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Scoops, Swoops, and Perry's "Oops."
November 10, 2011 12:54 AM   Subscribe

Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is booked on all the major morning shows tomorrow, and with good reason. After two months of gaffes, impolitic stands, and bizarre speeches that quickly waned his once-strong odds of winning the Republican nomination, Perry went into Wednesday's CNBC debate sorely needing a win... only to deliver a tortuous, cringingly forgetful attempt [video] to recall just which three cabinet departments he'd vowed to abolish, a stunning failure political scientist Larry Sabato deemed "the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate" in his memory. While Perry's slow-motion flameout has boosted the fortunes of dark horse candidate Herman Cain, the unlikely challenger is facing troubles of his own in a volley of sexual harassment claims -- an oddly ineffective scandal Cain is doing his best to (somewhat dubiously) disavow. If Cain collapses, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may reap the benefits, but his moribund campaign has issues of its own. Pawlenty, Bachmann, Perry, Christie, Cain, Gingrich... the base is loathe to rally round him, but after so many failed, flawed, or forfeited challenges, can anyone topple Mitt Romney?
posted by Rhaomi (208 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
On a more lighthearted note, you'd think Perry would know that the best way to recall key policy positions is to scribble them down on your hand. :P

(Also, I'm loving the new Perry advice animal.)
posted by Rhaomi at 12:58 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cringe-worthy is the new Republican platform!

As if it wasn't already.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:59 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there anyone in the GOP who looks at these people and thinks "With these candidates, the Republic is in safe hands"?
posted by Neale at 1:05 AM on November 10, 2011 [21 favorites]


I don't know why you're all nyuking it up about Perry. Last time one part of the electorate were pointing and laughing at what a moron a candidate was, you got President Bush.
posted by rodgerd at 1:09 AM on November 10, 2011 [61 favorites]


Because Perry is polling about as well as Rick Santorum and has slightly better odds on inTrade. I say we yuck it now because we will be crying with any winner next November.
posted by munchingzombie at 1:15 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


The GOP is disintegrating before our very eyes.

The Teabaggers were supposed to breathe "new life" into it but anyone with half-a-brain could tell it was the death throes of old white men.

Absolutely beautiful (and hilarious) to watch.
posted by bardic at 1:18 AM on November 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


(And what's sad is that Obama is too ball-less to confront them on anything.)
posted by bardic at 1:19 AM on November 10, 2011 [25 favorites]


I think we have to take the Republican candidates seriously. President Obama may not win re-election because thoughtful people like Herman Cain, ho ho, and Rick Perry, ha ha ha, and Mitt Romney, ha ha he ha , will oppose him, bringing to the American serious issues such as, ha ha he he ho ha he ha ho. Ha ha ho he he ha ha ho ho ha ha ha ho ha he ha ha ho ho ha ha ha he he he.

I'm sorry. I just couldn't keep a straight face this time.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:19 AM on November 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


My god, listen to these people! Don't blame the banks! Corporations are people! Abolish Medicare, the Dept of Education, the Post Office! The unemployed don't deserve to eat! This is NOT mainstream thought and none of these idiots seems to be even remotely aware of it.
posted by biddeford at 1:19 AM on November 10, 2011 [25 favorites]


I'm confused by his basic premise of 'eliminating' three entire governmental agencies. Can he really believe that there needs to be no coordination/oversight of things like energy or commerce(!) on the federal level?
posted by Hargrimm at 1:19 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


bardic: “The GOP is disintegrating before our very eyes. The Teabaggers were supposed to breathe "new life" into it but anyone with half-a-brain could tell it was the death throes of old white men. Absolutely beautiful (and hilarious) to watch.”

This is the kind of thinking that got Nixon reelected in 1972.
posted by koeselitz at 1:21 AM on November 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


Funny how the Governor of Texas couldn't remember the Department that covers the Energy industry. It's not as if it's one of the prime employers in his home state or anything.

Helpful prompts to abolish the EPA really don't help either.
posted by arcticseal at 1:24 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a white male who isn't Mitt Romney, isn't Barack Obama, can often form coherent sentences, hasn't sexually harassed anyone, and has zero government experience. By any measure, I should be the next Republican frontrunner.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:24 AM on November 10, 2011 [44 favorites]


He can immediately recall how many people he's executed. Can't recall three government agencies when asked. There's no clever punch line—the perfect specimen of loudmouth discourse and heartbreaking lack of vision—just sorrow in realization of such men not being the cause of civilization's malady but rather being reflections of it.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:26 AM on November 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


koeselitz: Yeah, except Nixon was the last liberal president, and, save for being scrupulously dishonest and downright unpleasant, he did a pretty damn good job. So, I'd vote for Nixon over Obama.
posted by cthuljew at 1:26 AM on November 10, 2011 [18 favorites]


http://www.whichmitt.com/
posted by estlin at 1:32 AM on November 10, 2011


Also, if you're surprised that a complete lack of respect for women isn't seen as a disqualifier to be a serious GOP contender, you really have not been paying any attention to politics over the last 30 years or so.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:32 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


"This is the kind of thinking that got Nixon reelected in 1972."

America was an overwhelmingly white nation back then.

You can't fight demographics.
posted by bardic at 1:35 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm confused by his basic premise of 'eliminating' three entire governmental agencies.

The worst part about this is that it simply doesn't live in reality. In fact, it exists wholly within a fantastic fabrication of a system that could allow it to happen. So what are you, as a potential voter, left with? It can't happen, yet it's being promised. Dishonest or delusional?
posted by Mikey-San at 1:40 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know, I was just reading a Reddit thread about how many languages don't have a word for "awkward." I love that Perry wants to eliminate the agency in charge of maintaining the nuclear weapons stockpile.

