Too much education makes people economically dumb

I’m not boasting when I say that I move in very rarefied circles.  It’s a fact that became glaringly obvious to me today when I started reaching out to legal colleagues via LinkedIn.  I’m launching a new business enterprise, and those connections will be useful.

For those unfamiliar with it, LinkedIn is the professional equivalent of Facebook.  Rather than chit-chatting about children, sports, and the minutiae of their lives, people use LinkedIn to post their resumes, boast about their professional accomplishments, and network with other professionals to whom they can be useful or who can be useful to them.  So, as I said, I’m working on using LinkedIn to touch base with lawyers I’ve met over the years, whether high school classmates who went into law, law school classmates, professional colleagues, or people whom I’ve met through PTA and the neighborhood who also happen to be lawyers.

As with Facebook, LinkedIn examines your friends’ friends and, if two of them share a common friend, LinkedIn will suggest that person to you as a possible link in your own professional network.  This is where I get to the rarefied bit.  When I scroll through my LinkedIn contacts (who currently number less than 100, because I’ve never paid that much attention to cultivating these contacts), I get suggestions that run the gamut from high stratum A to rarefied stratum B:  ambassadors, corporate CEOs, senior counsel at major corporations, managing partners of huge law firms, etc.  In my circles, these titles are predominant amongst the various professional friendships LinkedIn identifies for me.  I

What interests me so much about these people is that I know for a fact as to most, and can reasonably guess as to the remainder, that they voted for Obama and, within their own states, counties, and cities, also voted for the most Democrat and Progressive (although not Green) candidates.  This milieu — rich in degrees, Ivy League diplomas, and money — is disproportionately Leftist in orientation.  If you ask them about their political beliefs, they will say that it’s because they’re smart and educated, implying that brilliant mines inevitably embrace Progressivism.

I see things differently, of course.  All of these people are products of America’s colleges, universities, and professional schools, not to mention fine high schools, both public and private, in nice neighborhoods and suburbs.  All of these schools lean Left or have simply stopped leaning and collapsed completely on the Leftist side of education.

So these smart people are right that there’s an inevitability here, but it’s not that the logical output of a brilliant mind is Leftism.  Education certainly matters, but not in the way they think.  The fact is that, if you’re academically smart, you’re more likely to graduate from high school, attend college, and even attend professional school.  In other words, the smarter you are, the longer your exposure to Leftist academic thought will be.  These high earning, upper echelon people didn’t embrace Leftism because their intellectual analysis inexorably led them to it.  Instead, they embraced Leftism because their smarts mean they’ve been steeped in the Leftist stew for infinitely longer than the average American who didn’t go on to a higher degree.

These same people also remind me that academic smarts do not correlate with real life intelligence.  I have no doubt that these people are good lawyers, doctors, CEOs, ambassadors, etc.  What they’re trained to do, they do well.  Outside of their sphere of expertise, however, they’re remarkably naive and intellectually incurious.

Here’s my example for today:  In the wake of the election, I’ve heard five Obama supporters — all of whom also voted for all the California Democrats and for all the California taxes — complain that their taxes are going up next year.  The cognitive dissonance is almost painful.  All of them consistently embrace big spending — and, therefore Obama and his fellow Democrats — because they’ve been trained to believe that the spending on welfare, entitlements, and “select” businesses is a “good thing.”  This is a knee jerk belief.  They will always vote for these “good things,” and for the candidate who promises them.  And they will ignore the rhetoric about higher taxes (Obama was not shy about targeting them as the next big source of funding), and they will ignore fiscal cliffs, and they will ignore plain old common sense that says that someone must pay the piper.

One of the things that made the rounds on my Facebook was a boastful poster saying that those states with the highest number of college-educated people all went for Obama.  The implication is that these smart Blue State people, unlike the ill-educated yahoos in Red States, are the ones who have the brains and ability to understand how Obamanomics will serve America.

What the genius who created this poster missed the fact that these smart Blue States are, not coincidentally, almost all broke.  Thus, of the list above, the following Blue States are amongst those states running the biggest budget shortfalls in America:  Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Minnesota.  In other words, 80% of the “best educated” states are in dire financial straights.  You’d think that, with all those smart people, they’d be rolling in the green stuff.

It turns out that one of the biggest indicators of Blue state-ness isn’t smarts — it’s brokes.  Here’s the list of the states Obama won, with the ones that have more than a 10% budget shortfall marked, appropriately enough, in red:*

California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Hawaii
Illinois
Iowa
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Ohio
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

It’s striking that, of the 26 states that gave their electoral votes to Obama, 84% are in debt.  (The perpetually broke District of Columbia also gave its vote to Obama, raising to 85% the number of broke jurisdictions that went true blue.) You’d think that, with all those smart people floating around, they’d manage their money better. In a way, you could say that the Blue States are actually Red States, given their financial hemorrhaging.

By the way, given that we’re still in a recession, it’s true that many Red States are also in debt.  Still, there’s no doubt that the Red States are managing their money better than the ones filled with all those educated Progressive geniuses:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
West Virginia
Wyoming

As you can see, only 41% of the “dumb” Red States are seriously in the red.  They may not have the degrees, but they have sufficient smarts to control their budgets — which is the fundamental responsibility of all viable governments.

If the election is any indicator, it shows that our education system leaves people incapable of rational economic thought.  This is true even when these same educated people are the ones most hurt by their economic ignorance and Leftist credulity.

_______________________________

*I culled the state deficit information from here.

The Obama campaign — it’s not innovative, it’s pathetic and deeply disrespectful to the American people

I got an email from Joe Biden yesterday, as did a gazillion other people.  It was pretty much identical to the daily emails that the Obama campaign has been sending me, but there was one phrase that struck me in this one, which I’ve highlighted:

We’ve run a lot of contests on this campaign, but you should pay special attention to this one.

Here are three reasons why: The winner gets to go to the Democratic National Convention, meet the President, AND spend time with the First Lady.

Chip in $3 or whatever you can to be automatically entered for a chance to meet her — and her husband — in Charlotte.

In addition to sitting up front with the First Lady as President Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for president, the lucky winner and a guest will get airfare, a hotel room, and VIP tickets to all three days of the convention.

You should give it a shot — chip in $3 or whatever you can to be automatically entered:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Join-Us-in-Charlotte

Good luck!

Joe

P.S. — Every time you donate in the next 78 days, you are getting us that much closer to a win on Election Day. It’s closer than you think. Chip in today.

Yeah, they sure have run a lot of contests.  Send twenty-five dollars for a chance to win dinner with Barry.  Send ten dollars for a chance to win dinner with Michelle.  Send five dollars for a chance to sit in the back room of some party hosted by a New York fashionista.  Send three dollars to sit in the back of some Hollywood shindig. The product remains the same — meet famous Democrats — but the price keeps dropping, which is what’s going to happen in a real marketplace when you’re selling a product no one wants.

The first contest had the gloss of being vaguely innovative.  By the second and all subsequent iterations, it became very clear that this is what a campaign is reduced to when it is utterly out of ideas, promises, and accomplishments.  The Obama campaign’s raffle approach now has the same desperation, tinged with boredom, as the scam artist who approaches you in the grocery store parking lot frayed paper raffle book in hand.

Those emails that don’t beg for raffle money are just as empty.  Instead of touting Obama, they demonize Republicans, not with facts, but simply with vague, cartoonish attacks.  Or, as Good Ole Joe wrote me last week:

Starting now, we can expect even more wealthy, right-wing ideologues lining up to support the Romney-Ryan ticket.

