Newt: a Hollywood anti-hero *UPDATED*

Why, oh why, oh why can’t I get more excited about Mitt?  On paper, he’s a very good candidate.  Yes, there have been flips and flops, but it’s naive to expect perfect political purity from any candidate.  Aside from that, he’s straight out of Hollywood’s central casting, circa 1944:  well-educated, handsome, wholesome, loyal, intelligent, efficient, effective, reliable, fiscally savvy, and, apparently, quite nice to have around the office.  (Either that, or he’s a German Shepherd, a breed that shares many of those traits.)  He should be a dream candidate, but for so many he isn’t.

It’s the Hollywood reference that got me thinking.  Pardon me for sounding like Maureen Dowd here, but isn’t Newt the quintessential bad boy from the Hollywood movie?  You know, the one who runs around in the leather jacket, with his hair slicked back, but who is actually the hero of the movie, while the clean-cut good guy turns out to have feet of clay?

Yes, I know that it’s hard to see this man

in the role of this man

but I am here to assure you that Mitt’s problem, and Newt’s saving grace (so far) is that, poor Mitt, creature of the 1950s that he is, has wandered into the wrong 1950s movie, the one in which the anti-hero, not the hero, saves the day.

UPDATED:  I feel a little embarrassed looking at the above post, a very fluffy post, as Keith Koffler makes plain that the upcoming election is a pivotal one, when that will definitely determine the direction the United States takes in the foreseeable future.

I’ll say here what I’ve said before and that’s that I will vote for whichever candidate is not Obama.  That’s the bottom line for all of us.  We have to support ferociously whomever gets the Republican nomination.  (And that will be a bitter pill for me if Ron Paul does.)

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  • Ymarsakar

    If anyone is wondering why I like Japanese visual novels so much, you might want to buy yourself or someone else, this as a Christmas gift. If you’ve read the novels I recommended, you probably have a sense of where your tastes compare to mine.

    And it has romance, Book. Not the Hollywood kind either! 

  • Bookworm

    I’m such a word person, Ymarsakar, sometimes the pictures slow me down.  But perhaps I should revisit the whole concept here….

  • Ymarsakar

    The visual novel, key word novel, is really a novel. The visuals are just the background and characters. To aid in visualization, of course.

    I’ve also read the English translation, and I can attest that it is a pure and efficient translation. And it’s rated for kids, so you can hook your kids unto the virtues of courage, loyalty, honor, and that stuff in a way they will never forget.

    Just like most people can’t forget the time they spent playing X while they were children…