Cain will be the nominee. I wouldn't be surprised if he's our next president. Sexual harassment allegations didn't prevent Clinton from being elected, and, in fact, the right wing seems to be falling all over itself to claim sexual harassment is a good thing, when they aren't character-assassinating Cain's victims, anyway.

I didn't watch the debate. Who got booed this time? Babies? Puppies? Babies playing with puppies and giggling?
posted by dirigibleman at 1:48 AM on November 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


I believe that the Republican nominee will be Mitt Romney, regardless of what happens with Perry, Cain or any others who're part of the lunatic fringe. If you believe, as I do, that corporate interests are the real powers that be in the Republican Party, then Romney has to ultimately be their guy.
posted by imjustsaying at 1:53 AM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Cringe-worthy is the new Republican platform!

This Republican campaign season is a big pie in the face to everyone who says America can't produce a version of The Office which is as good as the British one.
posted by three blind mice at 1:55 AM on November 10, 2011 [57 favorites]


RICK

RICK

RICK

RICK

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT PILLS, RICK
posted by Jofus at 2:01 AM on November 10, 2011 [89 favorites]


And, in posting that, I would like to suggest the retirement of that particular meme
posted by Jofus at 2:02 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Breaking: Rick Perry complains that Hermain Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan is "too complicated".
posted by auto-correct at 2:05 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is only one Republican that I'll vote for, but Mr Paul is always pre-decided to be un-electable by the media, despite getting a sizable vote, despite being consistent for 30+ years, despite being sane, honest, and competent.

The majority of voters have been convinced that it's the other people's fault we're in danger of losing our God-given right to run the world and show everyone else how things are done.

If only those other voters wouldn't be so socialist / conservative / not what I am... we could get back to being perfect like we were in the non-existent past. (Before minorities got uppity, before Gay was invented, back when women knew their place, back when the poor new their place, back when it was quite alright to sleep with 10 minutes to nuclear annihilation, when prohibition worked perfectly, etc..., etc..., etc...)

It's those damned punk hippies / rich crooks / lazy poor / illegal people / uppity minority / lazy kids / atheists / scape goats... yeah... let's get those scape goats... and then everything will be just fine.

We'll keep sucking up resources at insane rates to try to maintain geometric growth in a finite resource environment. We'll continue to actively shun anyone who threatens our carefully maintained rosy illusion of reality. If we can just keep those annoying clueless people with their facts quiet, technology will fix everything.

Yes... we don't need oil, we have technology. We don't need to make things, we can just shuffle money around in a box and magically make it grown, consistently, without risk, and make everyone else shoulder the costs.

Hmmm.... I must be upset about this situation I guess... one sane candidate, that nobody wants to consider....

.... REALITY INTRUSION....
Whoa... that was a wild ride... almost done typing this, and Windows decides to do a reboot/upgrade... and I get even more pissed off... and then it somehow magically managed to save my context and bring me right back to this page, with my text intact??


... ANYWAY....

Things are bad, I'm pissed about it, and there is ONLY 1 candidate I'm going to vote for, Ron Paul... I will not give my consent to be governed to anyone else, I won't be tricked again.

I have no allusions that things are going to get better, the system is past the point of collapse, we're just papering it over, and we're in the middle of a world-wide reboot of things... I just hope we can avoid all-out war for the remaining resources, and try to learn to live within our means instead.

Thanks for reading, and letting me vent.

(How did they manage to save my context across the reboot?... cool stuff!)
posted by MikeWarot at 2:05 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


According to my back of the envelope calculations, the EPA is ~ 0.24% of the federal 2012 budget.

Fuck these guys. Anyone who pretends that the EPA budget is a big deal is accepting bags of cash in the background from polluters.
posted by benzenedream at 2:14 AM on November 10, 2011 [23 favorites]


Cain will be the nominee. I wouldn't be surprised if he's our next president.

No way in hell. The biggest (only?) plank in his platform is raising taxes on the lower- and middle-classes and cutting taxes for the rich. Surrounded by the crowd of weasels running for the GOP nod you can get away with a lot that won't fly in a general election. And I say that knowing full well that no one really likes Obama these days and the economy is in the shitter.

Romney will be the nominee, and the election will come down to the unemployment numbers over the next year. Romney's a weasel, but he's the only candidate right now who's smart enough to know that keeping your mouth shut for the next 12 months will give you the best chance of being the next president.
posted by auto-correct at 2:19 AM on November 10, 2011 [18 favorites]


Romney's a weasel, but he's the only candidate right now who's smart enough to know that keeping your mouth shut for the next 12 months will give you the best chance of being the next president.

Well, he's got my vote.
- Joe Weasel
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:24 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm confused by his basic premise of 'eliminating' three entire governmental agencies. Can he really believe that there needs to be no coordination/oversight of things like energy or commerce(!) on the federal level?

Extrapolating from this FPP, it's because abolishing those agencies would give his biggest donors free reign to do as they please.

The worst part about this is that it simply doesn't live in reality. In fact, it exists wholly within a fantastic fabrication of a system that could allow it to happen. So what are you, as a potential voter, left with? It can't happen, yet it's being promised. Dishonest or delusional?

Dishonest and delusional would be my bet. Dishonest, in that he is basically trying to advance his paymasters at everyone else's expense, and delusional, not in that he believes what he is saying, but that he believes he can just slip it in there and no one will notice.

Of course, next November, I may be the delusional one....
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:25 AM on November 10, 2011


Mr Paul is always pre-decided to be un-electable by the media, despite getting a sizable vote, despite being consistent for 30+ years, despite being sane, honest, and competent.

