Or maybe there’s substance, I just simply don’t believe these people. At all. Even a little bit.
Ron Paul, resident curmudgeon and Fief to a little hamlet in a corner of Texas, sat at last night’s debate like Ebenezer Scrooge:
Ebenezer: [Giggling] No. Mrs. Dilber – I’m not mad.
[He ruffles his hair so that it looks wild]
Ebenezer: Even if I look it!
When I’m nodding along with Ebenezer and chortling at the candidates making all sorts of small government promises and not believing them, I’m pretty sure all is lost.
I just want them all to shut up, already. Even when I agree with them: Please, just SHUT UP.
This is precisely the goal for the media, I’m guessing. Elevate Republicans so insufferable even the snoozer Obama sounds reasonable and interesting in comparison.
No. I still don’t like Mitt.
Rick Santorum pointed out that RomneyCare was the basis for ObamaCare. This is simply fact. Romney’s response?
And let me — let me — let me mention one more — the reason we have Obama Care — the reason we have Obama Care is because the Senator you supported over Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, the pro- choice Senator of Pennsylvania that you supported and endorsed in a race over Pat Toomey, he voted for Obama Care. If you had not supported him, if we had said, no to Arlen Specter, we would not have Obama Care. So don’t look at me. Take a look in the mirror.
Wait, what? How about we blame Specter’s parents. I mean, if they hadn’t had him, he wouldn’t have grown up to be a lousy Senator.
Heh. I suggest we blame Satan. Without Satan, Arlen Specter wouldn’t have had evil impulses.
Republican money, leadership, important people, how come you can’t see the obvious weakness?
And the fact that ANY candidate looks weak in the face of Obama just demonstrates how idiotic it is to play along with the media and these stupid debates.
Shooting ourselves in the foot over and over.
Being a Republican is like being a Lions fan. Except less hopeful.
More bad news. Even Ace’s … oh never mind.
Is Newt being Alinskied or is he an Alinskyite?
“Gingrich’s clashes against the establishment are classic Alinsky.”
I’ll admit that primary elections of all stripes have more than a little Alinsky, a lot Machiavelli and a dollap of Sun Tzu thrown in for fun, but the brass knuckle tactics go with the territory.
Mitt Romney ran to the left of Rick Perry on Social Security, called Perry a “crony capitalist”, and became a positively scandalized church lady in the face of Perry’s reasonable solutions to illegal immigration–solutions, I’d add, that he supports now that Perry, his chief nemesis, is gone.
If Newt is Alinsky, we’re all Alinsky now.
Added: Ann Coulter is going all-caps on Newt. She makes a compelling case for Mitt Romney. The arguments are nuanced and policy oriented. I’m not sure how that works against Prez Hope and Changey.
I will say this: I’m not willing to fall on my sword for any of the remaining candidates. I don’t like any all that much.
The bigger macro issues of fighting with the press and fighting dirty like Obama, I think Newt may be better equipped to do. And that goes to electability, too.
Emmett Tyrrell Jr. makes a compelling anti-Newt case, too. He calls him “our Clinton.“
Maybe there should be a new TV show: Everybody hates Newt.
Just a thought. Clinton was scandal ridden and awful and evil. He was also expedient. So, here’s the question: If Newt got elected, and has a Republican Congress, and is a Clintonian expedient President, which way does he go?
Does he go this way to keep the Tea Party happy? Here’s what Reagan said about Newt’s plan.
When I say everyone hates Newt, I think maybe, it’s not an exaggeration.
Newt the honey badger. Not kidding.
Found someone who likes Newt. He DID work with Reagan and make positive change. Not so fast says another writer at NRO. Newt is the devil and never met Reagan ever (I’m taking liberties at this point).
Another defense of Newt?
More Newt hate. Jim Geraghty channels Tom Coburn (who I like but blocked me on Twitter because I tweet to much, so what does HE know)?
“I don’t want a nice man,” said Kenny The Nail Guy, “I want someone to beat Obama. I choose Newt.”
