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Mr. Not so Electable anymore

February 8, 2012 2 comments

There has always been a huge chink in Romney’s armour of electability. Last night, that chink turned into a chasm.

Romney lost 25.2% to Santorum 55.4% in Missouri; 17% to Santorum 45.2% in Minnesota and 35% to Santorum 40% in Colorado. To be fair, two are non-binding caucuses and MI was a non-binding primary. Does it mean that Santorum is the man now. I still don’t think so. I’m still convinced that Santorum was the lucky man at the right time to receive the Not Romney bounce going into the Primaries. Santorum hasn’t been the focus of a $30 million negative ad bomb that Newt is dealing with. That’s all going to change.

It will be interesting to see how Santorum reacts to the carpet bombing of negative ads that Team Romney will unload on him. Meanwhile, Newt is waiting for Super Tuesday. I think if Newt is smart, he’ll let Romney do all the dirty work against Rick (which is the only thing Romney is good at) and focus on the positives of his campaign, which is what he wanted to do in Iowa before Mitt went negative first.

Where does that leave poor Mittens? Well besides the millions in SuperPAC funds to unload a barrage of negative attack ads on Newt and Rick….not much. Romney is/has peaked. His constant negativity has hurt him. His percentage of votes has all gone down vs ’08. If you look at the States Romney has won, you see two things pop out, money spent on attack ads and demographics. Money is the big reason that Romney won Florida. Romney’s campaign spent $7 million to Newt’s $1 million and the Romney’s PACs spent $8.5 million to Newt’s $2.2 million. In Nevada, the huge Mormon population played a big factor in Romney’s win. As for New Hampshire, what can you expect when the candidate campaigned in the state for the past 5 years?

Looking ahead, there are some bright spots for Mitt. He should do well in Maine, Michigan, Vermont and Massachusetts. After that it looks bleak. Going out West, he might do well in Idaho (sizable Mormon population there) and of course Utah, but that’s it. One of the problems for Romney, is that he doesn’t have enough money to sustain the constant stream of negative attack ads against two opponents. If he goes full bore on the attack against Santorum, Newt will come out the winner. If he goes full bore against Newt, like he has been, Santorum will come out the winner.

This is the big reason Team Romney and it;s surrogates have been pushing the meme to end the primaries early. They know, just like in 2008, a longer primary will spell their doom. It’s not because the longer primary will expose more and more of Mitt weaknesses as a candidate, which are legion. It’s because Mitt only campaigns negatively. A prolonged negative campaign only hurts the candidate in the long run, while propping them up in the short run. Unless Mitt can campaign on positives, telling people why they should vote for him instead of why they should vote against the other guy, he will continue to lose support.

Romney would help himself and his party if he realized that he will have a much higher chance of winning the general election if he reaches out to conservatives and convinces them to be enthusiastic. It’s one thing to win the vote of every anti-Obama voter in the country, but on his current trajectory Romney will fail to convince many of them to make that extra effort to get their friends and neighbors to the polls. That could ultimately mean the difference between victory and defeat — and for now Romney seems oblivious to that fact.

This is also the reason why I don’t think Romney would win against Obama. You can’t win by hoping that the electorate will vote against the other guy. I think Republican’s misunderestimate Obama’s 2008 win. I think the GOP thinks Obama won purely by running a 100% against Bush campaign. He didn’t. He gave Liberals a reason to vote for him as well. He gave them Blue meat as well as telling then to not vote for the other guy.

Candidate Romney = Rise of the Libertarians

January 31, 2012 2 comments

A lot of people have been talking about what will they do if Mitt Romney is nominated for the GOP Presidential Candidate. I’m not alone in thinking that the GOP establishment is desperately trying to prop up Mitt as their establishment candidate. The establishment GOP media is pushing Mitt and attacking Newt. They have their various reasons, mostly citing “electability,” for pushing Romney but that won’t help Mitt if he should become the nominee.