Two outta three ain't bad, right? He really doesn't have all that different views on taxation from the other Republican candidates.

If only those other voters wouldn't be so socialist / conservative / not what I am...

Oh, you aren't trotting out that tired idea that the left and the right are mirror images of each other and so rationality must be directly between them? It's the Republican candidates who are the subject of this thread, because it's the Republicans who are melting down. I don't want to explain the Overton window again, especially the idea of spouting insane nonsense in a conscious effort to move it, so here's a Wikipedia link.

The Democrats aren't exactly terrific, but at least they aren't batshit crazy, whether legitimately or for strategic purposes.
posted by JHarris at 2:33 AM on November 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


Reagan melted down somewhat in his first debate with Mondale. I wouldn't underestimate the stupidity of a public that elected the likes of Reagan and Dubya.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:42 AM on November 10, 2011


Reagan melted down somewhat in his first debate

That's nowhere close. There have been many interesting moments in presidential debates. But I'm pretty sure that in over two hundred years of presidential debates, in over two hundred years of debates of potential candidates, in over two hundred countries worldwide where elections are held, no one has ever flubbed the debate as magnificently as Rick Perry just did.

So he's got that going for him. WE'RE NUMBER ONE! WE'RE NUMBER ONE!
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:51 AM on November 10, 2011


--I'd vote for Nixon over Obama--

Wow. I think maybe you give Nixon too much personal credit for what happened during his presidency and likewise expect Obama to be superman. The truth is that the presidency is just not as powerful as your political folklore makes it out to be.
posted by peacay at 3:12 AM on November 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


is it any surprise that a party that's repeatedly said that government is too big, not that necessary, not that good has trouble finding decent candidates for president?

they're getting what they've advertised for
posted by pyramid termite at 3:15 AM on November 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'd vote for Nixon if he ran on the Democratic ticket just because I'd like to see what he'd do to a cringing toady like Boehner.
posted by Grimgrin at 3:19 AM on November 10, 2011 [33 favorites]


It's always been Romney; the media has used the debates to create an "American Idol" atmosphere that boosts their ratings. Ad prices have shot WAY up for the debates, and the networks just LOVE it. Note that CNBC and the others (I think, all of them) refused to live stream the debates - they want people watching the TV, and exposed to ads.

The whole thing is a sideshow, which is fitting for an American public that watched on average 5 hours of TV, per day!.

I have to laugh at the postmortem media critiques of these debates - especially the ones that declare "winners and losers in tonight's debate". The REAL winner is corporate media! Follow the money, folks!

So, here we are again, getting all jacked up by the media, and having our attention diverted by questions like "what are you going to do about Social Security, health care, the environment, abortion rights, etc". It's all a cover for the REAL power in America - corporate wealth - the wealth that is buying the social and intellectual capital wealth of America, nay, the world, as capital is on the wire, fully transportable and liquid across borders, with no fealty to any flag. We are dealing with a domestic and worldwide system of backdoor finance of social policy that moves like a greased pig - i.e. just when you think you've got a grip on stopping it, it manages to slither away.

So, the corporate pig; the ultra-wealthy industrialists, technologists, financial whores, defense contractors, real estate developers, energy companies, etc. who are behind ALL of the politicians we will be voting on next November - THEY are who you're voting for. Like George Carlin says, they "don't give a fuck about you"; they don't care; they have (with our permission) kept us ignorant.

We are going to pay for that ignorance, and we will keep paying for that ignorance as long as we get let ourselves sucked into these American Idol contests that are paid for by our corporate masters (this is not just a convenient metaphor; it's the truth) , where our political candidates promise every thing we think we want, and we buy into it, just like we buy into all the other bullshit they have been selling us, for decades.

Follow the money; then, once you find out where the money starts, uproot its source, cut it's balls off, and get it out of our political DNA. Then start working and thinking like a Democratic culture again.

Do you ever think you'll hear anything close to what I just wrote from Romney or Obama or Paul or "name your fav" politician? You won't, because they are puppets, and we are their audience, and we like to be entertained.

It's gonna be a long struggle, folks, prepare yourselves to be lied to, again. No matter how good it sounds, from anyone of these jackass candidates, including Obama or Romney; they are speaking for those who have paved their way to power. Sure, one or another might be incrementally better, but they are whores first, and saviors second.

Incidentally, for clarity, our political candidates are not consciously doing this; they have all come up in a rigged system that appears as normal. We will not get leadership on the issue of cash for policy, because that's the trough that they have learned to feed from. It's really not their fault - it's OUR fault. Change is a bitch.
posted by Vibrissae at 3:21 AM on November 10, 2011 [57 favorites]


I'd vote for Nixon if he ran on the Democratic ticket just because I'd like to see what he'd do to a cringing toady like Boehner.


And I'd like to see what Lyndon Johnson would do with/to Mealy Mitch McConnell.

Say what you will about their wars and intrigues, LBJ and Tricky Dick were pros...only recent president that even comes close (and not very) is Bill Clinton.
posted by tommyD at 3:28 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rick Perry had an off by one error.

Obviously, someone mixed up a > with a >=.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:29 AM on November 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Well, this led me to realize I am unfamiliar with what exactly the Commerce Department does, so I looked it up. Turns out Commerce is the aegis under which NOAA, NIST, the Census, and the Patent Office operate! So thanks Rick for making me look that up, but no, let's not eliminate the Commerce Department.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 3:35 AM on November 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


The fact Herman Cain is doing so well just makes me sad. It's not just the sexual harassment, but also the fact that he's shown himself to be so off on so many issues, sometimes being flat out unable to translate them to things that can be done with government power (see his weird stance on abortion). And of course, 999 basically taking money out of the hands of poor and middle class people and putting it into the hands of the rich in a recession that's starting to look quite demand-sided, while effectively crippling the government in just about every way by cutting revenue dramatically. (hurf durf, I know, "That's what the tea party wants!" But I think they'd still want the military unscathed)

You'd think a candidate with all these looming problems would be losing support.

