bed right now!

Sadly, this stuff works on many people because it plays into the conspiratorial aspects of human thinking. Unfortunately, it also fragments parties in the process and generates a lot of hate.

As for why conservatives are falling for this, I suspect it has a lot to do with just image. Everyone says Romney is a moderate. They don't want to be a moderate. Newt claims to be a hardcore conservative. Thus, if I want to be a conservative, I guess I support Newt.... but notice that no actual attempt is made to look at their views, it's all about vague feelings. That's not how conservatism works.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, LOL! Yeah, I have to imagine it's bad to shoot yourself in the foot after putting your foot in your mouth!

I agree that Romney played hardball. BUT here's the difference. At this point, I haven't heard anything from Romney that smears conservatism or Newt's supporters. There were a couple comments I think he shouldn't have made, but nothing that made me cringe. Almost everything Newt said made me cringe.

The difference to me is that while Romney called Newt names at times, which was childish, Newt savaged Romney's character (liar, anti-Semite, cultist, anti-immigrant, earned money dishonestly) with lies and distortions, and did it ways that will hang around his neck.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I think Kit is joking about the RINO thing. :)

On Newt, I think his attack on Paul Ryan should have been a huge wake up call, if we weren't already awake from all of his other prior scandals.

He has no problem throwing anyone under the bus just so he can get a press conference out of it. This is a man who simply doesn't care what damage he does to others so long as it helps him.

P.S. I agree that Romney will be the nominee. I think last night decided it. And barring something truly unusual, it's just a matter of counting the rest of the votes now.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav and tryanmax, So young and so jaded. //sigh

I wasn't really jaded until probably 30. 1-29 were much nicer years.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I think the real damage is that he prolongs the life of the smears used by the left.

Look at the racism issue. So long as conservatives kept cowering in the corner every time someone yelled racism and some RINO would run out and beg forgiveness and keep the smear going, it worked. Now that conservatives simply laugh it off, it's a dead charge.

What Newt is doing here is keeping alive several smears by letting liberals say, "see, their own people know it! We were right all along, conservatives are all a bunch of ____."

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Thanks for the link: LINK.

There is definitely a subset of the evangelical community that firmly believes Mormonism (and Catholicism) is a cult. And Newt is playing into that without saying it directly. He is, in effect, speaking in codes -- something the left does and which they accuse the right of doing even though the right really doesn't do that.

DUQ said...

Newt is despicable. The thing about the Holocaust survivors sounds like utter garbage to me and he's clearly trying to have it both ways by claiming he doesn't know anything about it and then telling reporters, go check it out.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Fifth year of Kindergarten? Most of us got through in 3-4. ;)

Unknown said...

As for the anti-Mormon bigotry, I had to break up my friendship with several of my Baptist friends (temporarily, it turned out) back in 1960 when I supported John Kennedy for President. They were absolutely sure the Pope would be running America is Kennedy was elected. It seems comic and archaic to believe that about a Catholic candidate today, but it's not a lot different from what I hear from the anti-Mormons at this point.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, It's the same kind of smear like when leftists put out robocalls to minorities saying "GenericRepublican has voted twice to reinstitute slavery."

And on the charge itself, I haven't even bothered to look into it because knowing how Medicare works, what happened was the state's Medicare office set a budget and the companies who one the contract made the dietary choices and apparently chose a non-kosher meal plan. To twist this to "Romney set out to force Jews to eat non-kosher meals" is an incredible distortion.

It doesn't even pass the straight-face test.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I came along after that and to me the whole thing sounded downright silly... in hindsight. But then, as you say, we see the exact same thing with Mormonism now. And no Republican candidate for president should ever promote this kind of idea.

Kit said...


I'm a Mitt guy.

StanH said...

If you believe these are withering attacks, below the belt, just wait until the general election, the left is going to hit Romney with both barrels. So though Newt is being tacky, churlish, and deceitful, who have I just described Barry, his sleazballs know no bounds and will eviscerate Romney with a billion dollars of pure crap, get ready.

In defense of Newt, I know, hit me. He was my congressman in the early ‘80s and was called a grenade thrower even then. His special order speeches were killer, you can watch some of them on YouTube. Fast forward to ’94 his Contract with America was brilliant and changed congress from an L to an R for the first time in forty years. Sadly he has never had a governor on his mouth and power corrupted him, linking him up with the Beltway, for which he once decried on a daily basis. And for the past fifteen years he has enriched himself on the public trough, further linking up with the beltway, hypocrite?

Our field of candidates have sucked from the get go. We are sadly stuck with establishment Republicans, save Herman, while our bench gets ready, Jindal, McDonnell, Rubio, West, etc.

Sarah Palin was victimized. She was attacked viciously, like no person I’ve ever seen, and handled it with as much grace as anyone could.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, The problem isn't that he's offered withering attacks. The problem is the things he's used to attack Romney. It's one thing for Obama to whine "you hate poor people," it's quite another for a conservative to whine about someone being rich. That just tells moderates and liberals that liberals are right in their attacks. That's the problem with his attacks -- he's adopted liberal talking points and basically reinforced those as truthful.

Palin was victimized at the time. But she chose not to move beyond that. Instead, she decided to become a professional victim and exploit her status as victim-in-chief to enrich herself -- that's when she lost me. And she continues that today. She is about self-promotion and that's it, not conservatism.

Kit said...

Unless Romney slips up big (which is possible), I doubt Gingrich will win the race.

You have the conservative core rallied around Newt and everyone else around Mitt.

Mitt needs to pierce that core or, at the very least, isolate Newt.
If I were a Romney advisor I would tell him to hit Newt on his remarks over the weekend and portray him as a thin-skinned brat who can't take a challenge.
And then hope Newt behaves in a way that proves it (like last week).
Also, start getting together a plan for America in 2013 and a battle plan for going against Obamacare in the fall.

Santorum: Hit Newt on his "two-man race" comment and Romney on Romneycare.
Cast Newt as a delusional nut obsessed with winning. Santorum should, at the same time, cast himself as the only one who could take on Mitt and Obama. (see Romneycare moment).
Cast Newt as a liberal in conservative clothing via his "federal mandate" comments in May 09.

Newt: Stop being "Angry Newt". It's not a good look for you. You compare yourself to Reagan, follow him, appear unflappable. Though the damage may have been done.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I think the race is over barring something truly unexpected.