  • jj

    I have a difficult time believing – after Bush I, Dole, and the McCain mess – that we’ve allowed the republican party solons to do it to us again.  Once again, instead of somebody who believes in and stands for something, we’re going to nominate a goddam moderate!
    Mitt and Newt have both flipped and flopped so many times it’s hard to keep count.  But – I have come to believe that Mitt’s fundamentally an idiot.  There’s nothing he can do about it now, either: he’s spent the last months digging himself in so deeply the assembled strength of the United Mine Workers couldn’t get him out.  Instead of just saying: “boy, what a jerk I was, but you know, it was a very liberal state, I did what I could do not make it worse,” and apologizing for it and saying he’s learned his lesson, the silly bastard’s chosen to spend all his time since August defending his dopey health-care plan for Massachusetts.  Which is, of course, exactly the fiscal disaster and mess it was predicted to be.  He’s got a stick so far up his ass, and he’s so concerned with not owning up to a mistake – or having a hair out of place –  that he’ll let it sink him.  And if he’s that goddam stupid he should be sunk.  The conservatives will not vote for him, and he’s presented Obama with a golden sledge-hammer to bash him in the head, by simply pointing out the similarities – there are plenty – between his plan and Romneycare.  If he gets the nomination he will not win.  Obama will have little difficulty in painting him as his twin brother.  And of course – sad but true – many, many, many people think the whole Mormonism thing is just too weird.  The only positive of him winning the nomination might be that, though a disaster for country, it’ll be the beginning of the end for the worthless republican party.  It’s past time for them to evolve out of existence.  Romney was their candidate, he’s the anointed one, but the silly jackass can’t get himself above about 25% of the republican vote.  You need those conservatives, Mitso – and they’re not going to touch you with a barge-pole, they don’t like any part of you.  The polls for the first few caucuses and primaries have Mitt losing to Newt by well outside the margin of error.
    Though well within the margin of stupidity.
    Because Newt has changed sides very nearly as often as Romney has, and is still saying he’s a believer in the health-care mandate.  He’s a big – not small – government guy, so really, what the hell use is he to a conservative?  And the moderates – whatever the hell they are – won’t vote for him, either.  Most of the congressional republicans he brought into power in 1994 who are still around won’t endorse him – or, probably, vote for him – because his leadership was so chaotic and generally annoying that he’s the last thing they want to see coming.  Okay, they’re moderates, they’re worthless, but there are enough of them to sink him.  So he’s got himself in a fascinating position: genuine conservatives won’t vote for him, moderates won’t vote for him either.  What the hell’s he counting on – the Martian vote?  I’m kind of curious who he thinks is going to elect him.  He may win in Iowa and a couple of other early primaries – but if Romney had the brains to come in out of the rain it would take him about six seconds to get to the right of Newt; Newt isn’t that far right.
    And I’m also kind of fed up with the whole republican deal, because this is exactly what they set up, time after time.  They assume we’ll all vote for whatever piece of offal they put up, because we’d vote for Grendel’s mother rather than Obama, so why should they bother to take the Tea Party people – or any of the rest of us – seriously?  That’s always the viewpoint they expect us to come down to.  And that smug, self-serving, shit-eating attitude of taking me – and all of you – for granted really pisses me off.  As republicans we never get to vote for somebody, we’re always expected to vote against somebody in pure self-defense – so I’m done being a republican, and am no longer registered as one.
    I see two conservatives in this race: Bachman and Santorum.  Both of them are far more consistent than either Newt or Mitt has been, both of them live it as well as bullshit it.  And neither of them has a chance – unless the farmers in the upcoming primaries get as pissed off at the republican party as I am, and really throw a monkey-wrench into the works.  Odds of that?  Pretty close to zero.
    We have the worst excuse for a president int he entire history of the western world, and he’ll get re-elected.

  • Ymarsakar

    If the Republican party was an actual threat to the Left, the Left would have destroyed it a long time ago. But like with abortion, feminism, civil rights, and anything else, they co-opted itself. AIn’t zombies great. They don’t have to kill you. They’ll make you fight for them.

  • Marica

    If Mitt Newt is the nominee, I will walk into the courthouse on election day and chat with Mrs. Hughes, who’s in charge of checking off names on the list. We have a new law here in Mississippi– voter ID. If Mrs. Hughes, who’s my neighbor (insofar as we only live about 1/2 mile from her) asks for a government issued ID, I’ll show her my concealed carry permit. She will laugh. 

    And then I will go into one of the two little booths and cast my vote for every single R on the ballot except for the Presidential race. I will vote Libertarian. I will no longer squander my precious vote on the Republican Party. I will be sending a message: TOUGH LOVE. 

  • suek

    I sympathize with those of you completely disgusted with the GOP. In fact, I probably agree with you. But are you really prepared to follow your inclinations and possibly – if others who agree with you take the same actions – commit us to 4 more years of Obama?

    By 2016 or 2020, I think it’s entirely possible that the TP will either come to dominate and then completely change the GOP from within, or will form a third party, but it simply isn’t ready yet. It’s a long term game, and we’re not even done with the first quarter.

    I’d suggest that instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, you consider voting _very_ conservatively – even Liberatarianly – on all of the candidates up to President, but stick with the GOP candidate for president, no matter who that may be.