The biggest thing I'm wondering is if maybe he's not seeing a fall because he's getting a sympathy vote from people who think the women are lying.

I'm also surprised the right-wing pundits haven't completely given up on him. I think they honestly just want to have him distract from Romney's flaws long term, and before all this stuff came up, maybe they thought he'd be an okay VP.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:38 AM on November 10, 2011


Rick Perry is obviously someone who thinks intellectual property laws should disappear overnight.

That's what I'm getting about his Department of Commerce idea. I'm sure his corporate donors would love it.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:40 AM on November 10, 2011


They'd probably have Perry keep those types of laws around.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:43 AM on November 10, 2011


I went to the Starbucks and ordered coffee. They asked me how I wanted my coffee. I said "room for cream, a little sugar,... and I can't remember the third thing."

They looked at me like I was crazy.

Then I explained that I was running as a Republican candidate for President. And they understood.

They gave me a "Reagan". They let the coffee trickle down and blamed me for not having enough.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:49 AM on November 10, 2011 [146 favorites]


A million favorites to twoleftfeet
posted by glaucon at 3:55 AM on November 10, 2011


Reagan melted down somewhat in his first debate with Mondale.

But the not being able to remember stuff only paid off later.
posted by biffa at 4:09 AM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


The thing about Reagan that you may be forgetting is that he was the oldest man ever to run for President, so these sorts of memory lapses were a big concern. Apparently not big enough to yank the presidency away from him. And as suspected, we only found out much, much later that our fears were true, and he was descending into senility even then.
posted by crunchland at 4:20 AM on November 10, 2011


I think I'll vote for Katy Perry. At least she can summon fireworks at will.
posted by PapaLobo at 4:24 AM on November 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


The situation right now in the Republican party is the battle between at least two factions. Cain (and Bachmann) represents the tea party faction. He worked for the Koch brothers, his campaign manager worked for Americans for Progress.

On the other end, Romney represents the more traditional business Republican. I'm pretty sure that part of the reason Pawlenty dropped out is because he didn't want to split Romney's vote at all.
posted by drezdn at 4:26 AM on November 10, 2011


Underestimate these knuckleheads at your peril, especially since Romney will almost certainly be the nominee, and your Rick Perry jokes won't work on him.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:28 AM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Has presidential electioneering, including debates, always started more than a year before the actual election? I feel like we could actually get a better use of our time if we simply didn't allow any electioneering until the actual YEAR OF THE ELECTION. I mean, 10 full months seems like enough time.
posted by artlung at 4:28 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


your Rick Perry jokes won't work on him.

There is plenty of material there too. Now that the Perry show has all but concluded, the new mainstage act can come out of the wings.
posted by lampshade at 4:31 AM on November 10, 2011


*Shrug* I want Romney to get the nomination because of all the candidates presented by the right, he seems the most reasonable (which might be the whole point of all of the far more extreme candidates).

While he would probably never get my vote, can anyone show me reason to fear a Romney presidency?
posted by drezdn at 4:34 AM on November 10, 2011


The situation right now in the Republican party is the battle between at least two factions.

No. It's a setup orchestrated by corporate money and media. We all know the GOP is blatantly in the corporation pocket, but why hasn't even Obama kept his promise about "no lobbyists in my campaign"? Why didn't Obama move hard to remove money from politics, when he had a mandate? I'll tell you why - just look at who donated to his last campaign, and who he's courting today. Follow the money, not the lies that these candidates get paid to spout.

Has presidential electioneering, including debates, always started more than a year before the actual election? I feel like we could actually get a better use of our time if we simply didn't allow any electioneering until the actual YEAR OF THE ELECTION. I mean, 10 full months seems like enough time.

Simple, more time for the corporate media to jack your emotions up with their American Idol formats. Are you aware that TV viewership for the current debates is off the charts. Increased viewership = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for the corporate media giants. Voila!

The REALLY sad thing is that there is no viable alternative to this shill of an election process. It's all "legal", with the "legal" part bought and paid for by the folks who pay big money to buy access, and legislation.

The American public (even here) is so conditioned to this process that it goes unquestioned, even after the whole thing has been deconstructed. Man, we are SO screwed!
posted by Vibrissae at 4:37 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I honestly don't think the right, and especially the teabag faction, is particularly concerned about winning the White House. If the last few years have taught them anything it's that all you really need to do is pay-attention to the House and Senate races. And, if you look at the races that are in-play in 2012, it's looking more probably that Obama will be facing a Republican House and Senate. For all the obstruction they were able to accomplish before 2012, after this election they may very well be able to simply push-through whatever insane laws they want, and marginalize Obama completely.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:39 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


My cautiously optimistic viewpoint:

The more circuslike this process is, the more it will ultimately bite these guys in the ass. Let them keep saying stupid shit like "let's get rid of the Commerce Department", because a significant amount of the electorate is finally looking behind the soundbites and figuring out what they really mean.

I am basing some of this on the results from Monday night and, lord knows, I could be way off the mark. But my bones tell me that the public is rediscovering its power to play a role in what happens. Kasich's anti-union bill stomped. Mississippi's "personhood" bill stomped. Maine's disenfranchisement attempt stomped. Scott Walker's ouster started. Mass exodus from big banks begun.

