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Dazed and confused, except …

Dazed and confused, except …

A friend writes:

I’m sure you’ve been following Romney’s latest flip-flop, in which he supported Kasich’s anti-union initiative in June but today traveled to Ohio and claimed he wasn’t familiar with the referendum.  It’s just too much.  The guy disgusts me, and frankly I just don’t know where to turn in this field.  Thinking of moving to Perry. Sure, he’s an idiot.  But he might actually believe in something.

Actually, I was not aware of it because I was traveling, but I now see that Jim Geraghty has a good round-up.  I don’t react as negatively, perhaps because my expectations are so much lower.

I could make a case for four of the candidates, but each has a downside.  Go with my heart (Cain, Newt) or with my head (Romney, Perry)?  (added)  I don’t share the view that Perry is an idiot, and Romney doesn’t “disgust” me, but neither gets me motivated the way the two less likely candidates do.

I’m hesitant to jump on the downsides because while I’m dazed and confused as to the Republican field, I’m quite clear that Obama must be defeated.  I’m just not sure how.

Update: Romney rushes to clarify his comments on union bargaining legislation.

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Comments

I find following primaries too depressing in general.

“Sure, he’s an idiot.”

Does the level of unthinking negativity about everyone strike anyone else as 1) odd; 2) counter-productive?

It rather seems to me that most anyone who expresses an opinion of anyone they are not completely ga-ga over almost reflexively says they are “an idiot”, a “socialist”, a “RINO”, an “insert-invective-of-choice.”

Yes, they do come up with reasons sometimes, often rather uninformed, but the reasons tend to seem like window dressing (for either being ga-ga or the opposite). it’s only the feeling that matters.

I bring this up because this classic CA Liberal behavior — I’ve been living around it for years. Faux ennui is “kewl” so you are obliged to off-handedly despise everything — “sure, he’s an idiot but…” or get all dewy-eyed and gush that fill-in-the-blank is the absoluteyest bestest thingie evah! No middle ground allowed.

So tell me: has CA really infected the whole country to such a degree? Or is there another reason for this behavior?

I’m quite curious, as I don’t get out much…

Loads of idiots. But, idiot that I am, I do need to follow the primaries as I might have a chance to throw a big Whooppeee $25 to somebody who might make a difference.

Does a candidate ever get the change their mind? I would say once. Claim the previous position as “youthful indiscretion”. Sincerity in a new position is then needed.

Perry strikes me as a moderate who really wants to be thought of as a conservative. For example, he offers a “flat tax with a few deductions”. What? Flat means flat. Give an individual deduction, and that is that. Any other deduction allows for too much messing about. End the home mortgage deduction.

If we are going to have, for example, a sales tax, put it on everything: food, clothes, medicine. Otherwise we argue about whether or not pizza is food. Is it food when it’s the in grocers freezer case? Why not when it is in the deliveryman’s pizza box? Are nachos food? (Yes!)

Romney supported the reforms before they became unpopular. This was worse than a flip-flop, it was defection.

There’s no way to know which way Romney will go in the future unless you can predict which way the polls will swing.

A vote for Romney is a vote for … what?

I sure do hope Romney keeps his fingers clean, because I sure would hate to see him catch something other than flipflop-itis with the way he keeps licking his fingers to gauge the prevailing winds. This not a good quality in someone who aspires to lead a country.

This field seems disappointing, but a lot of that has to do with the way conservative politics has changed since the emergence of the Tea Party. Prior to the current economic crisis, things like Romneycare or GWB’s promoting of homeownership for everyone could, in fact, be conceived of as “conservative” reforms. Now, to take the HC issue as an example, anything short of complete laissez faire withdrawal of the government from the HC sector strikes me as a hopelessly liberal folly. Or take “stimulus” spending. “Conservatives” did, in fact, support the general Keynesian idea of using deficit spending as to jolt the economy. I could go with this, but you get the idea.