In politics, momentum builds upon momentum. With each win, Romney is getting closer to crossing that 50% mark. Once that happens, the herd instinct kicks in and people start to support the guy they see as the inevitable winner. That's why all the talk of a brokered convention is simply pie in the sky because that's not how humanity works. The only way that happens is if a front runner never emerges.

At this point, I think Romney should actively woo conservatives by meeting with conservative leaders. He should meet face to face, without cameras with Tea Party people and explain how he plans to address their concerns and he should do the same with evangelical leaders.

I agree his staff should try to keep goading Gingrich into playing the role of the childish tyrant, but he personally should start acting like he's the nominee and should focus on what he plans to do to reverse the Obama years.

I would ignore Santorum entirely if I were Romney, and I would probably flirt with Paul's populist base.

If Newt wants to reverse course, he needs to come up with something big and solid right now. He really could use a genuine sounding Contract With America II, except he's blown that gimmick already. Beyond that, I don't know how he digs himself out of this hole? I don't think he can do it by just attacking anymore.

Santorum really needs to hope Newt quits. Other than that, he's just wasting his time.

Kit said...

If I were Santorum, I would hit Romney on Romneycare and Newt on, well being Newt. And I would hit both from the right.

Romney needs to stay away from Santorum, but hit Newt. Maybe even hit Newt on the "two-man" race. There is some truth to "divide and conquer".

How to deal with Santorum?
If I were Mitt, I would ignore him for the most part (but make a plan of attack) and start coming up with a better answer on Romneycare other than "It's not worth getting angry about."

What he will do remains to be seen in the coming days.
If he's smart, Mitt will try to endear himself to the Tea Party and the conservative movement.
Pierce Gingrich's wall of support while propping up his own conservative credentials (and meeting with conservative leaders) while hitting Gingrich on his erratic behavior during the weekend before FL primary.

As well as start coming up with a plan for America in 2013.

Another thing, he needs to, in about a month, endorse Allen West. Not now, but in the summer.

Kit said...

Newt could dig himself out of this whole, if he goes back to being Good Newt. But if his speech is any indication, he could just as easily go to bad Newt. Which would be very good for Romney and Santorum.

Mitt, before he heads to the tea parties and evangelicals, he should send Ann there first. She could warm them up to him. She is a much better speaker than him.
She is his best asset and worth $80 billion in campaign money.

Kit said...

In short, I agree with what you said.

darski said...

Just a note... Mormonism is a cult. It is not any form of Christianity. it is not a smear to tell the truth.

Personally,as a Christian, I would vote for a Mormon and never think twice about it. But let's be real... if you say that Jesus and Satan are blood brothers... you are wayyyyy off into fantasyland

AndrewPrice said...

Good point about Allen West, he really does need to endorse him and maybe agree to a fund raiser with him or something. Personally, I think he should pick West as a VP, but obviously he won't want to do that now.

And I totally agree about needing to come up with a better defense of Romneycare. He had a very solid defense of it in one of the debates, but seems to have gone away from that. His answer was a list of ways in which Romneycare differed from Obamacare and then he finished it off with a Tenth Amendment argument. That was highly effective.

I agree too about sending his wife first. She's a very effective speaker and seems much more "human" than he is. But he really does need to have a private face to face with some of these people to explain to them how he plans to address things like the Tea Party's desire to see massive cuts in the government. I would go to them with a deficit plan that reversed all of Obama's spending as well as a plan to reform and shrink the government itself.

AndrewPrice said...

I think the problem with Good Newt is that Newt realizes he's behind in the polls and it's very hard to catch up by just being positive -- unless you have a truly great idea. That's why there's so much negative campaigning because it's easier to bring the other guy down than raise yourself up. So while being Good Newt would help him personally, I'm not sure he believes it would help him make up the difference.

Plus, I'm not sure how much control Good Newt has over Newt. I get the sense he's really Bad Newt and can only whip out Good Newt for short periods?

One thing is for sure, I'll bet Newt is wishing right now that Santorum would just quit.

Individualist said...

The Holocaust was 60 years ago. If you were 10 years old when you were in the camps you would now be 70.

This statement kind of reminds me of the homeless that would beg for money in the 90's who claimed to be former Vietnam War vets yet appeared to be 30 years old.

Sounds desparate to me. And no I don't think Newt's helping Fannae Mae was a good thing, sorry.

Kit said...

"if you say that Jesus and Satan are blood brothers... you are wayyyyy off into fantasyland"

That is a misinterpretation of a way the Mormons view God and his creations -I think.

They view them as "SPIRITUAL brothers".
But by no means are they the only brothers nor are they EQUAL brothers.
Satan was created with a spark of divinity (he was an angel, originally) but he went down the path of evil.

Since they were all

Kit said...

"This statement kind of reminds me of the homeless that would beg for money in the 90's who claimed to be former Vietnam War vets yet appeared to be 30 years old."

Reminds me of a joke Chris Titus once said:
"Two weeks ago in Los Angeles, at a stop sign, I was asked for a dollar by a homeless 22-year-old Vietnam veteran. I was like, 'Here's a buck. Yeah, I know man, Da Nang was whack.'"

Kit said...

Here is the Mormon explanation of their beleifs.

Some crazy stuff but no "blood brothers" stuff.

AndrewPrice said...

darski, The thing is that seen from any one all the others can be described as cultist. It's not really a useful description and it's meant to be insulting. You may not agree with their theology, but that doesn't make them cultists. And they don't have any of the normal behaviors associated with cults, and more than the Catholics do -- another group that called cultists.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I don't think the Fannie Mae thing is good at all. It shows again that he places himself above his beliefs and he tailors his verbal statements to fit whoever he's speaking to at the moment.

I think the "Holocaust survivors" phrase was simply meant to inflame because Newt didn't think it would be enough to say "Romney cut funding for Kosher meals under Medicare."

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That's pretty funny. Don't get me started on the guys begging at intersections! I watched a guy do that all day for a week and at the end of each day he climbed into his brand new Ford F-150 with pockets full of cash!!

Here's your link: LINK

Tennessee Jed said...

I don't doubt that Romney has tried to find the most expeditious way to rid himself of the Romneycare millstone. It seems that at it's core, recently, he has taken an essentially conservative bent . . . that is that health care is a state issue (governmentally speaking.) If the good liberal folks of Massachusetts want state administered health care, that is their prerogative. For the feds to jump in over steps their constitutional bounds.

Kit: silly me !! :)

darski said...