The level of negative attacks coming from Mitt Romney’s campaign is turning people off. How else can you explain almost a $10 million ad blitz from Team Mitt (with 80% being attack ads) and losing independents nationally (his Raison d’être)? Mitt seriously lacks any Tea Party support as well. The establishment has been openly hostile to the Tea Party, wanting the votes but not the criticism. Rubio is a perfect example, elected by the Tea Party only to shun the Tea Party (TP Caucus and SOPA?)  and put himself in Mitt’s camp. Mitt probably think that since Liberals think Tea Partiers are all racists, he better stay away so as to not be guilty by association.

So what does that mean for the Libertarian party?

I would argue that many of the Tea Partiers are libertarian minded voters. I’d challenge anyone to find huge level of disagrement with Tea Party fiscal policy (since there is no central figure for the TP, Wiki is the best source)  and CATO’s fiscal policy. Many Tea Partiers are endorsing Ron Paul, an Austrian economic style libertarian. There would be no room for a Paul in a Romney administration, every knows it. So where will all that support go? Dr. Paul has said he will not run as a third party candidate, I believe him.

I think a lot of people that cannot stomach the notion of voting for Romney will instead vote for the Libertarian party candidate, most likely Gov. Gary Johnson. I know a lot of Paulites like Johnson. I like Johnson and I know a lot of Tea Partiers do too. Looking at Gov. Johnson’s fiscal policy aims, they mesh with the Tea Party.

If the GOP primary keeps going like it’s going, with Mitt Romney poisoning the well in his Pyrrhic quest for the nomination, I see the Libertarian Party growing. As Soros said, “There’s not much difference between Obama and Romney.” Where will the people go if faces with two of the same?

Update: Like Mana from heaven comes this great link from Legal Insurrection: The Conversation With a Florida Tea Partier That Should Scare Every Republican

“I see a Romney nomination causing Tea Partiers like me to tune out. We are already disheartened by the congressional leadership. Romney will be the final nail in the coffin. He is completely uninspiring, and is everything we have been working so hard to defeat within the GOP,” Rebecca said. “Don’t even get me started on that Bain Capital picture. Ugh. There is no way he can win. And I don’t want to have to defend him while he tries.”

“I will be voting this Tuesday. I will make it fit into my schedule. I feel like my vote matters right now,” Rebecca said. “But can you see how I might not make it a priority if I feel like either my vote doesn’t matter, or if I don’t feel like the candidate I’m voting for will be much different then what we have? Can you see how life may take precedence over casting an uninspired vote? I can’t be alone in this thought process, and if enough people feel this way (and I think they will) it will be catastrophic for Romney and really very bad down-ticket as well.”

This is exactly the way a lot of people are feeling. It reinforces my point that a Romney nomination will cause a lot of people to just not vote Romney. They won’t vote Obama either, but Romney will be as much of a uniter for the GOP as Obama has been nationally.

Parallels to the 2008 Democratic primary? You betcha! Remember the PUMAs? Remember how they caved and enough HRC dems held their nose to vote for Obama? That turned out great didn’t it? There is little difference between the GOP establishment and Democratic establishment. Do we cave in this time as well, for another empty suit?

Rule of Thumb: Never believe anything MSNBC says about Republicans

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

I was watching the snore-fest of a debate last night. Aside from the littany of questions that are really meaningless (Everglades? WTF?) the best stuff happened during the debate wrap up. In particular Andrea Mitchell, long known as a Democratic Propagandists there out this little bomb.The video can be found here. (I don’t know how to embed that in my blog, it’s not a youtube clip)

“I talked to a top Romney adviser tonight who said, ‘Look, if Mitt Romney cannot win in Florida then we’re going to have to try to reinvent the smoke-filled room which has been democratized by all these primaries. And we’re going to have try to come with someone as an alternative to Newt Gingrich who could be Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, someone.’ Because there is such a desperation by the so-called party elites, but that’s exactly what Gingrich is playing against,” Andrea Mitchell said on NBC tonight after the debate.