Now, I’m not at all saying that Obama is what we used to call a “conservative.” What he’s done (nationalizing the auto industry, for example) is downright socialist as far as I’m concerned. That’s not the point I’m making. I’m simply pointing out that a lot of the things Romney, or Perry, or even Gingrich supported or did, even with the last few years, are only now being railed against as crimes against conservatism. At the time the did or supported those things, they were more-or-less mainstream “conservative” policies. If you further allow for the fact that these are politicians trying to maintain some degree of support from moderate and liberal voters, it’s not hard to see how things like insurance mandates or the Gardisil program happened.

Elections are supposed about the future. The focus therefore should be focused on what these prez candidates would do over the next four years, not on what they did in the past.

Seems to me the next president needs to do at least a handful of big things (this list may not be exhaustive): (1) repeal Obamacare; (2) undo the stifling regulatory environment that’s retarding private job growth; (3) make serious spending cuts, including . . . (4) entitlement reform; (5) restore some coherence to U.S. foreign policy (at least insofar as acknowledging that the despotic, secular tyrants we are toppling are being replaced by Islamist despots). Flawed as they appear as a group, I’m fairly confident that pretty much all of the GOP candidates would pursue this kind of agenda, and therefore would make a much better president than the incumbent.

    donb in reply to Conrad. | October 26, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Well, count Romney OUT on criteria #1. He’ll give wavers, to all 50 states no less, (and probably to a few unions, and select preferred businesses, but forget the rest of us poor schmucks) but hasn’t offered to scrap it.

    Why, with just a few tweaks, it would have a Republican (R) flavor [tastes kinda like RINO, or is that chicken], and would then become R-Omni-Care (kinder-gentler Republican care for “omni”/all).

      Conrad in reply to donb. | October 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      Romney says he’ll repeal Obamacare, not just issue waivers. It’s says so right on his campaign website. You may not BELIEVE him, but you shouldn’t misrepresent what his stated position is.

      RightKlik in reply to donb. | October 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      Forget about it. When the New York Times and Washington Post manufacture a few poll results that scare Romney away from repeal, he’ll run away from it with his tail between his legs.

    Owen J in reply to Conrad. | October 26, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Well said. The past does have diagnostic power though if used properly; not so much what they did, but why they did it — what were they thinking and what did they learn.

    I have to say that Romeny looks more and more not like the establishment candidate, but the Entitlement candidate.

    And for a guy who reputed to be slick, this last bit of weasel-wording dumbfounds me — I can’t imagine what he was thinking.

    retire05 in reply to Conrad. | October 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Conrad, perhaps you can point out what laws that Perry lobbied for, and gained, that makes you think he was anything less than the conservative he claims to be?

Perry looked good for a while, but he proved to be a terrible debater. Cain looked good for a while, but his proposed sales tax doesn’t look like a winner. Newt is smart and an outstanding debater, but he has lots of baggage, both personal and political. Romney has no principles as evidenced by his flips and flops.

Still, the real question is, who has the best chance against Obama? Romney once had that nailed down, but he seems to be fading. Cain’s inexperience seems like a big downside in conducting and effective campaign. Perry looks inept and inarticulate. Maybe Newt will emerge as the best candidate despite his baggage. Time is marching along.

    (on Cain) The sales tax can be a winner if it’s properly described in simple terms that even the most anti-conservative reporter will be able to understand. Does it have some flaws? Sure. But those flaws are infinitely superior to the current tax system where the government chooses winners and losers through “tax expenditures.”

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | October 26, 2011 at 10:38 am

I moved into the “Anybody But Romney” camp a couple of weeks ago when I learned that during his term as governor Romney hired John Holdren, one of Obama’s environmental czars, to advise him on creating the most restrictive CO2 legislation in the country for MA. Now he refuses to endorse Kasich’s legislation to limit the power of public employee unions, which should be a no-brainer despite what Walter Russell Mead says. There’s not one Democrat policy I can find that Romney hasn’t either supported outright in the past or that he refuses to be against: Romney/Obamacare, abortion, gun control, excessive environmental regulation, and now unionized public employees.

I had tried keeping an open mind about him after he released his economic plan. But I’ve developed an intense dislike for him as I’ve learned more over the past 2-3 weeks.

    “There’s not one Democrat policy I can find that Romney hasn’t either supported outright in the past or that he refuses to be against: Romney/Obamacare, abortion, gun control, excessive environmental regulation, and now unionized public employees.”

    Very well said.