It's not really a useful description and it's meant to be insulting. You may not agree with their theology, but that doesn't make them cultists. And they don't have any of the normal behaviors associated with cults, and more than the Catholics do -- another group that called cultists.

you are speaking from ignorance on this. A cult is defined as any body whose beliefs differ significantly from orthodox Christianity. Saying that Jesus - GOD was created is heresy. By Christian definitions the mormons are a non-christian cult - they don't even get in the door. Catholics are a Christian cult because they deny the sufficiency of Jesus Christ for salvation - they get in the door and are just wrong on some stuff.

My point is that you should not condemn what was said - it is true - and confine yourselves to condemning his motives.

Kit said...

"A cult is defined as any body whose beliefs differ significantly from orthodox Christianity."

Where did you get THAT definition?

So then Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Confucianism, etc. are all cults?

Cults are defined as small groups that not only practice beliefs outside the norms of society but use incredible means of discipline to keep control of its members:
Examples tend to include the Branch Davidians, Aum Shinryko, People's Temple, etc.

Kit said...

In now way is the Catholic Church a cult.

By using that term you are lumping it with the such fringe groups as People's Temple and the Branch Davidians.

FLDS would qualify as a cult, the LDS would not.

Kit said...

Scientology would also be an example.

rlaWTX said...

I think we have come to have a "modern" definition of cult that doesn't limit itself to beliefs that are simply heretical to Christian orthodoxy. (especially since "Christian orthodoxy" has a pretty broad definition in this day). I grew up an "independent, fundamental, Bible-believing, New Testament Baptist" preacher's kid. Mormonism was considered odd, crazy, nutty, and wrong, but even my dad agreed that they weren't a "cult".

The modern view of cult tends toward those who have peculiar beliefs and add being secretive, manipulative, and controlling of their followers. Mormons have gone mainstream. Scientology is trying, but about the time people forget they're odd, secretive, and controlling, Tom Cruise (or another adherent) goes publicly berserk.

Kit said...

"The modern view of cult tends toward those who have peculiar beliefs and add being secretive, manipulative, and controlling of their followers."


AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Kit and darski,

I think rlaWTX is right, I think we have a definition problem. It's like the word "gay." Gay has a specific technical meaning, kind of a giddy happiness. But that meaning has been eclipsed by a new meaning, broadly accepted by the public of homosexual. Thus, if I say, "X is gay," almost no one thinks I mean "happy" unless there is context to that effect.

I think the same thing is true here. The classic definition of "cult" may be Christians who diverge from orthodoxy, but the practical definition involves a whole lot of crazy -- charismatic leaders, brainwashing, communal living, etc.

So when someone calls another religion a "cult" in this day and age, much more is implied than the old-school technical definition. It is basically an insult.

Ed said...

The Democratic Party, now there's a cult!

I used to like Newt a lot, but he's really turned me off in this primary. The few good things he's done have really been overshadowed by his conduct in the last month.

rlaWTX said...

oh yeah, we were talking about Newt...

Tam said...

I am coming out of the closet. I am a Mormon. I do not have any intention of getting into any contentious arguments of theology or cultism or defend or explain any of our beliefs beyond this: We are Christians. We believe in Jesus Christ as our saviour and mediator, through his atonement. We read, study, and believe the words of the Bible. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. If any of you want further explanations of what LDS members believe, I would direct you to the official site of the curuch,, rather than to any of the other .com sites where disgruntled members or former members go to vent. If I want to know and understand other faiths, I seek the faithful, not the groups of bitter dissenters. Those of you who personally know mormons can probably attest to our mostly decent behavior (we are all human after all, with human failings) and that in general, we are good people.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Yeah, that's the biggest cult in the country! LOL!

I'm seeing some interesting shifting of opinion today. A lot of Newt's supporters seem to be starting to kick the tires on the Santorum bandwagon. I guess we'll see how far that gets them.

Tam said...

*that would be church, not curuch. Some of us are grammar/spelling nazis in our spare time.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, I've always thought of Mormons as Christians and only rarely heard anyone assert the contrary -- and I haven't given those assertions a lot of credence.

I've also known Mormons growing up and through law school and I've never known any of them to be anything other than decent people.

P.S. I misread your first two sentences and my first thought was "Tam's a gay Mormon?" It took me a moment to sort that out.... the old brain ain't what it used to be.

Tam said...

I've heard that there are gay mormons, but I'm not one of them.

tryanmax said...

Tam, I do not have any intention of getting into any contentious arguments of theology...

Awww! Why not? ;)

Getting back to Newt, in my earlier rant I also meant to point out than Newt loves to run on the highlights of his past while he attempts to forbid his rivals from discussing the demerits of his record. There’s no denying that Newt has some excellent feathers in his cap, and he should run on them. (Last I checked, no one is denying them.) The so-called negative ads run against him are, as far as I’ve seen/heard, are just the parts of his story that aren’t so pretty. To me, a negative ad is an ad-hominem, a distortion, or something irrelevant. The ads against Newt that I am aware of are simply reminders of his political past.

RE: RomneyCare -- I’m of two minds as to whether Mitt should work harder to differentiate it from ObamaCare. On one hand, they are much more different than similar--in fact, RomneyCare was devised to deal with a problem that the Federal gov't foisted on Mass involving Medicaid. On the other hand, those who see an individual mandate as unforgivable in spite of any 10th Amendment justifications just aren’t going to come around on anything else.

RE: Kindergarten -- You got it, Andrew! I fooled everyone into thinking that I didn’t know my ABC’s so I could keep finger-painting longer.

AndrewPrice said...

Speaking of grammar/spelling Nazis, I can't believe how many typos I make these days. If I didn't know better, I would think I damaged my brain somewhere in the typo-correction zone.

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk - I agree with everything you wrote here. I washed my hands of Newt when he started his attacks.

But on a lighter note: Did anyone know that Mitt Romney's real name is "Willard Mitt Romney"?

tryanmax said...

Oh, Tam, now I know you are lying. Gay Mormons? Yeah, right. Next you'll be telling me there are black conservatives. LOL! Or legal Mexican immigrants! ROTLFMAO! I'd better stop before I go hysterical.

Tam said...

Tryanmax, contentious theology arguments hurt my head, and often my heart. Way too personal. Contentious political arguments are a whole other story. ;)

tryanmax said...

Isn't Willard the guy with the rats?

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, I'm pretty sure I know one. But it's not really any of my business and it doesn't bother me one way or the other so I never asked.