If this keeps up, maybe we'll reach the point where we won't accept disingenuous horseshit from either side, anymore.

Nah.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:41 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't get it. if you are pro-Obama (or just anti-Repub) you shouldn't want the Perry's of the world to implode in the primary debates. The more unsuitable they show themselves to be, the more likely the nomination goes to Romney by default, and Romney is the candidate least likely to scare away undecideds.

Romney's the Republican Kerry - except Obama is less popular than Bush was in 2003. And Kerry still almost beat Bush.
posted by JPD at 4:45 AM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm still calling this for Romney. I don't think that Republicans like him in the slightest but he's the only contender who isn't crazy and/or an idiot. Cain isn't going to survive the sexual harassment stuff and without him, there's nobody else who can challenge Mitt in the primaries. The good news is that Obama is looking pretty good against Romney in the general. Not that I'm that big a fan of this administration but the alternative is too awful to think about.
posted by octothorpe at 4:47 AM on November 10, 2011


I don't get it.

I really want both sides to put up the most appealing candidate possible. Considering there's a good chance the Republicans can win, I'd much rather a candidate like Romney wins then a Perry or Cain. Unless, someone can show me why Romney would be a worse choice than either.
posted by drezdn at 4:48 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


The good news is that Obama is looking pretty good against Romney in the general. Not that I'm that big a fan of this administration but the alternative is too awful to think about.

Within the margin of error on 9 of 10 polls isn't exactly "looking good".
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:50 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


not to mention Romney's numbers today are going to reflect the fact he's being forced the right by the craziness, if the crazy republican challengers fall away he can start moving to the center, and then he becomes much harder to beat.

Considering there's a good chance the Republicans can win
See the data doesn't show that. The crazy wing can't win the general election. Only the non-crazy repubs (AKA Romney) have a real shot.
posted by JPD at 4:51 AM on November 10, 2011


This is what Perry tweeted:

Really glad I wore my boots 2nite because I stepped in it out there. I did still name 2 agencies to eliminate. Obama has never done that!
posted by drezdn at 4:52 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Only the non-crazy repubs (AKA Romney) have a real shot.

After Ron Johnson, who if he actually did anything would probably be the worst Senator ever, beat Russ Feingold last year, I'm convinced crazy can win anything if it has enough money behind it.
posted by drezdn at 4:54 AM on November 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


While he would probably never get my vote, can anyone show me reason to fear a Romney presidency?

He is an opportunist politician, hence the whole flip-flop issue. No matter what he claims he will do now, that conviction may change direction with the slightest breeze. The Romney you voted for on in November may not be the Romney who takes the oath in Janary. I would have more respect for him if he had an agenda that he hid from view and then later on revealed. At least it would be something you could count on. As it stands now, every time there is a ripple in the water, he floats to another part of the pond.
posted by lampshade at 4:57 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


(And what's sad is that Obama is too ball-less to confront them on anything.)

Why should he? The GOP is ineffective but the conservative agenda, driven by the rich and powerful, including corporations and the corporate-run media is alive and well. And being largely implemented by the Dems.
posted by DU at 4:58 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nate Silver with 538 writes that Obama's chances are much lower against Romney than with Perry or Cain.
posted by Jpfed at 4:58 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Has presidential electioneering, including debates, always started more than a year before the actual election? --- It may have to do with the fact that none of these candidates have more than a fraction of the money that Obama and the Democrats have amassed. In fact, it may be closer that all of them, combined, might almost come close to the sum Obama is sitting on.

So they have these endless debates, which cost the individual candidates virtually nothing, and they get to stand up there and get their message out, and introduce themselves to the people who care enough to try to get to know them. And also misstep and make themselves look like asses, all on someone else's dime.

As for the "boo" line of the night, the audience boo'ed at the mention of the women bringing harassment charges against Herman Cain.
posted by crunchland at 5:00 AM on November 10, 2011


No matter what he claims he will do now, that conviction may change direction with the slightest breeze.

Not too different from the other candidates, on either side, in that respect.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:02 AM on November 10, 2011


I'm a Canadian and a regular Daily Show watcher. American presidential races are just fantastic as pure entertainment. The next 12 months are gonna be dynamite.
posted by davebush at 5:03 AM on November 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


While he would probably never get my vote, can anyone show me reason to fear a Romney presidency?

Privatizing Medicare, for one.
posted by octothorpe at 5:03 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


As it stands now, every time there is a ripple in the water, he floats to another part of the pond.

Considering that I don't support most of the Republican views, I look at Romney's flip flops as a feature instead of a bug. It means there's still the chance he wouldn't implement the most disagreeable parts of the Republican agenda.

I still wouldn't vote for him, but I wouldn't be as stressed out about him winning as I would if Perry were the nominee or *shudder* that ole frothy mess, Sanitorum.
posted by drezdn at 5:04 AM on November 10, 2011


Can he really believe that there needs to be no coordination/oversight of things like energy or commerce(!) on the federal level?

The funny thing is, I think we'd be better off without the Department of Commerce. It's just corporate welfare. You'd want to preserve the Bureau of the Census, the Patent Office, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as independent agencies, however.
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:12 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


San-i-tor-um! Leave me be!
posted by box at 5:14 AM on November 10, 2011


I'm very scared of Romney because no matter what is in his secret heart, god almighty the rest of the GOP will drag him to some place that will hasten the apocalypse.

And he is polished as a McDonald's commercial. We will eat it up, and we are doomed.
posted by angrycat at 5:20 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


The funny thing is, I think we'd be better off without the Department of Commerce. It's just corporate welfare.