Or, reduced to its actual meaning:  “Nyah!  Nyah!  Ya mudda wears trousers!”

As Bill Whittle said in the video posted immediately below, we are standing on the cliff’s edge now, and Paul Ryan is the only politician in America who has (a) acknowledged the abyss before us and (b) come up with a serious plan that edges us back slightly from complete destruction.  Meanwhile, Obama’s campaign raffles off dinner and hurls insults.  Republicans are the ones who cry foul over those insults, which is right and proper, but they’re not even the ones getting the brunt of this “innovative” fundraising.

The people who are being insulted by this utterly vapid campaign are the American people, who are being treated as mindless idiots. After all, in the old days, Tammany Hall politicians bought votes by giving people actual dinners.  In the new days, we’ve been dumbed-down so much that politicians can buy votes merely by offering the possibility of a dinner.

All I can say is that, if Obama wins in November, he will have been proven correct.  Not correct about the economy, which will make Greece look like a blip on the world’s economic map, but correct that the American people really are mindless idiots.

W. Kamau Bell, Barack Obama, and black voters

There used to be an old joke that the Jewish vote pivoted on each Jew asking himself this question “Is it good for the Jews?”  Not a very nice stereotype, but probably a true one — and true for any group in America, whether white, WASP, Jewish, Catholic, Asian, Baptist, Hindu, etc.  What’s sad, though, is that the Left is telling blacks that they shouldn’t bother asking that question, probably because honest answer to “Is Obama good for American blacks?” would have to be a resounding “No!”

The Obama years have not treated blacks well.  A year ago, black unemployment was not only double white unemployment, it was also the highest it had been in twenty-seven years.  The only part of “Hope and Change” that blacks got out of this administration turned out to be small change . . . very, very small change.  Things have improved in the past year, but only slightly.  As of today, black unemployment stands at more than 14% — although President Barack “Nothing is my Fault” Obama claims that this failing is all the fault of state and local governments.  It might be time for the President to rummage through the White House attic and dig out Harry Truman’s old desk placard, the one that read “the buck stops here.”

Or maybe not.  W. Kamau Bell, who is Chris Rock’s anointed new voice of black social/political comedy.  Bell began one of his shows by replaying Biden’s now infamous Romney/Ryan will put “y’all back in chains” statement.  Bell made three points, none of which struck me as amusing, but all of which sounded quite honest:  (a) Biden shouldn’t have said  that; (b) Biden needn’t have said that, because blacks will vote for Obama regardless; and (c) it will help the Obama campaign if Biden stops pandering to a demographic that’s already in Obama’s pocket.

Despite the assurance that Obama owns the black body politic, Bell was, apparently, still a little worried.  You see, the problem isn’t that Biden thinks he’s black.  It’s the blacks might be thinking that Obama isn’t black enough.  Bell’s responsibility, therefore, is to promise blacks that Obama is not an Oreo:

I actually appreciate Bell’s honesty. He’s straightforward about the actual Obama campaign theme for 2012, which is “Vote for me because I’m black(ish).” Still, I think it’s terribly said that we’ve gone from having voters ask themselves (selfishly, but truthfully) “Is this candidate going to be good for my social/racial/ethnic/religious group?” to insisting that voters ask themselves only whether the candidate has enough melanin not to be considered white.  Once that question is out there, the candidate not only isn’t good for a given social/racial/ethnic/religious group, he’s not good for America either.

 

The heck with conventional wisdom: this is a different kind of election

Seniors will hate Ryan, we’re told, because he’s going to destroy their Medicare (never mind that this isn’t true).

Young people will hate Romney and Ryan, we’re told, because they’re uncool white men, who want to destroy all the entitlements this generation has grown up expecting.

Except….

Except today I was standing in line at the pharmacy, and the elderly patient getting her prescription filled and the young (late 20s) Hispanic pharmacy clerk filling that prescription were having a spirited conversation, with both vehemently agreeing that the status quo is a disaster and that Romney and Ryan are the last, best hope to fix it.  My position in line meant that I missed most of the conversation, but I definitely heard, “Look at what’s happened to the price of gas in the last three years” (that was the clerk) and “There won’t be anything left for my grandchildren” (that was the elderly lady).

This is a different kind of election, and I think conventional wisdom is as behind the times as the CIA was in 1989.

The Democrats’ 2012 campaign: A bloody spectacle, almost too horrible to watch

I don’t do well around gore, whether real or fake.  I cover my eyes when the dyed corn syrup flows in movies and, unless my children need me, I tend to faint when someone becomes sanguinary in my presence (myself included).  In other words, I have a pathetically weak nervous system.

That weak nervous system is activating now, as I watch the Democrats come out with daggers drawn in their determination, not just to win against Paul Ryan, but to eviscerate the Republican candidates with the same glee one sees in Jason, of slasher movie fame (warning:  video not for the squeamish):

In this Election 2012 slasher flick, the Democrats have already written the script:  Truth is irrelevant.  Human decency is irrelevant.  The integrity of our political system is irrelevant.  Before this is over, Democrats will have the two pro-Life candidates dining nightly on blood sucked directly from the headless bodies of decapitated newborns.

The election, rather than being a discussion about competing values for America’s future, will be a nauseating journey through the most foul corners of the Democrat psyche.  And, as is always the case with those functioning out of dysfunction, psychological projection will be the name of the game:

Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.

Which party supports unlimited abortion, with leadership provided by a president who thinks it’s fine for babies born alive to be thrown in the garbage?  The Democrats, but we’ll hear that Republicans are murdering children with their fiscal policies.

Which party firmly believes that blacks are so incompetent they cannot function without government patronage?  The Democrats, but we’ll hear that Republicans are trying to destroy blacks as part of a grand KKK plan.  (And which party gave life to the KKK?  Yes, of course — the Democrats.)

Which party supports a government controlled healthcare plan that we know, from the experience of other countries, refuses treatment to the elderly or very sick?  Yup, the Democrats, but we’ll hear that Republicans generally and Paul Ryan specifically intend to murder the old and the sick by allowing them to make their own market decisions.

If you’d care to contribute to this list of ugly projection, please do so.  I’ll update the post with your contributions.  As for me, I spit up a little in my mouth as I wrote this, so I have to stop now.

My hope?  That the American people realize that the Democrats are busy creating a horror movie rather than reporting on real life events.  With that understanding, voters can grab the popcorn (only not the buttered kind) and enjoy the show, fully appreciating that the blood and guts are corn syrup and plasticine.  Otherwise, if the Democrats manage to fool all of the people all of the time, this bloody, nauseating campaign will turn into a true death watch presidency.

The Romney-Ryan ticket

My internet has been down for most of the day (defective router), but I’ve been able to check in with the internet often enough to know that there’s a general sense of delight across the conservative blogosphere now that Romney has announced that he’s chosen Paul Ryan as his running mate.  Terresa, at Noisy Room, has a wonderful, representative post.