Tam said...

btw, I've only heard of these gay mormons. I don't know any of them personally. At least, I don't think I do. :)

Tam said...

Exactly, Andrew. Who cares? Let each individual sort out his or her own identity and personal relationship with God.

Regarding Newt, he's despicable. I wish his massive ego would allow him to see the harm he's doing. And really, what is he going to do when he isn't the nominee? Vote for Obama? What an ass. (sometimes mormons swear, too)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Kindergarten -- good times. Who knew growing up would be such a mistake?

On RomneyCare, I'm not sure he can satisfy some people no matter what. So I think his best bet is to explain to the public at large (1) why it's a matter of states' rights and (2) how it had key difference with Obamacare and (3) how he plans to fight Obamacare. And then leave it at that.

In fact, people who are upset about RomneyCare are being hypocritical when they jump on the Newt bandwagon because he pushed the same mandate he's now trying to hang around Romney's neck.

You're right about Newt, he's big on selective history and he reacts very poorly to anyone who tries to present the full record. I also agree that it's fair to attack someone's record, though it's nonsense when you have a similar record. It's only negative when the attacks are personal attacks or smears.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev and tryanmax, Willard? Really? Yeah, that's the guy with the rats.

Kit said...

From what I know the negative ads by Romney were what I like to call "true, but"s.

They were true, but they left something out (IRS exoneration).

However, he did not say that. It was left to other people to defend him and you can't have that (as Mitt is learning today after his "poor" comment).

He spent the whole weekend acting like a whiny, spoiled brat.

tryanmax said...

Kit, exactly. Newt comes off babyish because he cries "liar liar" without ever stating the truth--which he really can't do because the truth isn't much better. He can't bring up the parts left out because they only confirm the parts already stated. But that's what happens when you have garbage in your record that you choose to ignore.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam and tryanmax, I prefer to avoid theological arguments as well for the simple reason that religion is about FAITH, i.e. it's all unproven and unprovable. So arguing about doesn't make a lot of sense because no one is more right or more wrong that the other person, and it will only result in upsetting people.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, I learned a long time ago that it really doesn't affect me if someone else is gay, straight or whatever. So long as people aren't trying to force themselves on me, than I say live and left live.

Which, by the way, explains my fundamental problem with liberalism -- it's all about using government force to tell other people how to live. I hate that with a passion!

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Swearing is something I have honestly not heard from Mormons! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

kit, tryanmax, and Tam, I think it is very telling that Newt is either blind or indifferent to the damage he is doing. As people used to say, "this is the point in the killing spree where you turn the gun on yourself." Translation: there comes a point where even the crazies realize that what they've done isn't right and they need to stop one way or another. Newt is at that point and just doesn't seem to care.

I got a robocall last night from Newt 2012 suggesting that Romney is advocating forcing ObamaCare on the states to help homosexuals, with whom he has some secret pact.

Also, I'm not saying Mitt has clean hands here, but when I look back on the attacks, I don't see Mitt slandering an entire ideology. To me, that's a key difference.

Tam said...

Well, now you have. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, That's hilarious! LOL!

Mormons Swearing

T-Rav said...

Wait, Tam's a gay Mormon?! Did I miss something?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Nope, that's been debunked! LOL!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

This hyena is a wolf in sheepdog's clothing.
He has destroyed any semblance of the shred of decency, credibility or any virtues he may have had in the past.

I don't even think he's really as smart as some folks think he is.
He can't even lie consistantly, just like Obummer.

In fact, other than Paul, Newtered is the closest to Obamao in more ways than might seem apparent.
Especially irt his lust for power, lack of good character (ie none), lack of good judgement (see none, again) and leftist/populist Alinskylike principles that don't respect liberty, honor or nobility.

In short, Newtbummer4 is not a decent human being, he's a sociopathic jackal. A malignant narcissist at best.

I second Michael Reagan: shut up about his father, Newt.
Shut the ef up about how you (only in your own mind) are smarter and more conservative than President Reagan was you lying, sanctimonious twit!

Obviously, Newtastrophe didn't learn anything from Reagan, which tells me Newtpocalypse has always been a malignant narcissist who only cares about himself and his lust for power.

Gangrenich ain't running for President he's running for Tyrant in Chief just like Obamamanic.

Excellent post, Andrew. Thanks! I reckon if you listed all of Newtbeth's negatives your post would be novel length.

I really can't think of anything positive to say about this ghoul.
This pompus gasbag should be shunned by conservatives and libertarians.


USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I have read some comments at other sites by conservatives that support the Newt that actually suggested a Newt/Paul ticket (shudder).

More accurate would be Newt/ in a neutron bomb.
Come to think of it, a neutron bomb would probably be a lot less destructive than those two, should they ever reach the White House.
Egads! Scary thought.

Tam said...

Keep up, T-Rav!

rlaWTX said...

Tam, I figured there had to be one around here somewhere - you're everywhere! ;) And you do realize that you are now required to support Mitt regardless, just like I am required to hate Cain because I am white and love Bachmann because I am female! And if you make any comment derogatory to any other candidate it is because you are LDS and not that Newt is a toad...
Pigeonholers Unite!!!!!

rlaWTX said...

y'all play nicely - I gotta go to class...

AndrewPrice said...

USS Ben, You are clearly on a roll! LOL! Newtpocalyse, Newtastrophe, NewtRon bomb, etc. Very nice!

I can't disagree with anything you've said.

I hadn't heard that Mike Reagan told Newt to stop comparing himself to his father, but it's about time. Newt not only is nothing like Reagan, as several people have pointed out from the Congressional Record, he was very harsh (and very wrong) about Reagan.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, This is what happens when T-Rav decides to go to class all day rather than hanging out around here. If you ask me, he's got the wrong priorities! ;)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Pigeonholers unite! LOL! Nice.

Good luck with class.

T-Rav said...

Yeah, yeah, whatever guys. If I didn't go to class and fulfill my TA duties, I'd lose my $1,000 a month and then have to sell my laptop to make ends meet, and then where would I be? So there.

The thread's gotten lengthy, so I'll just say that I still don't like Romney. I just like Newt even less at this point.

Tam said...

rlaWTX, we are everywhere! My husband was shocked when I said something once about mormons in other places in the world. I think his exact words were, "There are mormons in Mexico?!?!?"

Tam said...