    No one answered my question: would it be “easier” to change the direction of the great ship of state by making a sharp turn, or going completely 180*? I could see either as a possibility. If you want to consider the question, I recommend an accompanying clarification of “easier” as well.

    It’s a bit like belling the cat – very simple in concept, but very difficult in execution.

  • Marica

    Replying to suek.

    I have more freedom with my vote here in Mississippi than I did when I lived in Ohio.   

    In 2008 McCain/Palin got 56% of the vote here in Mississippi. I wasn’t here then, but I’m betting voter turnout in regions of the state that went for Obama then will not be what it was then. I also think voter fraud will not be what it was. In 2010 we flipped two D congressional seats. It’s possible that one of those will change from R to really really conservative R next year. (Cross your fingers.)

    If I still lived in Cincinnati, I would hold my nose and vote for Any Republican next year. Ohio is too important on the national stage. But we changed course personally, so I don’t have to hold my nose next year. :-)

    “If you want to consider the question, I recommend an accompanying clarification of “easier” as well.”

    What’s the rationale for a change of course having to be “easy” (whatever that may be)?  

  • David Foster

    Four more years of Obama and the “progressive” dominance of American politics will be so entrenched that it can never be overcome. This is not a normal political situation.

  • suek

    >>What’s the rationale for a change of course having to be “easy” (whatever that may be)? >>

    Not sure I can explain – which is why I asked for any responses to clarify! Everybody’s different, but I find modifying behavior is usually more difficult than completely changing behavior. Think of smoking. I’ve never smoked but I know those who have. If you also know some people who smoke – especially ones who have quit – ask them if they would have been able to cut their smoking to half of whatever they used to smoke per day, or if it was “easier” to quit entirely (not saying that quitting was easy). Dieting is really hard for most people because we _can’t_ quit eating – and modifying our diet is more difficult than just not eating at all would be.

    Following that line of thought, and bearing in mind that the government is _very_ large, employs a vast number of people, and supports an even vaster number of people, would it be “easier” to go cold turkey on spending, or try to modify behavior in such a way as to gradually reduce the size and scope of government functions? I suspect it would be “easier” to just cut stuff – go cold turkey, in effect. But it sure would play havoc with the nation. On the other hand…just gradually reducing the size, which I think would be the preferred choice, would probably make for so many “except for” things that pretty soon there wouldn’t be any reduction at all.

    Have you heard of the “Penny” plan? Hannity is pushing for it. Basically, it would freeze _all_ government programs at the present level, then cut back 1% of _every_ program every year for six years, then freeze spending at 18% of GDP (I think that’s the right number) unless there was a 2/3 vote to increase it temporarily. I can’t say I know if the figures are correct, but assuming they are, it sounds so simple. One of the problems is that at present there are automatic increases in every program, and any effort to reduce those increases is called a “cut” in the program – even when with the “cut” the program would get more money than they did the previous year. That’s idiotic and a plan designed for failure at some point. But every one wants “their” program excluded from the cut back. It can’t work that way.

    I understand what you’re saying about your protest vote. You feel safe – your vote wouldn’t affect anything and would voice a protest. But what if your vote _does_ count…should you risk it? What if you’re not alone??

  • jj

    See, that’s just exactly what the republican party establishment counts on: everybody will “stay in line” because the alternative is so much worse.  BS.  Put in a conservative congress, a conservative senate, more conservative governors and statehouses – and who that is in the white house becomes largely irrelevant.  He can go into his closet and make speeches to the mirror for four more years, and nobody will have to care.  Dump Boehner and as many of his moderate pals as possible, so every time Jugears opens his mouth the answer comes back from the hill: “no.”  