As is Terresa, I too am optimistic.  I’ve never made any secret about my liking and respect for Ryan.  I think he’s an incredibly smart, principled man, who is well able to articulate both his principles and the details of the policies underlying his principles.  The Leftosphere is in a tizzy, with the funniest post coming from Ryan Lizza, who querulously complains that Ryan has neither private sector nor Washington D.C. experience:

For one thing, Ryan has no significant private-sector experience. Besides summer jobs working at McDonald’s or at his family’s construction company, or waiting tables as a young Washington staffer, Ryan has none of the business-world experience Romney frequently touts as essential for governing. In the run-up to his first campaign for Congress, in 1998, that gap was enough of a concern for Ryan that he briefly became a “marketing consultant” at the family business, an obvious bit of résumé puffing.

But Ryan’s Washington experience is also light, at least for a potential President—which, after all, is the main job description of a Vice-President. Ryan has worked as a think-tank staffer and Congressman, but he’s never been in charge of a large organization, and he has little experience with foreign policy. Given how Sarah Palin was criticized for her lack of such experience, I’m surprised that Romney would pick someone whose ability to immediately step into the top job is open to question.

I was actually tempted to comment, internet struggles notwithstanding, but then saw that hundreds of conservatives got there before I did.  Here are some representative comments:

Oh, please, Paul Ryan was in Congress when Obama was still doing choom in high school, and RYAN doesn’t have enough experience?

***

House Budget Chairman not quite enough experience in govt? Over 10 years in the House, not quite enough? Better by far than 2 years in the Senate, most of which were spent in campaigning for president. Construction work not as valuable as Community Agitating?? Biased, much???

***

By writing articles such as this one, how do reporters expect the average person to take them seriously or even believe them a little bit? Don’t reporters have to have some sort of education to get a job? After reading this article a question comes to mind concerning the present day POTUS. Using the writers criteria, is the current POTUS up to the job? Prior to being elected did the current POTUS have enough experience in the private sector to satisfy the writer? This is all very naussiating to me considering the current POTUS is at best an amateur and I’m being polite. What this does show is the writers affinity for unexperienced democrats running for office vs. highly experienced republican candidates who actually ran several successful businesses, only to focus on the running mates private sector resume. What a disgraceful piece of journalism once again from someone who has a horse in the race!

***

Paul Ryan is 2nd on the Romney ticket. Romney is the guy with the private sector and true leadership experience. Now let’s take a look at the other side. Where is the private sector experience? None whatsoever. Where is the true leadership experience? Again, next to none, even if we count Obama’s failed 3.5 years in office.

***

“For one thing, Ryan has no significant private-sector experience.” Interesting piece of analogy, the current president has no experience whatsoever in foreign policy save living in a foreign country for a few years of his formative years. But, the bigger picture, the economy, Obama has not shown he can read a budget never-mind the fact he has not produced an acceptable one in four years. Ryan, can run rings around Obama not only on the economy but, one can reasonably assume that the world is looking for economic leadership more than any other kind of leadership. Ryan, also has more business experience than Joe Biden and on the foreign policy side, Biden has been proved wrong on every decision he ever espoused. Better to have Ryan’s intelligence to make decisions than Biden’s failed advise. Obama’s choices for Cabinet decisions, backed by czars, is also a provable failure; while, Mitt’s track record of finding the best and brightest MBA graduates and his method of management is beyond question. I would not expect the liberal media to have a good word for any vice-president that Romney would name but, it is time to survey your own abilities for choosing potential leaders, before you too join the ranks of the unemployed.

***

Darn that Paul Ryan, with his lack of business experience, whatever will we do???? Wait!!! Mitt has business experience…..wait! wait!!! and Paul Ryan has government experience!!! One might serve and help us in one area and also the other with extensive, dedicated, expert, determination!! Who knew????

***

I literally feel dumber after having read this piece. Are you serious? Paul Ryan is more qualified to be President than Barack Obama was to be VP in 2008. Is reality really that hard to connect with?

There are more — lots more — where that came from. Equally enjoyable, because of the amusement quotient, are the posts from outraged Leftists, horrified that the dreaded Tea Partiers have invaded their sacred precincts with facts:

Yes, I think there has been a coordinated “attack” here by some sort of Romney supporters. The initial wave of illiterate and mean-spirited criticisms is just not what one would expect of regular New Yorker readers.

***

[And if you can tolerate every word having initial caps and generally illiterate writing:] President Obama Has More Experience Than Romney And Ryan And That’s Actually Being The President For Almost 4 Years. Mitt Romney Has No Foreign Policy Experience And His VP Pick Also Has No Foreign Policy Experience And Yes President Obama Had No Foreign Policy Experience But He Picked Joe Biden As His VP Pick Who Does. President Obama Has Had A Lot Of Wins In Foreign Policy That Mitt Romney Can’t Touch. The Only Thing Ryan Is Known For Is His Budget Plan That Will End Medicare As We Know It And From The Polls I Saw On The Subject The American People Were Against This Budget And This Pick Will Hurt Romney. How Can A Republican Presidential Canidate With NO Foreign Policy Experience Pick A VP With NO Foreign Policy Experience, LOL. I Read Someone Wrote That Joe Biden Was A Draft Dodger For The Vietnam War And I Want To Say That They Got That Wrong, Mitt Romney Was The Draft Dodger Not Joe Biden. Mitt Romney Supported The Draft But When It Came Time For Him To Go He Went To Paris France.

***

I never realized there were so many hard right types who believe in the lunacy of deficit-reduction-through-austerity-with-a-budget-plan-that-increases-the-deficit. Incidentally, Obama had many years of real world experience as a law firm associate, law school lecturer, and Illinois state senator representing a Chicago district. Illinois is a much more sophisticated state than Wisconsin, anyway.

There’s more, much more, with 341 comments last I saw, most lambasting Lizza’s bizarre retreat from reality. I wonder how long average Americans, including unthinking, knee-jerk liberals will be able to stand the cognitive dissonance. I know that I hit the cognitive dissonance wall after 9/11, faced reality, and switched parties. Free at last, free at last, Thank the Lord, I’m free at last.

One other point about cognitive dissonance. Anyone who was around for the 1992 elections remembers how a gasping, excited media assured us that Bill Clinton was exquisitely prepared to be president, not because he was the governor a notoriously corrupt state (sorry, Arkansas, but that was the case when he was governor), but because he was a “wonk.” Clinton, we were told, loved policy, which made him a sure leader, one who could solve the nation’s problems. In Ryan, we have a policy wonk squared, but one who also happens to be a decent, moral man, with a passion for the Constitution. Ooooh! Scary.

Proving once again his management gifts, Mitt Romney made an excellent pick for running mate.  He wasn’t afraid to pick someone who is a fighter and who might outshine him.  Unlike the narcissistic Obama, Romney is an extremely secure man, who understands that his leadership is enhanced, not diminished, when he surrounds himself by the best people.  I’m really, really excited here.  Ryan excites the base, pleases all but the most RINO-ish in the establishment, and promises to leave a drooling Biden slobbering in the dust during the VP debate — something that promises to be the most entertaining moment, ever, in American political history.

One more thing, he may not be a great orator, but Ryan never loses his cool, never loses his facts, and isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

Note:  Ace found the Lizza article as amusing, and insanely stupid, as I did.

At least one conservative is very optimistic about the upcoming election

A couple of days ago, I asked you all to make your predictions about the upcoming election. Your responses ranged from a belief that Romney will win a clear victory, to a belief that Romney will win a squeaker because of entrenched interests and voter fraud, to a belief that those same entrenched interests and voter fraud will propel Obama to another four year term. I think each one of you has the potential to be right.