And for the record, I never was a big Mitt fan. I'm still not, and it has NOTHING to do with religion. (Harry Reid is a mormon too...ewww!!!) but it looks like he'll be the last man standing and I'll support our nominee.

BevfromNYC said...

Okay, though I almost always agree with everything that LawHawk has to say, I realize that Andrew wrote this article. So when I said "I agree with everything that you wrote here" it should have been directed at Andrew.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Ok, good point. Earning money is good... just make sure you spend all your free time here! ;)

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, I was amazed to learn how far and wide Mormons travel. That also explains why so many are bilingual or even trilingual.

I suspect that not many voters support candidates merely because of their religion. Good point about Harry Reid too... blech.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I'm glad you've said that, otherwise you would be hearing from my lawyers! ;)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Those of you who personally know mormons can probably attest to our mostly decent behavior (we are all human after all, with human failings) and that in general, we are good people."

I agree wholeheartedly, Tam!
I've known and know a lot of Mormons and with rare exceptrions they were all decent folks.

I judge people on their character and fruits or actions.
Most Mormons I have known are of good character and take charity seriously including charity for people that ain't Mormons.

As for Catholics being a cult or denying that Jesus is their savior that's new to me, being a Catholic (and former Protestant; I tried several denominations).

Catholics believe in faith AND good works (they aren't mutually exclusive).
Certainly anyone that actually believes Christ redeemed them and accept it will wanna do good works.

Anyhow, I concur that it's best to have theology discussions in a neutral and respectful manner unless it relates to a post (radical Islam or fundamental Islam for example).

PS- A Mormon friend of mine in the Navy once said "Damn."
He said, jokingly, that sailors like me who use salty language were corrupting him, lol.

tryanmax said...

Ben, Newtbummer4!? I didn't know they even made a sequel! Yer scarin' me! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I could imagine where live in the Navy would add to one's vocabulary! LOL!

Yeah, very little good comes from arguing about theology.

Tennessee Jed said...

I might suggest people check out Ann Coulter's weekly column on Romney Care which was published (posted) today.

As for Romney and Mormonism, I have no time for anyone who would wish to disqualify him based on his religion. I don't mean this to come off the wrong way as condescending, but I have met a lot of Mormons in my years, and they ALL have been friendly kind people. That is merely my own personal observation and experience, nothing more or less.

Tam said...

Jed, I don't think it sounds condescending at all to say you have no time for people who would disqualify a candidate based on religion. I think it sounds like you are familiar with the first amendment and the awesome hypocrisy that such a disqualification would entail.

tryanmax said...

Thanks for the heads up, Jed. It's a good read. Here is a LINK for anyone else who wants to read it.

I've been seriously boning up on the differences between the two plans, and this is as good a summary as I might have put together if I had more time.

It is my contention that the two biggest differences are that 1) Massachusettsans (or whatever you call 'em) wanted RomneyCare whereas Americans did not want ObamaCare, and
2) The Mass. Constitution allows it, the US Constitution does not.

I put it to a friend the other day like this: Getting upset over Mitt and RomneyCare is like getting angry with a college ball player for not following pro rules.

Unknown said...

Bev: So you don't agree with me? LOL

AndrewPrice said...

Jed and Tam, I agree, but with this caveat. In general, a person's religious views don't matter to me so long as their judgment is otherwise intact and so long as they aren't intent on imposing their own views on others.

That's where I run into a problem with fundamentalist Islam, for example, and could not presently support a fundamentalist Muslim -- because I don't trust that they respect other people's rights to religious freedom.

tryanmax said...

I don't trust members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I see Pastafarianism as an underhanded way to get everyone to increase their carb intake.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The point you raise basically works out to a ban on Republicans from liberal states in national elections.

They either need to fight everything to the death, which means they'll go down in defeat and then will be dismissed as losers, OR they will be savaged in primaries for giving the voters of those states what they want. Either way they lose.

It's also a rather hypocritical anti-Federalist position to argue that conservatism should be forced on liberal states.

Also, the flip flopping bit bothers me. Aren't we trying to win people over from the left? Yet here we are tearing a guy apart for lack of purity because he came from left to right. (Just like many of our greatest conservatives.) I find this argument destructive and stupid.

AndrewPrice said...

Pastafarianism, ROFLMA! Bravo!

Tam said...

Andrew, I agree. I can't claim to have a problem with Islam the religion because I don't know enough about it. I have a problem with the actions of the islamic fundamentalists in the name of islam. I don't care what the Pastafarians believe, as long as they don't try to force me to eat more spaghetti than I can handle, or torture/kill me or my family for noncompliance.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, Same here. I suspect most adherents to Islam are probably decent people and I have no problems with them doing their thing. But when it crosses over into trying to force their views on others, engaging in terrorism and murder, breaking the laws or demanding separate laws, or trying to take away rights we hold dear -- like freedom of speech, then I do have a problem with it.

Pastafarians is just a great name for a religion! :)

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, I read the Coulter article, and disagree with it. As a counterweight, I suggest this Philip Klein article: LINK

Main take-away, as I see it: contrary to what Ann says, RomneyCare wasn't a solution to the free-rider problem, it was an attempt to expand the pool of healthy people with premiums to pay for all the sub-par people on the system; which is similar to what many were predicting would happen on a national level under ObamaCare.

On a broader level, I have a real problem with the whole "It's being done by the states so it's okay" defense. I mean, it might be permissible under the conservative understanding of federalism, but it's not conservative in and of itself. (Also, let's not forget that RomneyCare is being heavily subsidized by the feds; ergo, it's affecting all of us to some extent.)

As for what Ann says about all the conservatives who supported an individual mandate back in the day: Fair enough--to a point. A lot of pundits have made the argument that what would have been called far-right thinking a few years ago is now in the mainstream of conservatism today, so it's understandable that some of our people were a bit more liberal in the past than they are today. Which I agree with. But even if this is true for Romney, he keeps displaying a determination to refuse to apologize or even throw a bone to the base for his past missteps. You can make a case for RomneyCare as a pragmatic solution or a necessary evil; you can not call it a "fundamentally conservative" approach--and that is precisely what he has done. This is a large part of why I dislike Romney; much like Huntsman, he seems content to pronounce himself a conservative and then calls on the base to just trust him on this, without doing anything to justify that trust.

Tennessee Jed said...