At first I was like whoa. It plays right into the whole party elites don’t want Newt meme. That was my fast brain thinking. Afterwards, my slow brain started clicking into action and I started thinking, “Why should I believe Andrea Mitchell?” Why would a Romney adviser say something like that to Andrea Mitchell of all people? Andrea Mitchell is a mouthpiece for the DNC. There is a great blog called FireAndreaMitchell.com check it out. A list of Mitchell’s propaganda can be found on that site here. Of my favorites:

  1. Iowa is too white, too evangelical, too rural to re-elect Obama
  2. You and I Are Both White
  3. Andrea Mitchell covers Obama and idiot Biden eating burgers! (a love story)
  4. Andrea Mitchell in Awe of Cabinet’s “Brain Power”

Knowing that she is just a mouthpiece for the DNC, why should we believe anything she says or the Network that employs her as an impartial journalist? The debate question were mere fishing expeditions for a safe or good soundbite for Obama re-election ads.

Earlier yesterday, I was in a facespace debate with some Romneybots over this story; Obama for Gingrich’ memo hits Romney.

President Barack Obama’s campaign manager tried to help former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s primary campaign on Monday morning by sending out a 1,540-word anti-Romney campaign flyer just days prior to the Jan. 31 Florida primary votes.

The Mittbots were trying to say that this is proof that Obama is scared of Romney. I tried (unsuccessfully) to tell them that they are being played. That Obama wants to face Mittens in the general election and that Messina is using a head-fake strategy on them. Their bias got in the way of the critical thinking skills. But the same question can be asked, why would the Democrats be so blatant? That coupled with Mitchell’s “party elites” statement just make me think that they are trying to stir up controversy within the GOP ranks. They know the GOP is divided over the Romney’s vs Non-Romney’s (I have my own hypothesis on this which I hope to write about this weekend.) They know that the GOP voters think that the party elites really are tyring to push Romney on everyone and are really pissed off about it. MSNBC is only trying to add fuel to the fire.

I urge everyone not to believe trust anything that comes out of the mouth of Andrea Mitchell or MSNBC (ABC, CBS too) about the GOP. Their only goal is to see Obama win, period.

You probably shouldn’t trust Fox either, since they are all in the tank for Romney (with exception of Palin).

UPDATE: Not 3 seconds after I hit publish, I got to thinking not believing is too strong a word. That would insinuate that they never tell the truth and in my mind would be an ad hominem attack on MSNBC. I don’t want to do that. It’s better to say don’t trust them. If you see something, verify it yourself. If it is something that can’t be verified (Mitchell’s statement) then be skeptical, think it through and see if it makes sense. I still firmly believe that our enemies and critics are the best sources of critical information. Yes they have a bias and over hype the short comings, but they are usually the most diligent to find factual errors as well. Our own bias does blind us to our shortcomings. We are the easiest person to fool, we fool ourselves all the time. That’s the criticism I have for Obamabots and Romneybots. I’d be intellectually dishonest to say I am immune. I am not, which is why I do read the criticisms and weight them in my head.

GOP media has lost their damn minds

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

I normally like Charles Krauthammer. He usually analyzes a topic well and presents a clear logical explanation to an issue. That said….today he has lost his fucking mind! I think during the night, someone took out all the logic circuits and replaced them with sauerkraut.

His first mistake is to assume that only Romney can be the nominee. Then assume that any and all criticism of Romney’s business is “class warefare,” i.e. anti-Capitalism. These are just the lead up to what we already know what is going to happen.

If Romney is the nominee and loses, it’s all the fault of those of us who criticized Bain’s business model and Romney’s role in creating it.

Suddenly Romney’s wealth, practices and taxes take center stage. And why not? If leading Republicans are denouncing rapacious capitalism that enriches the 1 percent while impoverishing everyone else, should this not be the paramount issue in a campaign occurring at a time of economic distress?