However, for sleeping peacefully at night, I should have asked Paul Rahe this question. Fortunately for me, Rahe didn’t wait for me to ask (he doesn’t know I exist), but simply tackled the subject on his own. He believes that Romney will have an overwhelming victory in November. Although he respects those conservative pundits who predict a squeaker (or worse) he says that he believes that they are operating within an outdated paradigm, much as happened when serious thinkers entirely missed the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Rahe thinks that the outliers — i.e., the optimists — are the ones on track, because they are the ones who appreciate that this is not an ordinary election, because Obama was not an ordinary candidate, especially during his first two years, when he had a Congressional majority. For the first time, voters have seen the socialist behind the curtain, and the response was Tea Parties, 2010 election sweeps, and lines at Chick-Fil-A. Those of us closely tracking the news may be missing the fact that ordinary men and women do not like what the Democrat party has become.

The election, then, is Romney’s to lose. What would be nice, though, is if Romney won the election, not just by a hair (because he failed to lose it), but by a wide, spectacular margin, one that completely repudiates both the creeping Leftism that began in the 1960s and accelerated thereafter, as well as the blatant Leftism that let out a terrible roar in 2008. To that end, Rahe offers Romney some advice, all of it good, and most of it involving Romney playing offense, not defense:

If Romney wants to win really, really big, there are three things that he needs to do. First, he needs to tie his argument for paring back the administrative entitlements state back to first principles – back to the origins and purpose of government – and he needs to assert the necessity to return to limited government. What I am saying here is that he needs to occupy the moral high ground, to defend free enterprise not only as efficient but as right and just, and to criticize “spreading the wealth around” and taking from Peter to pay Paul as shameful and unjust. Politics is ultimately about justice, and justice should be his theme.

Second, he needs to force Obama to make errors. To this end, he needs to get under the President’s skin. He did this to Newt Gingrich in Florida, and it worked like a charm. Obama is even vainer than Newt, and he cannot stand mockery. Moreover, he hates Romney with all the resentment that phony intellectuals ordinarily harbor for successful businessmen. The gentler the mockery in this case, the lighter the touch, the more devastating it will be. Romney’s theme should be that the poor fellow is just not up to the job and that he should be left free to spend all of his time doing what he really enjoys — playing golf. The SuperPACs may be able to carry the ball on this.

Third, when the debates come, he should do a Newt Gingrich. When one of the pundits asks a really stupid question that is of interest only to the credentialed elite (and this is inevitable), he should disembowel the man, asking him how he could waste the time of the American people on a matter of this sort when we are on the verge of a second recession and millions are looking for work. In the debates, the trick is to show strength – and nothing shows strength like a dramatic gesture of this sort. He might even find an opportunity to do this to Obama himself. It would be a knock-out blow. At some point, Romney needs to set aside his natural caution and timidity and go for the jugular.

I actually thinking Romney is capable of doing all of the above.  While he is undoubtedly a very nice man, he’s shown in the business world and in the political arena, that he will indeed go for the jugular.  My only real concern is that the stakes are so big that Romney will panic and play it safe.  I can only hope that his life experience will assure him that this is not the time to be a wimp.

Entropy is setting in and Obama will lose this election

I tend to shy away from predicting the future.  If I’m right, the future was probably so obvious that everyone else had the same prediction.  If I’m wrong, I should have known better, and I end up walking away sadly scraping the egg from my face.

All morning, though, I’ve been toying with a post about the fact that I think November 2012 is going to be a blow-out election for Romney.  Originally, I thought he’d run a competent campaign (I’ve always had faith in his competence) and sort of ooze by Obama in a small victory.  With five months to go, though, I started revising that thought.  Day by day, especially this week, I’ve had a bizarre mix of metaphors running through my brain:  the walls are caving in, the dike is cracking, the avalanche is beginning its descent, etc.  Regardless of image, the point is the same:  a slow breakdown in a system is followed by a speedy collapse.

Politically, one of the best examples of the speed with which entropy occurs when a natural or man-made organism runs out of the energy to hold itself together is the Soviet Union’s collapse.  It was only in retrospect that people understood how rotten and fragile the USSR was.  It had been sold to us as a nation and political system every bit as hardy as the United States.  That’s why, in establishment eyes, Reagan committed the ultimate sin when he called the USSR an Evil Empire.  The establishment thought to itself “Never wave a red flag in front of a raging bull.”  Reagan, however, knew two things.  First, that something rotten to its core will disintegrate at the slightest touch and, second, that the USSR was just that rotten.  Reagan, and then Bush 41, tapped and tapped and tapped away at the weakened Soviet carapace and then, overnight it seemed, the Wall fell and the Iron Curtain vanished.

Precisely the same thing is happening with the Obama campaign.  It is imploding.  It was a bubble, a facade, a Potemkin village.  It’s essential fragility is making itself increasingly obvious.

I thought that earlier today and then I had that thought reinforced when I wandered over to HuffPo and saw this front page:


Keep in mind as you look at that screen shot that HuffPo one of Obama’s friends.  But it’s also a business (even though it’s run by people who view business as an activity for them, the elites, but not for all the peons who need to be under government control).  And a business goes with a big, big headline:  Total Mess.

“Total Mess” doesn’t just describe the world economy on Obama’s watch.  It describes the Middle East on his watch.  And it describes his own implosions:  the boastfulness, the arrogance, the ignorance, the viciousness. The campaign is stumbling from one incompetent moment to another.

Those closely allied with Obama are falling too.  Watching the Elizabeth Warren debacle, which has finally made it to the MSM, is almost embarrassing.  She can’t open her mouth without humiliating herself with another stumbling lie or explanation.  The only thing that saves the Warren spectacle from being truly embarrassing, as opposed to almost embarrassing, is the fact that Warren had this downfall coming.  An academic and political career built upon dishonesty and arrogance should flame out spectacularly.  The people of Massachusetts may yet step in to save Warren, but the public humiliation will never go away.

And how about the Wisconsin story?  It’s not just that Gov. Walker leads in the recall polls.  The really big story is that, given the choice not to join public sector unions, workers aren’t joining those unions, and they’re not joining in droves.  This means that, for all the corruption at the top — both within the State House and the Union shops — the ordinary workers didn’t feel they were getting a benefit.  If they had, they would have checked off that little contribution box without the necessity of political coercion.  Perhaps people are starting to figure out that, when the union bosses raise the funds that put the politicians in office, who then pay off the union bosses, the only ones who benefit are the politicos and the bosses.  The reality is that nobody likes either of those groups very much.

More than Obama’s flame-out, we’re also seeing Mitt Romney run a nimble, aggressive, and likeable campaign.  His team is getting responses up in minutes or hours.  Romney himself, having been shaped in the primary crucible, is more fluent in his speech and more accessible in his presentation than he’s ever been before.  He’s also adroitly side-stepping each of the traps that the Obama-ites think that they’ve oh-so-cleverly baited for him.

The snowball is rolling bigger and faster.  The avalanche is going from a whisper to a thunderous roar.  The dike’s cracks are widening into unstoppable failures.  Romney will win and Obama will lose.  And the win will be big and the loss will be a significant blow to Progressive politics.  To finish on a schadenfreude note, I will not regret seeing the most arrogant man ever to occupy the White House, and moreover a man whose arrogance was completely unjustified, take a well-deserved and public fall.

The Watcher’s Council has advice for Governor Romney

Yesterday I wrote a ridiculously long post comparing Romney and Obama to Ward Cleaver and Eddie Haskell respectively.  Many people had nice things to say about it but, in terms of garnering hits, it’s sunk like a stone.  Go figure!