Tam - thanks for your kind words. Andrew, I was specifically referring to Mormonism and Romney, but, of course, it would apply to anyone's faith assuming that the tenants of that faith do not call for imposition of those tenants on others or otherwise trample basic human rights. (You cannot condone, say, ritual sacrifice for example.)

Certainly we have seen persecution and many other terrible things done in the name of religion, but usually the fault lies with the imperfect human rather than the philosophy. Like Tam, I cannot consider myself expert enough in Islam to know whether Jihadism is truly a fundamental tenant of Islam or some horrible mutation of Wahabism. The point is, as you suggest, anyone who, as a matter of faith, wishes to drive Jews into the sea or impose some form of Sharia Law in our country would be disqualified as president prima facie.

Personally, my own journey has been less towards organized religion with it's dogmas, and more towards improving my own level of inner spirituality through external actions. There is one discipline within Islam which probably supports that, at least in a general sense, and that is sufism.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, I appreciate the counterpoint. Unfortunately, I don't think that Klein has as firm a grasp of the facts as he supposes he does. Before I dig in, though, I have to say I take a fundamental exception at the choice of photograph which accompanies the article. It's clearly designed to set a mood in the reader and doesn't speak well to the author's or editor's own opinion of the strength of the writing.

I think that Klein is flat-out wrong on the comparisons being about more than just semantics. I expect I would be hard-pressed to find five people (other than Commentaramians) who could give me a substantive comparison/contrast of the two plans. Is that an insult to conservatives? I don't know, but Klein certainly isn't able to.

He clearly hasn't thought his main argument through. The free-rider problem and expanding the pool are both parts of the same whole. It's like arguing that a soup-kitchen isn't about feeding the homeless, it's about propping up Campbell's. (BTW, I'm paying Klein a compliment by not assuming he is merely being disingenuous.)

I also notice that Klein does a lot of mischaracterization of Coulter's piece in order to make his point. I didn't read Coulter as trying to spin conservatism out of liberalism. If Coulter made an error in her piece, it is in assuming that the reader would remember that something like universal health care was inevitable in Massachusetts in the mid-2000s. Politicians in the state at all levels and of all stripes were all working toward such a goal.

Romney knew full well by that point in his governorship that his veto pen was useless. If anything, Romney demonstrated how important market principles are to him by dirtying his hands at all trying to inject even a little conservatism into the bill rather than symbolically washing his hands of the whole affair.

rlaWTX said...

can we really pigeonhole Pastafarians??

Tennessee Jed said...

T-Rav; thanks for the link--an interesting counterpoint. Yes, there are two issues involved; e.g. the constitutional issue, and the policy issue. To me, if you look at anybody who has been in government at broader than a congressional district level, you will see time and time again they compromise their principles. That may not make it any more palatable, but I do understand it (Franklin's old politics is the art of the possible.)

I think early on, someone on Romney's team sold him on the decision to not "flip flop" and do a mea culpa on Romney Care. There may have been a lot of reasons for this. At least I think he has always admitted it would not work on a national level. It is why, for once, I wish we had a real mandate through the senate and white house get active about implementing some real solutions to a real problem (see commentarama care.)

T-Rav said...

rla, in my experience, pigeons and pasta don't mix.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, I agree that there is a little hair-splitting going on in Klein's article, but I think his basic point still stands: This was not a free-market solution. It may have been marginally more free-market than if the Democrats had been left entirely to their own devices, but not really. And what he's really taking issue with is Coulter's determination to paint this as a conservative policy. That's a losing proposition. Again, you can certainly argue that it was the most pragmatic approach and that Mitt did the best he could. But don't say that it was a conservative, free-market solution. It wasn't. It was a big-government policy from the start. I would really like to read up on the history of RomneyCare, so we can know how all this went down.

What this really shows is, just as many feared, conservatives are twisting themselves in knots trying to defend Romney. To paraphrase a saying I've heard around the blogosphere, "Conservatives may be able to stand for Romney come November, but that's all they'll stand for." All my concerns about him remain unsoothed.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I figured you were talking about Mormonism, but to me it's a broader issue that encompasses all religions.

I think the world trend is actually toward a more personal religion. I would think that's possibly a result of increased consumerism, i.e. we are "learning" that we should have choices in all things, but also I think it's the fact that the organized religions themselves seem so flawed because of the things their leaders do.

That said, I agree 100% that we should never hold the bad things done by a few in the name of a religion against a religion in general.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, No one ever thinks about the poor Pastafarians. :(

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav and tryanmax, Here are my thoughts on the RomneyCare issue:

To modern conservatives, RomneyCare is indefensible. HOWEVER, at the time, Romney did something which (1) the people of his state wanted and (2) which was consistent with things being (wrongly) argued by conservatives at the time, including Newt and the Heritage Foundation.

We may not like it now, but I think it's unfair to call the guy a RINO for doing it then. Instead, we need to look at his thought process today.

I also do think we need to realize that part of Federalism means that states are allowed to get it wrong. It's not really Federalism if we are saying "you have the freedom to choose unless you choose wrong."

Now all that said, I do agree that Romney should not be trying to call this "fundamentally conservative." It's not. And I think he knows that, but I think he's decided that there's nothing to gain by apologizing and he's probably right -- public apologies rarely work.

But finally, I come to this point. Again, many conservatives have come from the left originally. We want that. So it's wrong for us to say, "well, you once went the other way" and forever hold it against people. He's said that he doesn't want this nationally and that he will repeal ObamaCare, and I don't think "but he did something different" is really a legitimate argument because it basically disqualifies people once they've ever made a mistake. There comes a point you need to look at everything he's done since.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. T-Rav, my e-mail to you keeps bouncing back for some reason. I don't know if you got it or not.

rlaWTX said...

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Here's you link: LINK

I thought it might be about the Pastafarians!

rlaWTX said...

I'm not that photoshop capable!

I just saw the sticker and had to laugh... and share of course!

tryanmax said...

Anyone arguing that RomneyCare is a free-market solution--being wrong notwithstanding--is missing the point. I don't read that argument in Coulter's piece, and I certainly don't intend to make it myself. The same should be said of those arguing the converse.

As I pointed out before, some form of gov't healthcare was inevitable in Massachusetts. However Romney felt about that was immaterial. His veto pen was worthless against a 90% Democrat legislature. His choices were limited to: 1) Wash his hands of the whole affair and stand in symbolic opposition to what, in all likelihood, would have been something like HillaryCare or 2) Get his hands dirty and try to inject some conservatism into the inevitable.