    Forget the comparisons to Mike Dukakis, Romney is fast becoming the better model of JFKerry. That may explain some of Jennifer Rubin’s venom towards Perry.

How the H3ll can a man be an “idiot” and get elected 3 times to the governorship of one of the most populous and complex states of the union?

It’s time to stop buying in to the propaganda of dishonest people.

None of the Republican contenders are “characters” or “unqualified” — especially compared to the unvetted red-diaper baby of one of Nancy Pelosi’s dear friends, foisted on us by an irresponsible Democratic Party.

No one person is perfect, nor do any have every desired trait and bit of knowledge that a President needs to make good decisions.

I voted as a Democrat in every election, up to the second election of George W. Bush.

    “How the H3ll can a man be an “idiot” and get elected [multiple times in Massachusetts]?”

    Good question. Consider:
    (1) Mike Dukakis,
    (2) Ted Kennedy, and
    (3) Barney Frank.

      Owen J in reply to donb. | October 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      It’s Massachusetts — doesn’t that question answer itself?

      Look at who has Calif elected over the past decades — going back to Cranston. And Brown for guv twice?

      Then compare how things are going in CA and TX.

      Owen J in reply to donb. | October 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      You might also consider that voters tend to treat senators and reps differently than governors, as they do quite different things.

      Calif has elected a number of decent Republican governors, including Reagan and Wilson. But every senator I can recall in my lifetime has been a liberal idiot of the pernicious variety.

    tiger66 in reply to Valerie. | October 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Valerie:
    I couldn’t for a minute call Perry an idiot. He may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but that’s not the point.

    What is indisputable is that he is a Texas politician. His act plays well in Lubbock and New Braunfels. I don’t think it will play very well in Albuquerque or Richmond.

    An Aggie Yell Leader does not an effective politician make … outside of Texas.

    Smaller, more contained population segments. When you can “crack & pack” a district, you can get away with just about anything. As for Kennedy and Dukakis, it’s Massachusetts. It’s such a tiny state with such a huge urban center that if you run on purely local issues, you can still win big, even if you ignore half of the state.

Once again, Mitt Romney reminds us he is Mitt Romney.

I have about 50 reasons I wouldn’t vote for Mitt. And the most important reason is that he seems to lack any core convictions. Though his default position appears to be big-government, statist solutions to any question…

Can you spell weasel? A rich, highly educated weasel, but a weasel nonetheless.

A leopard can’t change his spots. Does a weasel have spots?

Milwaukee:
Perry wouldn’t have got re-elected in Texas as a moderate, believe me. I think his new economic plan makes good sense. The Wall St Journal and Paul Ryan both like it, and leaving in the mortgage deduction and charitable deduction makes it hard for the left to attack.
Romney seems to stick his finger in the air and see what direction the wind is blowing today. I still have a problem with Newts amnesty speech in Iowa in May 2011.
http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2011/05/19/newt-gingrich-endorses-a-form-of-amnesty-that-would-work-like-the-draft/

If Romney was nominated, I would vote for him. Anyone on the republican side would be better than obama. At least Romney doesn’t hate this country or wants to bring it down. And no one, I repeat, no one could flub foreign policy worse than obama has.

Here’s where you turn: DRAFT PALIN!

    No. I would MUCH rather have Palin sidelined for this election cycle, and working in the background to elect TEA Partiers, rather than have her become a rally-point for the Liberals to heap scorn and present mocking attacks which, while totally fabricated, play well on late-night talk-shows.

    People will ignore the news and policy discussions all-the-live-long-day. But you give them a 30 second bit that is funny (regardless of it’s truth) on a late-night comedy show, and that’s what they’ll remember. Give that bit to the Main Stream Media, and they’ll make it look like that comedy is the candidate’s actual stance and hide behind “public official satire” when called out on the slanderous nature of it.

    I LIKE Palin. She needs to be the power behind the scenes for this cycle. And as I’ve said before, even if she doesn’t run until the 2020 election cycle, at 56 years old she’ll STILL be one of the younger Presidential candidates in modern history.

“Romney rushes to clarify his comments on union bargaining legislation.”

When did they change the meaning of “clarify” and why didn’t I get the memo?

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