I mention it now because the genesis for that post was the fact that the Watchers asked all the Council members to contribute a paragraph with advice to Romney for the upcoming campaign season.  In that paragraph, which I wrote several days ago, I said:

It’s easier to say what Romney should not do. He should not try to out cool Obama. Trying to be ‘hip’ will not work, both because it’s not part of his natural persona and because the media will savage him. Romney should cultivate a pater familias demeanor. We already know Obama is Eddie Haskell, the cool hustler who invariably gets you into trouble. Romney needs to project himself as Ward Cleaver, the wise parent who comes to the rescue after Eddie has done his dirty work.It’s a role that Romney is well suited to play, as long as he avoids condescension.

I wasn’t the only one chiming in.  Please check out the Watchers’ site to see what other practical, helpful advice Council members, all of whom pay close attention to the news of the day, and all of whom would like to see Romney win, have to say.

Presidential Election 2012: Eddie Haskell versus Ward Cleaver

Leave It To Beaver is an iconic television show, complete with archetypal American characters.  Week after week, during its Eisenhower/Kennedy heyday, the show presented its American audience with the naifs (Beaver and Wally Cleaver) being enticed into dangerous or embarrassing situations, thanks to the machinations of Eddie Haskell.  Eddie was a skinny, duplicitous young man, adept at ingratiating himself with adults when called upon to do so, but basically dedicated to upsetting the placid social order prevailing amongst Beaverville’s young.  When anarchy threatened, Beaver and Wally always knew that their mother, June, would express worry and dispense kisses, while their father, Ward, acting in a lovingly magisterial way, would impart wisdom, impose appropriate consequences, and generally restore sanity.

Although the show ran for only six seasons (from 1957-1963), and pre-dated the upheavals of the 1960s, it is a show that resonated in the American psyche.  Generations of Americans have laughed with (and yes, sneered at) the tight little world of Beaverville, one that presented stable families; wise fathers; loving, stay-at-home mothers; and children grateful for the security that this traditional nuclear family provided.

Perhaps the scenario is a fairy tale, and never did reflect the majority of American families, but it’s a lovely fairy-tale, one that promises lasting security for the child who can escape the bad boy’s enticements and embrace the elders’ wisdom.  It presents an America as we wish it would be, although we will happily accept that the next-door neighbors in this healthy, stable community represent different races, colors, and creeds, and that there’s a conservative gay couple down the block, raising an adopted orphan from China, as well as the biological child of one of the gay partners.

Simply put, Leave It To Beaver transcends race, color, creed, and sexual orientation.  It is about a way of ordering the world, one that puts its trust in maturity.  Further, it is a world that makes manifest the benefits of that maturity by contrasting it with the instability, physical and psychological risks, and dishonesty that naturally results from putting ones faith in a youthful hustler.

The Presidential Election of 2012 is Beaverville played out in real life, on the national stage.  President Barack Obama is the skinny, duplicitous “Barry” Haskell, while Gov. Mitt Romney is the wise, affectionate “Mitt” Cleaver.  Here’s a little history of the two main characters in the Eddie versus Ward show that Barry and Mitt are playing out right now, on the national stage, before an American audience:

To begin with “Barry” Haskell lies.  His lying always follows the same pattern, whether he is (a) distancing himself from a troublesome priest; (b) supporting gay marriage (1996), which he did before opposing gay marriage (2004), which came before supporting gay marriage (2012); or (c) making diametrically opposite promises about Jerusalem, all within the space of a day or two.  Barry’s lies are rather spectacular, in that they are peculiarly attenuated.  Whenever he’s caught in a problematic situation (ah, those friends of his, whether individuals or special interest groups), rather than making a clean breast of it, or a good defense, he instead engages in a perfect storm of ever-spiraling affirmative defenses, with the common denominator always being that it’s everyone’s fault but his own.

For those who are not lawyers, let me explain what affirmative defenses are.  A complaint contains allegations that the defendant committed myriad acts of wrongdoing.  In response, the defendant does two things.  First, he denies everything except his own name, and he’d deny that too, if he could.  Next, he issues affirmative defenses, which concede the truth of the accusations, but deny that they have any legal or practical meaning.

As an example of how this plays out, imagine a complaint alleging that that the defendant smashed his car into the plaintiff’s fence, destroying it.  The defendant will begin with a simple denial:  Then he’ll begin an escalating series of affirmative defenses:  (1) “Okay, I did bring my car into contact with the fence, but I didn’t actually hurt the fence.”  (2) “Okay, I hurt the fence, but I didn’t hurt it badly enough to entitle its owner to any damages.”  (3) “Okay, I destroyed the fence, but it was falling down already, so it’s really the owner’s fault, so he gets no damages.”  And on and on, in a reductio ad absurdum stream of admissions and excuses.

These affirmative defense patterns have shown up with respect to some of Barry’s nastiest little pieces of personal history.  When Jeremiah Wright’s sermons first surfaced, Barry denied knowing anything about them.  When that denial failed, he claimed that he only had one or two exposures to this deranged level of hatred, so he didn’t make much of it.  When that denial failed, he conceded that he’d heard this stuff often over the years, but wasn’t concerned about it, because he knew his pastor was a good man.  (Which makes Barry either complicit in the statements or a fool.)  Indeed, he even made a much-heralded speech about what a good man his pastor is.  He then promised that he’d never abandon his beloved pastor.  But when his pastor became dead weight, Barry dropped him so hard you could hear the thud.

The Jeremiah Wright series of lies wasn’t an isolated instance.  Barry repeated this tactic when word got out about his connection with two self-admitted, unrepentant, America-hating terrorists.  (That would be William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, for anyone out of the loop here.)  When caught, Barry again engaged in a perfect storm of affirmative defenses.  (1)  I don’t know them.  [A lie.]  (2) Okay, I know them, but not well.  [A lie.]  (3)  Okay, I know them well, but we’re just good friends, not political fellow travelers.  [A lie.]  (4) Okay, we’re more than just good friends, because we served on a Leftist board and I sought political advice from him.  And on and on.  With every exposed lie, Barry first concedes that maybe he deviated from the exact truth, and then he comes forward with a new lie.

The same pattern emerges with Rezko, with Barry freely ranging from “I didn’t know him,” to “I never took favors from him,” to “I didn’t take big favors from him,” to “I took a big favor from him, but I didn’t know it was a big favor.”  It just goes ad nauseum, as if Barry is a machine, programmed to spew forth this endless flow of denial and concession.  Unlike Eddie, Barry doesn’t even need a team of scriptwriters to make these lies happen.  Barry is pathological in his inability to admit wrongdoing and his ability to prevaricate.

Just today, Barry repeated his pattern.  In 1996, when it was politically expedient to do so, he explicitly supported gay marriage.  In 2004, when Barry was making waves on the national scene, and it was no longer useful to support gay marriage, he suddenly repudiated it — with no reference to his prior position.

It’s worth noting, too, that Barry grounded his 2004 gay marriage stance in religious scripture.  Today, though, Barry has apparently decided to worship at a different church, one in which Jesus pretty much mandates gay marriage.  Dan Blatt, at The Gay Patriot, notes that scripture marches nicely along with Barry’s desperate need for campaign cash, some of which might come from a GLBT community that’s pleased that Barry’s finally came out of the closet on the subject.  The one thing that’s for certain is that Barry has outdone John Kerry, by adding a flip to that last flop.  Barry’s views aren’t e-volving, as he and his acolytes claim, they’re re-volving.