I read the Coulter piece as praising Romney for what he mitigated rather than condemning him for failing to stop what he couldn't possibly have.

Kit said...

"His choices were limited to: 1) Wash his hands of the whole affair and stand in symbolic opposition to what, in all likelihood, would have been something like HillaryCare or 2) Get his hands dirty and try to inject some conservatism into the inevitable."

Has Romney made that argument?

tryanmax said...

Not in so many words, but he has often alluded to such an idea. He certainly should not say it like I did. That would play terribly.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax and Kit, I think he has said it implicitly when he's mentioned that this was Massachusetts and this is what the people wanted. Implicit in that are the words "crazy liberals." But it would be bad form to badmouth a state and start a war of words he doesn't need.

And I think there is something to the idea that it's better even to shift things a little when it's not possible to stop them entirely.

AndrewPrice said...

p.S. I don't know if he can make that argument or not, as I don't know how much input he really had or how happily he endorsed the measure. But it is a valid argument to the extent it applies.

To me though, I see the issue as a dead issue as far as I am concerned personally because he's said he will undo Obamacare and that's all that matters to me.

tryanmax said...

he's said he will undo Obamacare and that's all that matters

I agree entirely. But I've found a lot of people for whom that isn't good enough; they think it's just a political promise (a.k.a. "lie"). After much prying--and getting yelled at--I've found that incredulity stems from not understanding how he could have signed RomneyCare in the first place. So, I made a point of finding out.

As far as Romney's input, some might still find it too much to bear. The plan is called RomneyCare because it was essentially his. In a nutshell, every legislator and lobbyist in the state had a version of healthcare he wanted passed. If Romney was to have a say, he had to have his own plan. So he came up with one taking cues from the Heritage Foundation and managed to sell a slightly conservative plan to a wildly liberal state.

Basically, what went down in Boston was the exact opposite of what went down in Washington. As executive, Romney was pumping the brakes whereas 0bama was flooring the gas.

AndrewPrice said...

Good point. I suspect however, that much of this is just people buying into the narrative. Romney is a moderate/liberal ergo everything he did was wrong and nothing he says now can be trusted. By comparison, Newt is not a moderate/liberal and therefore any time he acted like a liberal is excused as necessary or just a minor mistake and we should trust him now.

All in all, it becomes circular. And that's why I think Romney is smart not to fight it because he can't win. All he can do is antagonize people who aren't currently antagonized by this.

Kit said...

Most likely he will lose Mass. in the General. (At best, it will be close).

So, here are some things he needs to do.
-Come up with a clear tax plan or endorse Paul Ryans.
-If you come up with your own, make it less than 200 pages.
-Give the above explanation of Romneycare: "I had a liberal legislature that wanted to pass an extremely liberal bill, so I did what I could to pull it to the right as much as I feasibly could. So, taking advice from the HERITAGE FOUNDATION*, one of the Most Respected Conservative Think Tanks in the Country*, I put forth Romneycare and it passed. And I am proud of what I was able to accomplish in a liberal state."
That is, quite literally, all he needs to say. It's quick and its to the point.
-As for the "poor" comment. First, it was mind numbingly stupid. Almost comically so. This is what happens when you are a Republican without a clear Economic Message. I don't think he's a heartless bastard but its still dumb. And, unlike his "fire people" commment, which was an, admittidly poorly made, argument for choice, the context for this statement made conservatives even less trustfull of him.
-Go after Holder and Fast&Furious.
-Read ROAD TO SERFDOM. Have it dog-eared by the General. If you can read through reports on faily factories I know you can read this.
-Get coherent. Stay vague for a short while but form up a coherent message at least before the pre-Super Tuesday debates.
-Have your wife speak more often. She. Is. Your. Best. ASSET!
Use her.

I'll elaborate in a bit.

*He should emphasize "Heritage Foundation." and "Most Respected Conservative Think Tanks in the Country."

Kit said...

Things his wife could say:
-"My husband does have a tendency to mispeak at times, but you know what . . . " something, something.
-Tell a story about his charity work: "Due to a certain misstatement on his part, a lot of people say my husband cares little for the poor. Well, let me tell you about the Mitt I know . . . " some story about his charity work and how his business work helped poor get work concluding with " you see, Mitt understands that the best work for the poor comes not from the government but the compassion of individual citizens and the entrepreneurial spirit of the American free market."
-Introduce him by telling a story about them during her ordeal with MS and thank him publicly "for being such a devoted and loving husband during such a trying time."
-Have her be the big gun on abortion. Women can do it well. She will be attacked, probably called some nasty things (whore, slut, Stepford Mormon, on nice days.), but those dirty attacks will endear her to the right, which can only be good for Romney. If it's one thing conservatives hate, it's to see a pro-life woman attacked.

AndrewPrice said...


I think those are solid ideas and an excellent campaign strategy. I would recommend all of it as well.

I particularly like the idea of putting together a short and easy to understand Paul Ryan Economic Plan.

The other thing he might want to consider would be asking Allen West to join him as a Tea Party representative. (And then VP). I think that would get Tea Party people truly excited about him. But he would have to listen to West, not just use him as a prop.

(I agree about the "fire people" and "very poor" comments -- stupid. Indeed, that's old school Republican stupid.)

Kit said...

Watch the video of him saying "I like to be able to fire people."

You can actually see an "oh, S---!" look on his face as he says it.

He knows its dumb, but he can't stop the words from spilling out.

Kit said...

I'm not sure about West. I'd wait until the primaries are secure.

There are a number of conservatives (hopefully a very small number) who think he played a part in screwing him out of a seat*. To do it, now might anger them even more and seem desperate for the Tea Party vote.

Also, I don't think West is a huge fan of his.

For my part, I think the redistricting had more to do with local politics than national feuds.

If he darts to fast to the right it will seem disengenious. He should make it look consistent enough with his earlier positions.

And mention the Trump as rarely as possible.
Not kissing his ring would have been dumb as Trump would have spent the whole time until Nov. making Mitt's life a living hell. Just don't mention it aain, except to say, in a joking manner, "We got the Trump!" at a rally.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, I saw that.

On the one hand, these candidates speak so much during campaigns that they are likely to say something stupid. And with the media out to finds something.

Also, it's kind of crappy that people look to take soundbites out of those things rather than dealing legitimately with the meanings. In a way, that makes it virtually impossible to say anything.