This was a very interesting statement from a Vietnamese immigrant who despises communism and knows a socialist when he sees one. He sees one in Obama.
Kenny is onto something.
Pretty much everyone, except Callista and his daughters, believes Newt Gingrich isn’t a very nice guy. I felt like his multiple marriages and “angry little attack muffin” persona as Peggy Noonan called him would be a deal breaker.
I am coming to believe his impatience with the bullshit and general grumpiness is the reason people like Gingrich.
First, people are sick of the stupid. And the government is big, stupid, annoying, interfering, and run by incompetent boobs. Gingrich is willing to concede it. In fact, he has a difficult time bearing the stupidity. In psychological terms, this is called mirroring. Gingrich mirrors the national mood perfectly. We’re a nation of angry little attack muffins except no one is really listening to the average out of work, miserable citizen. Who will speak for them?
Second, Newt is battling the media–his real enemy. He has declared war on them. If he’s going scorched earth on Mitt, he’s going nuclear on the Press. People are loving it. Why? Because the press aggressively, arrogantly pushes their agenda which is a hard left agenda. America is NOT a left-leaning country. They are center-right. They self-identify as conservative.
The press pets this cycle have been Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney. Lavish spreads in Vanity Fair. Extraordinary deference in debates (especially Mitt).
Today, Romney cluck-clucks to Newt that going after the press is easy. No it’s not, otherwise Romney would do it. But Romney doesn’t want to antagonize the ones who have been giving him such generous ink.
Any Republican running for office is not only running against his Democratic opponent, he’s running against the press. A conservative’s CHIEF enemy is the press. Let me say this another way, a Republican CANNOT win unless he speaks around, above and in all ways that avoid going through the press liberal filter.
Romney, like McCain in ’08, wants to be buddies with the press. And yet, the press is on Obama’s side. When Romney goes into the general, he’ll be constantly flustered and offended and dismayed by the abuse he’s taking. It will be a shock after the sloppy kisses of the primary where the press would rather the choice be between a Republican liberal and a liberal-liberal.
Newt, in contrast, knows who he’s running against and right now, it ain’t Romney and in the general, it won’t be primarily Obama. It’s the press. He gets this now.
Finally, around 75% of the GOP base has been against Romney since the beginning. In 2008, the base knuckled under, again, for a guy who was a terrible candidate. They’re unwilling to do it again.
And don’t be deceived, Mitt Romney is a horrible candidate. Romneycare, global warming, increasing taxes, bland, not a great communicator, flip-flopper, abortion, distant, removed, owned a chop-shop.
My brother said of Mitt,”Everyone knows that guys like Mitt exists,” speaking of Mitt’s company Bain which went into distressed companies and sometimes chopped them up and sold off assets,”and people know that that work is a necessity and someone has to do it. They just don’t want their president to be that guy.”
Mitt isn’t particularly likable either, he just seems like a nice guy. Well, Obama seems like a nice family guy, too. Big deal. People have decided nice is overrated.
Mitt has another negative though. Mitt Romney is the caricature of “evil Republicans” that the Democrats are salivating over. The press, meanwhile, like Mitt because he’s Harvard educated, urbane, cool, and a touch less liberal than Obama. They could live with him if their coverage doesn’t destroy his campaign.
People are wondering why Newt is doing so well. But the more I think about it, it makes sense.
Voters want someone who will fight and fight for them and against their common and frustrating and powerful nemeses.
You know that friend you have who is kinda a jerk? Why do you keep him around? Because in a fight, he’s gonna beat your enemy to heck.
The job with Newt will be pointing him in the right direction. So far, he’s been responsive to the ideas of his fellow candidates and seems willing to take on the federal leviathan.
As a friend said of Newt: He fights.
More at Newt Judges You.
The GOP primaries have been awful. I don’t know that they’re more awful than 2008, necessarily. The stakes are the same as they were..or worse. It’s just that people now seem more acutely aware that much is at stake, so there’s more urgency.