Now, economic inequality is an important issue, but the idea that it is the cause of America’s current economic troubles is absurd. Yet, in a stroke, the Republicans have succeeded in turning a Democratic talking point — a last-ditch attempt to salvage reelection by distracting from their record — into a central focus of the nation’s political discourse. (Bolded for emphasis)

That’s your narrative. The other narrative people like Krauthammer will be saying is, if Romney isn’t the nominee and the GOP loses….oh wait…if Romney isn’t the nominee the GOP will not lose…my bad. You know what the narrative would have been anyway. This is a clear example of the GOP media Obamatizing Romney.

Obamatization: The act of carrying water for a candidate, never criticizing them and demagoging anyone that does.

Maybe we need a list and hold these asshole accountable for the damage they are doing to the country, by trying to push the least vetted GOP candidate around…Romney.

I dare say, if Kraut keeps this up…he’s no better than Stephen Colbert.

h/t Legal Insurrection

Romney is being Obamatized.

January 19, 2012 2 comments

One fact about the 2008 election was that Obama received very little criticism and probably a lot of help from the media. Even Jake Tapper admits as much: “You had the media, perhaps, tilting on the scales a little bit” No shit!

Why is the media going easy on Romney? Why is he getting the Obama treatment when McCain’s 2008 opposition research book hit the interwebs?

Notice anything there? Yeah no MSM mention of the book, only blogs. The book can be found here. I hope to write a few posts on some of the issues, particularly the economics, Health Care and Business record sections.

So why is the media going soft on Romney? Could it be that they are still tilted for Obama and they are waiting for Romney to get the nomination, then going for the kill?

Debating Bain

January 13, 2012 3 comments

In debating people on how relevant Bain Capital is to Romney a common rebuttal, in relation to KB Toys, is that you can’t hold Romney accountable to things that happened after he left. I find this an interesting rebuttal because on face it seems logical, but when you really think about it, Bain (post Romney) is just as relevant if not more so than Bain (during Romney).

As one of the founders of Bain Capital, Romney is in a unique position to help create, shape and mold the corporate culture, ethics and values for Bain. This is very important as the culture and values of an organization have profound impacts on how a company does business and its norms. Look no farther than to compare the cultures and values of Google to Enron. One has the simple value, “Don’t be evil” while the other used bad accounting to make themselves look good. Is attacking the practices of Enron an attack on Capitalism?

So while Romney might not have been the lead on the KB Toys acquisition, he certainly had an impact by instituting a culture in Bain that creates this perception of Vulture capitalism via Leveraged buyouts. This matters in the election. Romney not only helped create the culture of a company that “raids” other companies but he also had an impact in who ran the company after he left. This matters in the election. What kind of culture will there be at 1600 if he is elected POTUS?

We can see what kind of impact his has by looking at Obama and his Culture of Corruption. Obama has repeatedly put in people that put politics first and foremost. Does Eric Holder ring a bell? Fast and Furious anyone? Solyndra? The people that Obama put into power are what makes the POTUS so powerful. What kind of people will Romney appoint?

One person we know that will have a significant position is John Sununu. For those who might not know who he is, check out his Wiki. This was H. W. Bush ‘s chief of staff. He very well could be Romney’s as well. There are two significant things he did for H.W. He was instrumental in Bush going back on his “No new taxes pledge” and he was instrumental in SCOTUS Souter‘s nomination. Souter was one of the Court’s reliably liberal voters  and stepped down so that Obama could appoint Sotomayor. Thank you Sununu! So not only did he destroy H.W.’s chance of reelection, he also paved the way for a (at least) 40 year liberal vote in the Supreme Court! This matters in the election. Already we can see what Sununu is doing for Team Romney. Is this what a Romney Presidency will look like?

One tactic conservatives are using to justify Romney is that we can’t let Obama appoint anymore people to SCOTUS. So can we afford to have Romney appoint another Souter?