  • suek

    >>BS.  Put in a conservative congress, a conservative senate, more conservative governors and statehouses – and who that is in the white house becomes largely irrelevant.>>
    Agreed.  But we’re nowheres close to there.
    >>Dump Boehner and as many of his moderate pals as possible, so every time Jugears opens his mouth the answer comes back from the hill: “no.”  >>
    Don’t disagree with this either.  It’s just that we aren’t where we need to be to rely on the Congress members.  It’s going to take a couple of election cycles, I’m afraid, before we can pass laws to undo laws over the veto of the executive officer of the country.
    So yeah.  We better stay in line for a while yet.  Keep working on getting rid of the chaff.

  • bizcor

    I agree with suek. It isn’t enough to have the house and the senate because Obama will pull out the executive order. As most of you know I am in the trenches here in New Hampshire. We conservatives were hoping for a better top of the ticket. There is a considerable “not Romney” in the state in spite of the fact that the Establishment Republicans (Sununu Family) are backing him. We are however going to vote for the Republican nominee primarily to stop Obama. Meanwhile we will be working with conservative candidates all the way up the ticket. I firmly believe if Obama gets another 4 years we are toast even if we have a Republican House and Senate so I feel we have to prevent that.
    To jj I understand your frustration I really do. I feel the same way but I am working to change things. For the last four years I have been vetting candidates on all levels. I got off the couch and went out and helped candidates raise money, made phone calls, and showed up at various state legislative sessions to comment on bills being considered. Because of my participation I have come to know my representation on a first name basis. My Congressman told me to call him Frank because I knew him before he was a congressman. The same is true for Senator Ayotte. The next Governor of the state (I hope) is a personal friend of mine. I have been to his house several times. I’ll be stumping for him after the primary in January. We need conservatives at every level. Mitt and/or Newt aren’t my first choice either but either of them would be better than Obama and both of them can win. I lean more towards Newt because I would love to see him in a debate with Obama. Newt is also ready for the attacks. I don’t think Mitt is. Rick Santorum is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He is sincere, smart, honest, God fearing, and doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting elected. Michele Bachmann is a very nice woman and I agree with her politics and principles but I do not think she has the managerial skills to do the job. I was hoping Rick Perry would be the guy but unfortunately he has managed to shoot himself in the foot, not once but several times. Because of his unfortunate brain freezes the media portrays him as stupid. He isn’t stupid at all. He just isn’t very good at articulating his position on the national stage. In person he is very nice and speaks to small groups well and I believe he has the ability to be President but most likely won’t be thanks to the same media that tore into Sarah Palin. Jon Huntsman is far more conservative than people realize  but because some nitwit in his organization told him he needed to act more moderate he has been branded a RINO. No doubt it is the same nitwit who told him not to participate in the forum run by Frank Luntz a few weeks ago. If Huntsman had hit the stage as the conservative that he really is he might well have the nomination sewn up by now. It is interesting to me that neither Romney nor Huntsman participated in the Luntz forum. 
    Personally I believe the sleeping giant has awakened and the tide is turning and I also feel as suek does we can’t get it all done this time around. The Tea Party is real, they are working like crazy to get things turned around and although you don’t hear much about them we’re out there. We don’t see or feel the turning of the tide because the media refuses to acknowledge it. They don’t want it to be so they praise the OWS and demonize the Tea Party. There is only one way to fix this. Vote R up and down the ticket. Sure we’re going to get some R’s that aren’t what we want but they’re better than the lefties any day. The conservative Tea Party people who got elected in 2010 held their ground and bucked the establishment this year. John Boehner was all set to raise taxes last summer, the Tea Party people said Hell No. We need more conservatives elected in the House and Senate both nationally and in the states. Then in the next two years keep working at getting conservatives elected again. The liberals never rest. We can’t rest either. Eventually we will get the ship back on the right course but we have to keep at it. Mitt or Newt won’t go around Congress to get things done. Obama will. The Progressives have been working for a hundred years to get things the way they are now. You can’t expect to make it go away in two or four years. While out in the world of politics I am delighted to find many young people who are conservative. Not all 20 somethings are leftists. Here are some more reasons to vote R at the top of the ticket. If Obama gets another 4 years there are Supreme Court posts that will be filled. Want another Elena Kegan or Sonia Sotomayor? Plus we need to repeal Obamacare which won’t happen with Obama in the White House. 