On the other hand, the good politicians both learn not to say certain things and then to realize when they've said them and to fix them on the spot. Too many Republicans never figure this out and they keep giving the left ammo with stupid statements like: "the poor are poor because they're lazy." That sort of thing.

AndrewPrice said...

Trump is a magnet for disaster. Romney needs to be gracious, but dismissive. Something like: "I'm glad he's on board, that tells you that even business people get it," and leave it at that. That's the best way to avoid getting burned when Trump changes his support to someone else to get publicity.

On West, I think the key is to start the process in private. Tell West what Romney envisions for West and see what West wants in return. Negotiate the whole thing out and then spring him at a point where Romney finally crosses the 50% mark and no longer looks like he needs Tea Party support.

BTW, I think the idea of Romney trying to take down West has been debunked. It's all about a new law related to how districts need to be drawn. Plus, West is now moving to a better district.

Kit said...

I'm of two minds on it.

Part of me wants to Gibbs slap him while the other part (the part that allows me remain sane in these crazy days) just wants to laugh about how incredibly stupid it was.

Kit said...

Steven Hayes noted that while Trump was speaking, Mitt and Ann Romney looked like his kids when they are about to be given some bad tasting medicine.
That "anticipation of pain" look.

AndrewPrice said...

I recommend laughing. In truth, while these things always sound horrible at the time and can dominate the news cycle for a while, they don't have any staying power. By the time of the election little that happens now will be remembered.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Easily deleted. No problem.

I wonder what they were upset about? Maybe the fear that Trump would pull some sort of ridiculous surprise? Or maybe just being uncomfortable with the whole circus aspect of Trump and giving him a platform to exploit? I could see either. I think Trump is a joke.

Kit said...

Speaking of laughing:

I just had a funny thought:

Rubio, the VP pick, is hammering Biden on healthcare.

Rubio: "This was a bad piece of legislation, it has intruded on individual liberty, intruded on states' rights, it has-"
Biden: "Hey! Obamacare is a big f---ing deal!"
Cue stunned look from Rubio, moderator, and audience.
Biden: What?

I don't know why, but the thought of a stunned look on Rubio's face after a Biden f-bomb just sent had me crackling.

I know Rubio has said he won't be the VP.

Kit said...

Cut to Obama and staff facepalming themselves.
Michelle: "Tell me again, just WHY did you pick HIM to be your Vice President."
Obama: "I have no idea."

Cut back to Biden.
Everyone is still stunned. Rubio's mouth is still hanging.
Biden: "What? [shrugs] Go Giants!"

AndrewPrice said...

That would be really funny.

I have to say, I'm looking forward to the debates this time. It was KILLING me watching idiot Obama and idiot Biden stumbling their way through the debates. Having done trial work, I could have EASILY destroyed either and made them look like absolute fools. But we had to pick the two people on this planet (McCain/Palin) who were just as bad at debating. It drove me nuts watching them miss opportunity after opportunity and never once throwing an effective punch. McCain in particular was just awful.

This time, the Republicans won't be pushovers. This time, Obama and Biden will be exposed.

Kit said...

If Romney does well, in the debates, my guess is that he will do poor int he first but pick up in 2 and 3.

Also, I thought of this while brushing my teeth. The toothpaste went into my nose.

AndrewPrice said...

Well, at least your nose is clean. :)

I suspect Romney will do well throughout. Obama is the one who will be entirely out of practice -- plus, he just doesn't have the skill. He's a reader, not a debater. He can't think on his feet, he shows no ability to improvize and he gets angry when he gets in trouble. Also, he has yet to show me that he's been paying attention during his term, so I think he has neither skill, practice/experience or knowledge. Those are the keys to debating.

Romney on the other hand has all three by now, AND he got a new debate coach after South Carolina. This guy turned everything around for him and I expect he will stick with this guy throughout the general election.

Kit said...

We'll know if his skill is still with him if he does great in the Super Tuesday debates.

Also, whose idea was it to have a proportional electorate, considering how well it worked out for the Dems in 2008.

AndrewPrice said...

That will be an interesting set of debates to see how he does after a break. Especially since Newt and Santorum will be prepared to try new attacks.

The proportional thing was an attempt to stop states from moving their primaries forward. I think it's a mess. In fact, the whole primary system is a mess.

Kit said...

Winner-take-all works a lot better.
We saw it last election season. The Dems ran into a lot of trouble over it.

Kit said...

Also, here is Karl Rove's article on what Mitt needs to do.

I think he's right. He needs to communicate ideas. Bring back Paul Ryan's plan, which Gingrich called "right-wing social engineering."

Kit said...


AndrewPrice said...

The Republicans are big on repeating Democratic mistakes.

Here's the Rove link: LINK

He makes some good points. I think he's right when he says the campaign is tilted too far toward biography rather than ideas.

AndrewPrice said...

Well, that should get the Green Party 3 more votes... maybe 4.


Kit said...

Full article:

Kit said...

My links apparently don't link.

AndrewPrice said...

You have to use html. It's hard to write because it tries to turn it into a link. Here's what it looks like:

1. Start within these: <>

2. Then you write:

a href="thelinkaddress"

3. Then, after the >, you write the name of the link, e.g.

Roseanne Link

4. Then you finish with another one of these <>, and inside you write /a

So to show you how it would look using [ and ] instead of < and >.

[a href=""]Roseanne Link[/a]

Individualist said...


I am Catholic and although my mother was protestant growing up she was raised in Provo Utah and all of her sisters married into the Mormon church.

My Grandmother would complain bitterly about the Mormons but it was never about their religion. She felt they had to much power in Utah.

The Mormons I have met are very good people and for the most part better than I am. I will say what I know of the myths of their religion does seem loopy to me but I can forgive this since they appear to act in a manner I would call Christian.

Again as a Catholic I beleive that One God is three people and a women became pregnant while a virgin. Who am I to talk of "loopy".

I have attended a protestant church at the request of a friend in the past and I have no problem with them either.

The difference between the Catholics and Protestants that I see is that the protestatns seem to concentrate on accepting Jesus and becoming saved and born again. They believe that if you do this yuou become a better person.

The Catholics seem to think you must constantly go to confession and list your sins and make ammends. They tend to believe that you need to keep a spiritual scorecard to become a better person.

Who is right. I don't care as long as the worshipper does become a better person. And in truth I think in the end that is all God cares about. But I could be wrong.

AndrewPrice said...

Who am I to talk of "loopy"?

LOL! Nicely put! :)

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