They implement the entire tarriff structure. They provide most non-labor stats. They write the standards that make sure everyone's TV gets every station.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:31 AM on November 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


One thing I wonder is if there are so many tea party/religious right candidates because behind the scenes, someone is trying to split that vote to make it easier for Romney. If it was just Romney vs. Perry (or Romney vs. Cain), one would think the religious right would break for the not-Romney candidate.

The other candidates may not know they're running to help Romney, but I wouldn't be shocked if Rove or someone else talked them into it.
posted by drezdn at 5:31 AM on November 10, 2011


Well, even if the GOP race isn't set, I'm fairly confident that Obama will be the democratic nominee.
posted by glaucon at 5:36 AM on November 10, 2011


What I find scary about Romney is his alien possession. On the left is Romney. On the right is Senator Holt after being taken over by an alien in the film, The Hidden (1987). (Senator Holt is played by actor John McCann.)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:37 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ron Paul isn't entirely sane either, and better left wing candidates exist, MikeWarot, including Mitt Romney. ;) I'd vote for Ron Paul over many better left wing candidates though, mostly because no fiscal conservative has held power since Calvin Coolidge, and we'd all benefit if Republicans remembered what a real fiscal conservative looks like.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:39 AM on November 10, 2011


One thing I wonder is if there are so many tea party/religious right candidates because behind the scenes, someone is trying to split that vote to make it easier for Romney. If it was just Romney vs. Perry (or Romney vs. Cain), one would think the religious right would break for the not-Romney candidate.

The other candidates may not know they're running to help Romney, but I wouldn't be shocked if Rove or someone else talked them into it.


drezdn has it. The only other halfway viable Stonecutters conspiracy theory is that this entire pageant, all the way down to the Florida vs. New Hampshire who-goes-first drama, is setting the stage for a last-minute "Draft Jeb" campaign.
posted by gerryblog at 5:42 AM on November 10, 2011


Somehow, Newt Gingrich is starting to get a bump on intrade. Romney is way up though.
posted by drezdn at 5:42 AM on November 10, 2011


Newt is next in line. After that the anti-Romney crowd is down to just about nobody. Maybe they could ask Chris Christie again?
posted by gerryblog at 5:45 AM on November 10, 2011


I thought I heard that to be eligible for some primaries, Candidates would have had to announce by the end of October. Can anyone support/refute this?

Unless if it really did come down to a brokered convention... I can't imagine how the media would handle that.
posted by drezdn at 5:48 AM on November 10, 2011


Mitt Romney can topple Mitt Romney.

How about this?

The GOP doesn't want to win the White House at all. Serious bad times a'coming, is that really the office you want your party to be associated with it?

Just a thought

Fun fact - the US hasn't elected a president from New England since Coolidge (own up, Kennedy's election was even more fixed than Bush jr's), and even he inherited the office for his first term, then went up against a weak candidate for his second.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:48 AM on November 10, 2011


drezdn, that's true, but many states have write-ins and caucuses have different rules. A limited number of people (Jeb, Palin, maybe that's the whole list) could conceivably do a late entry or "draft" strategy and beat a weak frontrunner like Romney, who can't seem to crack 25% no matter how obviously unsuitable the opposition is...
posted by gerryblog at 5:51 AM on November 10, 2011


Indigo, I think you're onto something here. I think the GOP's new strategy is to purposefully throw the White House to Democrats, while they take up every legislative and judicial seat in the states and Federal government.

Holy shit, it's brilliant. You get one party in the White House you can excoriate constantly, while crafting laws that are entirely batshit insane.

Wow. I hope Karl Rove isn't reading this....
posted by glaucon at 5:52 AM on November 10, 2011


drezdn, I thought this was a joke:

This is what Perry tweeted:

Really glad I wore my boots 2nite because I stepped in it out there. I did still name 2 agencies to eliminate. Obama has never done that!

But it is actually Perry's response to his gaffe! There are no words...
I think at some level you just let these idiots display their idiocy. These debates are only hurting the Republican party. Yes, they play to the looney base, but let them continue down that road and see how far it gets them in the general election. And I think there will be a Romney loss to Obama in 2012 and congressional republicans will continue to thwart any real progress, so that Jeb will get any easy win in 2016.
posted by readery at 5:53 AM on November 10, 2011


Well, Bush Sr may have pretended he was from Texas, but you don't get that sort of blue-blood anywhere else but Connecticut.
posted by crunchland at 5:53 AM on November 10, 2011


Really glad I wore my boots 2nite because I stepped in it out there. I did still name 2 agencies to eliminate. Obama has never done that!

Apparently this isn't a joke.

We've really gone way, way beyond the line with this round.
posted by odinsdream at 5:55 AM on November 10, 2011


But Bush Sr wasn't elected.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:55 AM on November 10, 2011


(Jesus, I'm getting old timers disease or something. Scratch that last one. But he DID have to run from Texas.)
posted by IndigoJones at 5:58 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, it's brilliant. You get one party in the White House you can excoriate constantly, while crafting laws that are entirely batshit insane.

You know, I think there's more than a grain of truth to this point.

To a certain extent, modern political parties can just operate as money making enterprises. Sarah Palin has clearly used her political career as a springboard into the world of X-Factor style celebrity.

That might go some way to explaining why this batch of Republican candidates are so... Wacky. They really are strikingly lacking in anything that even remotely resembles a practical solution to America's economic problems. If they do have something, none of their candidates can articulate it to anyone outside the base - instead, they are larger than life "characters". As Armando Iannucci put it in a recent tweet: "Been a long time here in the USA. Looking forward to going home. All the politicians here are their own cartoons.".