 

 

Looking at Bain Capital is perfectly acceptable…here’s why.

January 13, 2012 1 comment

Is Bain Capital Romney’s bane?

Mitt's Money

A preview of the optics the Left will use.

It seems like the conservative punditry think that any questioning of Romney’s activities at Bain are not just an attack on Romney but an attack on Capitalism itself. That we should just grin and bare it, Romney is the only guy that is capable of winning against Obama.

I’ll start with the last claim first. To say Romney is the only one that can win, is pretty defeatist already. In a year of high unemployment, low GDP growth, and low POTUS approval ratings, if the GOP platform is soooo weak that only a liberal Republican from the NE (which makes him pretty Liberal in the rest of the country) is your only hope, why are you even playing?

Romney claims that he is the only guy because he is the most electable. Well what if that claim is a myth. John Hawkins seems to think so. Here’s the most relevent.

4) His advantages disappear in a general election: It’s actually amazing that Mitt Romney isn’t lapping the whole field by 50 points because he has every advantage. Mitt has been running for President longer than the other contenders. He has more money and a better organization than the other candidates. The party establishment and inside the beltway media are firmly in his corner. That’s why the other nominees have been absolutely savaged while Romney, like John McCain before him, has been allowed to skate through the primaries without receiving serious scrutiny.

Yet, every one of those advantages disappears if he becomes the nominee. Suddenly Obama will be the more experienced candidate in the race for the presidency. He will also have more money and a better organization than Mitt. Moreover, in a general election, the establishment and beltway media will be aligned against Romney, not for him. Suddenly, Romney will go from getting a free pass to being public enemy #1 for the entire mainstream media.

If you took all those advantages away from Romney in the GOP primary, he’d be fighting with Jon Huntsman to stay out of last place. So, what happens when he’s the nominee and suddenly, all the pillars that have barely kept him propped up in SECOND place so far are suddenly removed? It may not be pretty.

On the issue of Bain, did it get a bailout? While Politico has shown itself to be nothing more than a HuffPo like arm of the DNC, stories like this will have a hard time being explained away. While Team Romney’s explanation is technically true, the optics of it are bad, very bad. In the modern political climate, if Romney can’t explain it in a way that appeals to the average, economically illiterate voter in less than 30 seconds then it’s a net negative that Obama will gladly hang around his neck with a very willing media to do the dirty work. (Got to save all that “small donor” lucre for community organizing and making sure the dead get to vote.)

There are plenty more reasons for why Romney’s electability might be a myth but I won’t go into them now. Suffice to say the only real person trying to hold back the GOP lemmings from jumping off a cliff for Mitt is Prof Jacobson at Legal Insurrection. Make sure you have him on your daily blogroll.

Now lets look at the charge that an attack on Bain is an attack on Capitalism itself. Looking at the claim, it just doesn’t make sense on its face. It doesn’t follow that the business practice of one firm are representative of the whole. A good analogy that is use is this. Questioning the methods of Michael Mann, the Hockey Stick illusion, does not represent an attack on Science in general. That’s the kind of attack the Left usually makes, equating one for the whole. So while the conservative punditry are busy saying that Perry’s and Newt’s attacks on Bain are Leftish tactics…it can equally be said of their attacks as well.

The truth is, in order to make things better overall you need feedback. Whether Newt’s and Perry’s attacks are true, partially true or out right fabrications, they provide a feedback mechanism for correction. Is Romney the best guy given the hostile climate he will have to face from Obama, Democrats and the Democrat leaning MSM? Again I have to hand it over to Prof Jacobson:

In response to this entirely legitimate point being raised that a predatory history of investing may not be what we want in the nominee for the presidency, we have a chorus of voices asserting that Newt is attacking capitalism.  Some of those voices long have hated and vented venom at Newt, others are less ideological and have reacted as if the entire capitalist system were under attack.

It’s sad to see so many in the Republican Party so incapable of distinguishing between economic and political arguments.