All of this is Barry’s Eddie Haskell hustle.  And he does it all with Eddie’s trademarked smarminess.  He knows that he’s pulling one over on the voters (they’re the Wally and Beav naifs in this national play), and he can’t resist a few winks to his complicit MSM audience.  They’re all in on the joke being played on the American innocents.

Eddie Haskell also had a nasty habit of vanishing when the pot he’d stirred started boiling over.  His character was the living embodiment of the old saying that, “when the going gets tough, the faux tough get going.”  Barry, too, can’t stay the course.  He walked out on Iraq, turning it into an Iranian satellite.  He’s assured the Taliban that they need not worry about America much longer.  He kicked out Mubarak, who was nominally America’s ally, and is now leaving the hapless and ignorant Egyptians to the Muslim Brotherhood’s tender mercies.  Having dabbled in war’s waters in Libya, he’s decided that the Syrian people are on their own.  Ten thousand or more have already died, while Barry dithers fecklessly.

Barry also shares Eddie’s behavioral dishonesty.  He can turn on the smarmy charm when needed (“he oiled his way across the floor, oozing charm from every pore”), but when the pressure is on, the hustler comes out.  Magisterial memorized or teleprompted speeches give way to nasty remarks about Hillary being “likeable enough,” about Sarah being a pitbull, about asses getting kicked in the Gulf States, about Americans who need to be shoved into the back seat of the nation’s figurative car, about stupid cops, etc.  Just as Eddie does, Barry reserves his charm for manipulating people.  He doesn’t like them; he uses them.

Also in keeping with his Eddie persona, Barry’s never held a serious job.  Eddie had the excuse of being a child in an imaginary, fairly affluent suburb.  Barry has no such excuse.  He’s “organized,” lectured, and voted present, but the presidency is Barry’s first real job.  Worse, he doesn’t seem to like the gig.  Despite his savage desire to win, Barry prefers to do anything but buckle down to his day-to-day responsibilities.  He wants the glory, not the sweat.

And of course, there’s the obvious physical likeness:  Barry and Eddie are both young, skinny, nervous, jittery guys.  Their physical presence does not inspire calm in the face of crisis.

Now, please turn your attention to “Mitt” Cleaver.  He’s the grown-up in the room.  Set aside the media-induced preconceptions about him being robotic, weird, and out-of-touch.  You need to understand that all adolescents strive to paint authority figures in precisely that light.  Doing so provides them with the justification they need to deny the adult the respect he (or she) deserves, and to ignore the wisdom that the adult has acquired over the years.  (“God!  My Dad is such a dork.”  “Daaad!  Don’t talk to my friends.  You’re embarrassing me!”  “God, Dad!  You don’t know anything.  How can you not recognize Justin Bieber?”)

Viewed objectively, Mitt is the essence of wise maturity.  Not only has he held down real jobs (Bain, the SLC Olympics, Governor of Massachusetts), in each case he’s excelled, benefiting not only himself, but thousands of other people.  Even if Progressives won’t admit it, and conservatives are embarrassed to admit it, capital management creates vast sums of money, not only for the money managers, but for the nation as a whole.  Money isn’t trapped in dusty government coffers or doled out selectively to special interest groups in exchange for votes.  It’s spread around.  As Dolly Levy understood, “Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around, encouraging young things to grow.”  Romney, Bain, and that whole crew were America’s farmers, spreading that money far and wide — while pull out the weeds that appeared in the guise of mismanaged or dead-on-their-feet corporations that were trapping useful wealth.

Romney is a thoughtful man.  His flip-flops lack that extra flip that Barry adds (e.g., Barry’s gay marriage flip-flop-flip).  Instead, they’re the thoughtful development of ideas based upon life experience.  Significantly, his changes move in one direction.

Mitt is a man of true faith, unlike Barry, who talks the talk when he needs to, but has never walked the walk.  You may not like Mitt’s faith, but he’s true to it.  Importantly, while its doctrine may be a bit peculiar to many Americans, the values it imparts to its followers are completely consistent with American values.  Moreover, Mitt’s doctrinal beliefs don’t shift abruptly with the political winds.  There’s something unstable, and downright megalomaniacal, about a man who bends Jesus to his will, rather than bending himself to Jesus’ teachings.  Mitt lacks that unnerving instability.

And here’s an important one, given that Americans consistently rank Mitt’s “likeability” factor significantly lower than Barry’s.  The “Barry likeability” thing is a media lie.  Aside from resenting the adult in the room, the media has to sell Barry’s likeability, because it’s about all he’s got, given a record that leaves thoughtful people shuddering.  Because Barry isn’t very likeable, the only way to raise Barry on that pedestal is to make sure that Mitt doesn’t get anywhere near it.

Mitt may not be the nicest man in the world — none of us know him well enough to make that call — but we do know that he’s invariably polite, that he’s capable of charm and wit, that he’s unbelievably decent (as his Bain employees will attest), and that he’s no more inarticulate than the next man (and he’s actually probably much more articulate than the next man).  Keep in mind that Barry is fluent only when he’s reading words off a page.  On his own, few match Barry for being completely tongue-tied (not to mention the little matter of being ignorant too, ’cause Barry has clearly studied just as hard as Eddie did).

The Eddie and Ward show culminates in November 2012.  That’s when Wally and Beav, the American naifs, have to make a choice.  They can continue down the “Barry” Haskell path, one that inevitably leads to lasting trouble, or they can follow the all-American Wally and the Beav, and turn to the wise parent, Papa Mitt, who is waiting in the wings to restore sanity to an increasingly insane and scary national situation.

 

Recent poll numbers show that Obama will be hard to beat

A couple of days ago, I asked if the polls show a Bradley effect, with people deploring Obama’s performance, but still being too embarrassed to admit to pollsters that they don’t like America’s first white-black president.  Most of you disagreed with me, saying (as DQ did) that Leftists will support Obama no matter what, while other people are just unwilling to dislike the president.  That is, they’re not lying to pollsters when they profess a fondness for this failure.  They mean it.  Keith Koffler certainly thinks they mean it, and that this is going to be a problem for Romney:

President Obama has been at 50 percent approval in the Gallup daily tracking poll for the past two days, a sign that his popularity has genuinely increased since its lows last summer when he had creeped down to 38 percent.

In addition, Gallup finds that Obama leads Romney by seven points, 49-42 percent, with the president’s position improving lately among independents.

That half the country approves of the job Obama suggests not only that he will be tough to beat. It indicates many people are willing to support Obama no matter what the economic conditions, and that some strategist within the West Wing knows what they’re doing.

Think about this. Unemployment is above 8 percent. The economy is sluggish. Iran is on the verge of a nuclear capability. Gas prices are a $4 per gallon. The president has no plan to fix anything. And yet one out of two people think he’s doing a good job.

Read the rest here.