The economy feels unstable. That is, the current awful environment feels like it might not be the worst it could be. It could get a lot worse.
Even with the press putting a shiny bow on the Obama administration, the general consensus is that things are going the wrong direction.
And yet, President Obama’s numbers aren’t as low as one would expect. Why?
The answer may be in the GOP field and not all that obvious. The current front runners– Mitt Romney and Ron Paul– have both succeeded the same way Barack Obama succeeded in his difficult primary with Hillary Clinton: by stoking fears and manipulating the unease people feel.
The success of Mitt Romney’s strident and insincere demogoguing over illegal immigration and Ron Paul’s own nativist rhetoric reflect a society in crisis. When it’s too tough to look inward, blame the “other”.
Ron Paul’s hysterics are nothing new. As the success of his newsletters demonstrate, there’s always been a patch on the American quilt possessed of isolationism and paranoia. This year, his message has finally found a bigger home. Everyone is out to get you. It’s not you. It’s them.
Likewise Romney’s forked tongue has worked much the same as Obama’s. He’s subtly divided and nursed insecurity. His big government Republicanism won’t be as bad as Obama’s, but the government will still protect you, from them.
In 2008, Obama won with code words like “fairness” and “enough” and “tax the rich”. You, are being taken advantage of by them.
Fear makes people do stupid things, but it is primal and it is effective as a motivator–for a short time.
Unfortunately, the success of these messages blot out the tough and true message. Things are bad right now. True. Americans have the power to make things better.
That is, each individual can, for his own life, make this better if the government stays out of the way.
The government fixing things hasn’t fixed things. Clearly, this approach has failed.
Still, because of the other fears out there like the looming world crises and the sense that America has yet to hit rock bottom, a stern, solid, and common sense message just hasn’t taken hold.
I do believe people want to hear it. It also seems like they need some serious, solid encouragement.
Are the American people plagued with self-doubt? Maybe. And so many citizens are so busy just making life work that they have little time to consider positive possibilities. From where they sit, one small trouble could tip their balance negatively and has for so many.
Somewhere between, “There, there, little children, we’ll make it all better” (Mitt) and “Get yer guns, they’re comin’ fer ya” there’s a positive message of self-reliance and American exceptionalism.
Mitt’s message is one Obama does better. And Ron Paul’s message is downright frightening.
A note on the latter. I do believe that Ron Paul is resonating with people who fear the government as oppressive and invasive in their lives. His promises of a smaller government are compelling.
Herein lies the schizophrenia of the GOP, and of the nation generally. The American citizenry seems to be like a teenager: wanting to be able to do whatever they want with no government interference but spared consequences when they do something completely stupid.
A truly independent individual cannot have it both ways. Just like a parent gets bossy when it’s their money being spent, the Federal Government likes to manage behavior by monetary manipulation. There are rules, and one must follow them to have favor.
People have to decide: More independence (which will require self-reliance which is the only way to be truly free) or dependence (which will require more rules, more redistribution and less freedom).
It’s agreed that no one wants to bail out big corporations any more, right? Right, GM workers who are surviving, this minute, on the generosity of fellow taxpayers?
Are people willing to be cut off from the strangling hand of the government? That’s not clear at all.
And that’s why this GOP primary feels like being stuck at an empty resort with a psychotic writer. Everyone fears impending doom, the stakes feel so incredibly high, and rather than sensible messages, the leading GOP candidates are stoking real fears and irrational ones.
While Obama’s made nearly every single thing worse, rather than give straight, truthful talk and leadership, Romney and Paul employ similar rhetorical methods.
America could use a calm, thoughtful, optimistic message. It’s certainly not coming from Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.
Is this the entirety of the explanation about the GOP primary? No, this is a complex race in complex times.
Fear, and the stoking of it, is at least part of the explanation for what we’re seeing, though. And while it’s understandable, it’s tremendously destructive.
America needs sound leadership not fear mongering.