So, the Republicans are basically running a giant season of American Idol (as per Vibrissae's comment above). The Republican Party has become what it always affected to despise: the party of celebrity. Seems ironically fitting, somehow.
posted by lucien_reeve at 6:09 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Romney's the Republican Kerry - except Obama is less popular than Bush was in 2003. And Kerry still almost beat Bush.

Plus Romney's better on television than John Kerry, and I can name concrete things Romney would do differently than Obama. Also, your typical Obama-hater is more likely to vote than your typical Bush-hater. Obama does not have a lock on 2012.

I'd vote for Ron Paul over many better left wing candidates though, mostly because no fiscal conservative has held power since Calvin Coolidge, and we'd all benefit if Republicans remembered what a real fiscal conservative looks like.

10 x 10 x 10 x no. We would not "all benefit" from such a display. Some of us actually have to live here. That said, if Ron Paul got the nomination, at least he'd spur more intelligent discussions. Imagine if Obama had to debate that guy, or if Republicans had to choose between someone who really would uphold libertarian ideals, for better and for worse.

It's funny about Bush 41. My take is that Obama is the Democrat version of Bush 41. He's lanky, intellectual, pragmatic, centrist, sometimes bloodless, prone to compromise, and a disappointment to much of his base. He makes often unpopular but sometimes necessary-at-the-time decisions. His military adventures are mostly effective, where he's initiated them, but they lack the pomp (and casualties) of a true media whore. I made this prediction at this at the outset, and IMHO it's becoming more and more true every day, my own personal confirmation bias be damned.

We'll see if he winds up being a one-termer like his predecessor. I hope not, but we'll see what happens. Bush the Elder was mostly undone by a spoiler candidate, reduced energy due to cancer treatment, and economic malaise, as well as the general urge to change the channel after 12 years. I say this with no disrespect meant to Bill Clinton.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:10 AM on November 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


I can't imagine Mitt Romney being taken seriously as a candidate after all those years of being a joke.
posted by Veritron at 6:13 AM on November 10, 2011


The fact of the matter is that the Republican's could put a turd in a tuxedo up as their candidate and Obama would still have to work at getting re-elected. The Republican and Tea-Party base isn't interested in the issues, they'll vote for anybody-but-the-black-dude-from-Kenya.
posted by Runes at 6:16 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


One important element of context for Democratic Party attacks against Mitt Romney is the widespread perception in DC that George W Bush launched highly successful attacks on John Kerry themed around the idea that Kerry was a flip-flopper. The reality is that Kerry over-performed relative to fundamentals-based models in a way that’s consistent with the basic idea that Bush was operating under a cloud of illegitimacy and that a decorated war hero was a strong candidate for the Democratic Party.
posted by gerryblog at 6:17 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was watching this and when it became obvious Perry wasn't gonna come up with it, I was hoping he would do an ol' soft shoe exit. That would have been awesome!
posted by planetkyoto at 6:19 AM on November 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Where is Romney a joke, other than in MA? Most Republican voters won't care that Northeast liberals wound up not liking him. Never underestimate the charm of a polished businessman in a suit, especially when he's running against someone whom millions still cannot believe was born in the US.

Remember the liberal attitude towards Bush for the 2004 election. The Dems sleepwalked to a solid defeat because they didn't respect what Bush offered to his voters.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:19 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine Mitt Romney being taken seriously as a candidate after all those years of being a joke.

The same people who can make bring a decorated war veteran who volunteered for service in Vietnam and married a rich heiress a terrible thing in 2004 and a wonderful thing in 2008 will find a way to make Mitt Romney the serious, credible, beloved-by-the-base candidate if that's what it takes to win the election. I expect slogans like "We've always been sure about Mitt," and "You always know where Romney stands." The more reality-defying, the better.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:20 AM on November 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


Last night I was thinking that this was the worst onstage collapse I've seen since Coal Miner's Daughter.

This morning, however, I'm thinking this may actually be just what Perry needs.

Yeah, he had a brain fart. Yes, it was embarrassing. But the oncoming wave of mockery -- a lot of people won't take to that well, and it may just entrench their support. We've seen the exact same thing with Bush, with Palin, and now probably Perry.

He's in line with their values, he's one of them (or a version they would aspire to), and the more he's knocked down, the more they're going to prop him back up. In politics as elsewhere, there may be no such thing as bad advertising.

Premature to write him off is all I'm saying.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:23 AM on November 10, 2011


Fun fact - the US hasn't elected a president from New England since Coolidge

I think it depends how you define "from". George HW was born in MA and went to Yale, then summered in Maine. George W grew up partly on the mean streets of Kennebunkport before going to Yale himself.
posted by mikepop at 6:32 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Never discount the power of the image.

Mitt Romney voters love the image of a successful businessman coming to Washington to clear out the bureaucrats. Romney's own apparent centrism is a selling point as well. Hard right politics aren't actually "in" at the moment, not for most Republicans. The Tea Party ran with that flag, but now they're kaput as a mainstream political movement. Most of the people voting for Romney will sincerely believe that cutting taxes is a common sense solution that has performed well throughout their adult lives, not some revolutionary shift.

Perry voters are the ones who are more in love with the idea of the Christian Cowboy, of faith-based governance. They'll be herded into the Romney camp soon enough, though, maybe even with Perry as the VP nominee. The religious right doesn't need to be courted quite as openly nowadays, as they already hate Obama.

As for Obama, he ran on powerful images of hope and change, after a widely-loathed incumbent administration. Now it is Obama who is the incumbent, and it will be hard to rally the same support as he had in 2008. Obama doesn't have the "don't change horse in midstream" momentum that Bush had in 2004, with the War on Terror and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan still going strong. It's going to be especially tough to court independent voters, and frankly, uneducated voters who only read the headlines and the op-ed section. Obama needs to convince the undecided that he is going to work for them. The Republicans will have the snappy image of a man in a suit telling us to work hard; what image will Obama give them?