Of course Obama will take the low road; he has no high road

Karl Rove has written a WSJ op-ed, the title of which is “Obama’s Campaign Will Take the Low Road.”  I haven’t even read Rove’s piece — which I’m sure is good — but I already know he’s right.  Obama’s campaign will take the low road because there is no high road.  After almost three and a half years in office, he doesn’t have a record on which to run.  Wait.  That’s untrue.  He does have a record on which to run.  It’s a record pitched to a narrow demographic that would take pleasure if Obama gave the following speech:

My fellow Americans, I’m proud to come here before you and to tell you what I’ve done so far as President and what I plan to do if you elect me again.  On the economic front, I’ve increased America’s debt more than any other president in history.  I’m proud of that, and I hope to beat my own record in my second term. Working with a compliant Congress, I’ve also put into place policies, including ObamaCare, that ensure frightened employers who will not hire, a stagnant economy, and a shrinking labor force.

If the Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare, you can be sure that I will continue to attack religious institutions, to drive private doctors and hospital out of business, and to work hard to make sure that Americans enjoy the same glorious health care that our Cuban friends now rejoice in.  If the Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare, I promise two things:  court packing and renewed efforts to socialize America’s health care system in a way that will pass muster from my new 14-justice Supreme Court (10 of whom are guaranteed to be bona fide Progressives).  I have been assured that a properly constituted Court will be able to reconcile ObamaCare with the “accommodations” that religious organizations must necessarily make to ensure free health care for all Americans, including free and full contraception, abortion, and euthanasia.

On the energy front, I’ve worked hard to ensure that ordinary Americans will pay $5.00 per gallon of gas, and I promise to double that amount if you reelect me.  I’ll also ensure that more and more taxpayer funds are diverted to subsidize cars and solar panels that only rich people can afford, to provide loans to windmill and solar companies that I guarantee will stay in business for at least three months after spending these monies, and to help countries such as Brazil engage in massive oil drilling activities, creating a reserve that Americans can import at great expense at some later date.  I also promise that America will never be tainted by cost-effective Canadian oil.  I’m sure that the Chinese, when they purchase that oil, will not use it in a way deleterious to American interests.  In my second term I will also continue my current policy of barring any drilling and exploration whatsoever on federal lands.  I also will work to make fracking illegal.

I’m especially proud of my record on race relations.  During my presidency, I’m happy to report that I’ve finally corrected the pendulum swing that started in the Jim Crow south, with the government persecuting blacks; that then hovered in a meaningless middle where the government tried to treat races equally; and that is now heading to its correct position, one that sees African Americans as a permanently protected government class, with a secondary protected class of some Hispanics (not Cuban-Americans), and a tertiary class of remaining non-white people who are not conservatives.  I promise you that, in my second term, with my new 14-justice Progressive Supreme Court, the Constitution will be correctly interpreted to mean, as the Founders undoubtedly intended, that all Americans are equal, but some Americans of color are more equal than others.  The current hostility between races is merely a necessary by-product of this constitutional correction.

We’ll also see even more foreign policy successes in my second term.  I will not flag in my efforts to realign American foreign policy around a Turkish-American alliance.  The Arab Spring is currently progressing as I had hoped, with the Muslim Brotherhood making significant political strikes throughout the Muslim world, especially in Egypt.  I optimistically predict that, in my second term, Israel, should she still exist, will be prevailed upon to return to her 1947 borders and to hand Jerusalem over to combined UN-Egyptian control.  This move should effectively neutralize the nuclear threat that Iran poses to Israel (should she still exist).  I have assured European leaders that this realignment, along with Israel’s retrenchment within her original borders, will placate Iran, making any concerns about Iran’s long-range nuclear weapons unnecessary.

I’m happy to report that European leaders are fully supportive of my efforts regarding Israel (should she still exist).  Iran has also assured me that, with Israel disabled or gone, and with the world increasingly independent on Middle Eastern oil, Iran and other Muslim countries will subsidize the European economy in exchange for some small religious and civil concessions.  My dear friend Vladimir Putin has also promised that, in return for America’s agreeing to give him a free hand when it comes to the Eastern European countries, he will not attempt to repeat the Soviet takeovers of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, or other Eastern Bloc, er, democratic nations.

I also promise that, in my second term, I will keep America’s southern borders open.  I know, and you know, that there is no such thing as an illegal immigrant.  There are only future Progressive voters, and we’ll work hard to make America an inviting place for these new non-legal, voting citizens.  To that end, I will continue to send hand guns over our Southern borders to the drug cartels and to ignore the rising tide of Communism in certain Latin American countries.  Doing so will ensure that Latin America continues to be an impoverished, unstable continent that, rather than keeping its citizens at home, provides America with a steady supply of exploitable cheap labor and assured Democrat votes.

To those of you who have been disappointed with my performance during my first term, I can promise you that, if you give me a second term, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  Thank you, and Allah, er, Marx, er God Bless America.

 

How much do you think the polls will change once the Republican primaries end?

Rasmussen just came out with a pre-debate poll that shows Obama leading both Romney and Santorum by ten and seven points respectively.  Couple this with headlines touting good news on the economy (some of which is definitely real and some illusory) and it’s enough to send something stronger than a frisson of fear coursing up a conservative’s spine.  While a few months ago it looked as if Obama could lose to a generic Republican candidate, it’s becoming increasingly clear that it will be harder for a specific Republican candidate to beat him.

Or not?

Conservative and Republican voters are deeply divided between Romney and Santorum (although both have shamefully big government voting records, making them a Hobson’s choice).  Is it possible that, when a pollster calls a Santorum voter and asks him to give his opinion about a possible Obama vs. Romney match-up, that voter finds it very hard to imagine himself pulling the lever for Romney?  After all, today, he is as opposed to Romney as he is to Obama. The same holds true for Romney supporters who are asked to envision a Santorum vs. Obama election.

The question that ought to concern us is whether this distaste for the other Republican candidate will continue once the primary season is over, so that Romney supporters will hang back if Santorum wins the nomination and vice versa.  In that case, Obama will indeed win.  If, however, conservative and Republican voters consolidate behind the last candidate standing, that block should be sufficient to shift the polling weight and, more importantly, the election outcome.

What do you think will happen?  Will Republicans and conservatives be able to come together behind a single candidate, or has this primary been so divisive that the Republican party is too wounded to win?

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the 2012 election? *UPDATED*

As everyone will remind us, in politics, even a day can be a lifetime.  With a little more than eight months to go before the elections, so much can change.  But right now, this minute, today, are you optimistic or pessimistic when you think about November 2012.

I have to confess to being pessimistic this week.  I think Obama is playing Republicans magnificently, and he’s being helped by the fact that the Republican candidates are self-destructing with tremendous rapidity.  I know that, once the party coalesces behind the not-Obama candidate, things will calm down as the focus moves from us to them, but the damage now may be irremediable.  Obama and his media allies are also doing a magnificent job of turning the Republican v. Democrat divide into a single issue:  contraception.  Listening to Rush today, I learned that the Democrats are now telling people that the administration’s attack on religious freedom is really about the fact that Republicans want to make birth control illegal.  You and I know this is a farce.  Those who watch the Grammys and Jon Stewart do not.

Ignorance is so pervasive.  I recorded the musical 1776, which recently appeared on TCM.  The movie, which was made in 1972, is based upon the Broadway play that premiered in 1969.  In other words, it is a product of the Vietnam era.

In many ways, it’s quite a charming movie, which is what I remember from having seen it about twenty years ago.  A lot of it is historically accurate, which is enjoyable.  Some of the songs are delightful romps.  The actors do a good job.