    There is only one way to eat an Elephant and that is one bite at a time.

    The Penny Plan. It is being promoted by former congressman Connie Mack who is running for the Senate in Florida. I am not sure if it will work or not but it sounds reasonable. Click on “Penny Plan” to learn more about it.

  • suek

    >>It isn’t enough to have the house and the senate because Obama will pull out the executive order.>>

    This is a separate issue – but a really relevant one. Since when are we ruled by “fiat”? Is there any way to counter the various executive orders by various presidents? are there limits? can they be challenged in the courts? How are they enforced? can they be ignored?

    I think it’s true that O has used them more (I think) than any other president and he has used them to counter some of our basic principles* – along with his czars. What’s to stop him or any future president from changing the entire system with his executive orders??

    *DADT, for example. Granted that he’s the CIC, but Congress passed a law, which was duly signed by the president at the time. How can this president simply wave it away? Aside from whether you agree or not, how is it that a sitting president can simply ignore laws and counter existing laws with executive orders? He’s not a blasted _KING_!

  • Ymarsakar

    This question Suek raised is basically the same one soldiers have to consider when considering disobeying the chain of command. Normally, orders are absolute and must be followed, if anything is to be done. The RNC’s orders that is. However, if your chain of command is now working for the enemy… is following orders really going to get you anything?

  • Ymarsakar

    If he was a King, we’d do what the French Revolution did.

  • bizcor

    Suek… had a good question. Click here for a website that has a complete listing of EO’s issued by year and what they concerned. Fair waring Obama’s most recent order was 13592 so there is a lot to sift through. Wikipedia has information regarding EO’s too but I don’t trust Wikipedia because anyone can edit entries. Below is listed the number of number of executive orders issued by Presidents back to Hoover. I had a few minutes and decided to satisfy my own curiosity.
    Obama 102
    GWB    290
    WJC     363
    GHWB 165
    RWR    380
    JEC      319
    GRF     168
    Nixon    345
    LBJ       323
    JFK       213
    FDR     3466
    Hoover  995

  • suek

    I think I need to learn more about executive orders. Since the President _is_ the executive in charge of enforcing laws made by Congress, it seems appropriate for him to sign executive orders to see that the laws are enforced, and that those orders should be directed towards the various groups he oversees that serve to enforce the laws. It also seems that there should be limits to what he can order and who and what he can order. And I’m realizing that I’ve never heard anything about the authorization for those orders, or restrictions.

    Also interesting is the fact that it appears that there were none such prior to Hoover, and that FDR – the socialist – has the record for them.

    More to learn…

    There seems to be no end…!

  • bizcor

    U.S. Presidents have issued executive orders since 1789, usually to help officers and agencies of the Executive branch manage the operations within the federal government itself.
    I just didn’t go all the ay back. The link I provided in my earlier post has all the order ever issued and will explain what they were intended to do.  

  • Marica

    i’m sure I missed it, in the conversation above, so forgive me. But where can I find constitutional authorization for EOs? 

    Just trying to keep up. Thanks. 

  • suek

    Marica, check out the Wikipedia entry…it has some good info. There isn’t constitutional authority per se, I think, but the executive officer has to be able to execute the laws the Congress passes, and the executive orders are supposed to be means for doing so. Yet, as the Wikipedia entry notes, there have been EOs that are considered to exceed the president’s authority. I haven’t read far enough to read if there are any remedies for such. Bizcor’s other link looks very interesting as well…_lots_ to read there!

  • Ymarsakar

    The Congressional remedy is to cut funding to the Executive Branch responsible for executing that executive order, Suek. Congress cutting funding, though, will only happen to the military, and only if it goes back int otheir own pockets.