What I hadn’t remembered, and didn’t realize, was that, despite celebrating America’s creation, the musical is both anti-War and anti-Left.  The anti-Left reveals itself in the song Cool, cool, considerate men, which sees the bad slave holding states insisting that the Congress go to the “right,” never to the “left”:

Mr. Bookworm paused the song midway through to point out excitedly to my Little Bookworm that even in 1776, the right was the bad side politically.  Fortunately, I was there to explain that the terms “left” and “right” didn’t exist at the time, having emerged only during the French Revolution.  I also explained that these were not the First Congress’ words but, in fact, were written during the height of the Vietnam War for an anti-War audience.  Later, I explained to Little Bookworm that the more accurate terms are statist versus individualist, rather than geographic descriptions of the seating in the French Parliament.  I think she got it.

But think about it:  Mr. Bookworm is the product of one of the best high schools in the country, two of the oldest, most esteemed universities in the country, and some other fine educational institutions as well.  Despite that, he thinks that 1776, the Musical accurately expresses modern political positions and that Jon Stewart is a political prophet.

And that’s why I’m pessimistic.  If he’s representative of the informed, educated American, we individualists are in deep doo-doo.

What say you?

(Pardon typos.  I’ve got to run, so please decipher this as best you can if it periodically stops making sense.)

UPDATE:  Keith Koffler thinks hubris will get Obama.

“What does not destroy me, makes me stronger;” or, there’s a virtue to Newt’s mania

Yes, Nietzsche ended up insane, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t occasionally hit the nail on the head.  Although it isn’t true in all cases that “what does not destroy me makes me stronger,” it is true in many cases.

In the case of Newt Gingrich’s most recent attack against Romney, James Taranto says that Newt may be doing everyone a favor.  (BTW, I agree with Danny in saying that Newt has out-Newted himself with his vile attack on capitalism, and rolled himself right off my list of viable presidential candidates.)  Here’s Taranto’s take on Newt’s unhinged anti-capitalist attack:

Yet all that said, assuming that Romney is the eventual nominee, Gingrich is doing him a huge favor. To see why, think about what happened to John Kerry, the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat who by the way served in Vietnam.

At a time of national-security crisis, Kerry planned to coast into the White House on his autobiography as a war hero. Against weak opposition, he quickly wrapped up the Democratic nomination, and no one–either opponents or the press–bothered to question the story he told about himself.

Then, once the general-election campaign was under way, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth came along to dispute his accounts of his own heroism and to remind Americans that Kerry’s first foray into political life consisted of Senate testimony in which he viciously slandered fellow veterans. Kerry had no good response–in part because the Swift Boat Vets had him dead to rights, at least on the latter point, and in part because he was unprepared.

Romney is in a troublingly analogous position. At a time of economic crisis, he too is running on his biography, as a businessman who knows how to create jobs. Like Kerry, Romney faced weak opposition, at least until Gingrich’s rise a couple of months ago. Timid Pawlenty and Tongue-Tied Perry tried to land a few blows, but they were barely up for a pillow fight. Gingrich, by contrast, is causing Romney some pain–and Romney is making things worse by saying things like “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”

In other words, this primary is Romney’s trial run.  If he can’t handle this issue with his own party, he certainly won’t be able to handle it with the nation at large.  After all, this isn’t secret dirt and mud that sleazy political operatives are digging up.  Instead, this is what Romney is.

Now, I have to admit that, in all the years I’ve thought about Romney as a candidate, one of the things I’ve liked best about him is his willingness to make the hard decisions and revitalize moribund institutions.  This country needs that willingness.

A friend of mine who lives in a poverty-stricken region, with most of the poverty-stricken current or former drug and alcohol abusers thinks that, if we don’t keep up Obama-esque unlimited welfare payments, there’ll be blood on the streets.  My feeling is that, right now, the country as a whole can absorb the outrage of the current number of disaffected citizens.*  The real problems start if Obamanomics provides perverse incentives that expand the number of the very people whom my friend fears.

________________________

*I’m not unaware of the fact that many of these disaffected people, including those in my friend’s community, made their bad choices because they were raised by people who made equally bad choices.  They emulated the people around them.  The fact, though, that circumstances cause people to harm themselves does not, I think, obligate us as a society to perpetuate that harm by funding dysfunctional communities indefinitely.

President Allen West?

I believe I’ve mentioned on several occasions here that the more I hear from Allen West, the more I like him.  Is he ready to be President?  Is there time for him to step into the fray?

Allen West (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I do know that Zombie is not sanguine about the prospects for 2012 with the current Republican roster.

What do you think?

As for me, I’m trying to remind myself that, back in 2008, before ObamaCare made RomneyCare an issue, I liked Romney.

UPDATE:  Meanwhile, on the Left, speculation continues about Hillary in 2012.

As of today, who’s your conservative candidate choice?

A friend sent me a link to a post at Whatever, a blog that John Scalzi runs.  Scalzi, who describes himself as a “pinko commie socialist,” is interested — truly, not snarkily, interested — in the views Republicans/conservatives/libertarians currently hold when looking at the Republican primary field.  Having the luxury of my own blog, I thought that, rather than weigh in there, I’d weigh in here, and ask you all to chime in as well.  I’ll stick to Scalzi’s rules, which I think are very good ones for this question:

1. This comment thread is for people who are US potential primary voters who identify as Republican and/or conservative (libertarian is also fine, if you see your libertarianism more aligned with general Republican/conservative principles and/or intend to vote in the GOP primaries). If you’re not any of these things, don’t comment, please. Seriously. We have enough politics back and forth on other threads; this one is not about that.

To amplify this point I will also stay out of the thread except in my capacity as site moderator.

2. For the purposes of this thread, please take as given that you likely believe the policies and practices of the Obama administration to be varying levels of bad, so it’s not on point to go on about that. I’m interested on your take on the actual candidates running for the GOP nomination and your thoughts on their individual pluses and minuses as well as on the group as a whole.

[snip]

4. Commenting between the people in the thread (who have already identified themselves as Republicans/conservatives) is of course fine but in general I’m more interested in people’s individual opinions regarding the candidates/group than I am in people trying to argue to others in the thread for their favorite candidate. So if you’d keep campaigning to a minimum and focus on the actual question, I’d be appreciative.

As a Californian, of course, none of my votes count.  My primaries are too late to matter and the state is so Blue, it’s kind of like a corpse when it comes to the actual election itself.  So, while I care deeply, my caring is sort of academic.

Having said that, I’ve been enjoying Newt.  Considering that all the candidates just yak away like crazy, it’s a kind of rare, delicious, almost illicit pleasure to hear someone who can string multiple sentences together, who has a rare depth and breadth of knowledge, and who often says what all of us have been thinking.  I have serious doubts about his abilities as an executive (I do think Romney wins in that category), but he’s like chocolate for the conservative political brain — and that’s despite the baggage, the loopiness, the history of random statements, the FDR worship, and whatever else one can say about Newt.

When it comes to thinking seriously about a primary candidate, I don’t know and, as I noted above, for me the question is academic (especially since California now has open primaries).  What I’ve said for months is that my candidate is NOT OBAMA.  Of course, I have to ask myself, what if the NOT OBAMA candidate is Ron Paul?  I think he’d be better for America on the home front than Obama is, but I think he’d manage to be even worse than Obama when it comes to America’s national security interests, both at home and abroad.  I don’t want to have to make an Obama versus Paul choice.

My current plan is to vote for the person with the “R” after his/her name.  I’m not going to teach anyone a lesson by withholding a vote, thereby weakening the NOT OBAMA Party, of which I am a member in good standing.