The meme in right wing parts is that Obama stands for socialism, ineffectual politics, and bloated government. In theory, the Republicans could succeed just by running someone who is apparently a functioning adult. Sad to say, but Romney mostly succeeds on that front.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:37 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it depends how you define "from". George HW was born in MA and went to Yale, then summered in Maine.

FWIW, I was a child during Bush 41's term, and I always thought of him as being from Connecticut.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:38 AM on November 10, 2011


Perry would probably be the idea brainless puppet President for a Teapublican-controlled House and Senate. He would merrily rubber-stamp whatever nuttiness Congress passes without even thinking about it. The only problem might be that he starts taking the job seriously and coming-up with ideas on his own, but I'm sure there would be people in place to squelch such things.

Mitt, on the other hand, has shown just enough independent, educated thought (when not being pushed to the extremes) to be worrisome to the teabaggers. It could certainly be interesting political theater to see a Romney Presidency grapple with governing with an extremely right-wing Congress. "Intersting" as in the Chinese curse that "May you live in interesting times". I doubt we'd be able to resuscitate the remains of the republic, though, once the smoke cleared.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:42 AM on November 10, 2011


It may have to do with the fact that none of these candidates have more than a fraction of the money that Obama and the Democrats have amassed.

That doesn't have anything to do with anything. Post-Citizens United, the right's playbook is quite clear: don't donate to candidates or campaigns, because you can spend way more money on the sidelines with "issue advertising" and get away with it scot-free.
posted by mightygodking at 6:43 AM on November 10, 2011


So I was reading a lot recently when a revelation hit me upside the head: It's all about slavery. The promises the modern GOP is making to it's increasingly more extreme base are: Yu will completely own women's bodies, who will have the power of life or death over your employees, you will be - if not on the top (which is your place, rightfully, as a white male) at least better off then people not worthy enough to be white males and have some measure of authority over them.
posted by The Whelk at 6:43 AM on November 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


This morning, however, I'm thinking this may actually be just what Perry needs.

Yeah, he had a brain fart. Yes, it was embarrassing. But the oncoming wave of mockery -- a lot of people won't take to that well, and it may just entrench their support. We've seen the exact same thing with Bush, with Palin, and now probably Perry.


Perry's problem is that he's not beloved, though. He doesn't have support to entrench. He's not running against some hated liberal or even some hated centrist - as much as he wants this race to be Perry v. Romney (and I think that race, one on one, is one Perry could win), it's actually Perry v. Romney v. Cain with room for maybe one more nutbar candidate - Gingrich, maybe, or Bachmann again, or maybe even Santorum.

The effect you're describing exists. The problem is that right now the person who's getting it is Herman Cain, because Herman Cain managed to pull a 540 and stop accusing generic evil racists and then stop accusing Rick Perry and instead start accusing Democrats of trying to sabotage his campaign by revealing the fact that he had to settle a number of sexual harassment cases, and every time somebody points out that Herman Cain sexually harassed women, his supporters just go "nuh uh."
posted by mightygodking at 6:46 AM on November 10, 2011


The Whelk: it's called last place aversion, and that plus the just-world hypothesis are perhaps the driving forces behind conservative psychology in the U.S.
posted by gerryblog at 6:48 AM on November 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Romney's looked like the inevitable nominee since the beginning, but I couldn't imagine how someone everyone hates would get the nomination. The answer was simple, I guess: all his primary opponents are too stupid, vain, or horny to run a campaign.

OTOH,
"The old Republican Party has become the Knothead Party, so named during the last Republican Convention in Montgomery when a change of name was proposed, the first suggestion being the Christian Conservative Constitutional Party, and campaign buttons were even printed with the letters CCCP before an Eastern-liberal commentator noted the similarity to the initials printed on the backs of the Soviet cosmonauts and called it the most knotheaded political bungle of the century—which the conservatives, in the best tradition, turned to their own advantage, printing a million more buttons reading "Knotheads for America" and banners proclaiming "No Man Can Be Too Knotheaded in the Service of His Country." — Love In The Ruins, Walker Percy.
Follow the money; then, once you find out where the money starts, uproot its source, cut it's balls off, and get it out of our political DNA.

Hey, that's a great idea! Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?

there is ONLY 1 candidate I'm going to vote for, Ron Paul... I will not give my consent to be governed to anyone else

Like the swallows to Capistrano. Mike, let me introduce you to MapGuy.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:49 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obama's presidency has basically become Blazing Saddles at this point. I'm serious. He's had his ride into town and terrify the white folks moment, and his "Up yours, N****r" moment. He's gotten rid of Bin Laden (Mongo), and had a brief moment of reconciliation with the public (the old lady) as a result.

We're now at the point where Hedy (Hedley!) Lamarr is recruiting his gang of "rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, train robbers, shit kickers and Methodists."

If everything goes according to pattern, the whole thing should end with a giant brawl and "The French Mistake."

I still haven't figured out who Lily von Shtupp is.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:50 AM on November 10, 2011 [19 favorites]


If the whole thing is a puppet show for corporate money, I say let them add more beautify contest stables, talent contests, swimwear competitions, evening gowns.
posted by The Whelk at 6:54 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok, so Perry is in trouble for forgetting one of his talking points. But he's not in trouble for wanting to cut the departments of Education, Commerce, and Energy. Nor for saying "This ain't a day for quitting nothing."

For future reference, in a presidential race you have to memorize your talking points. Even if they're insane. And even if you're a dumbass.
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 7:06 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


If everything goes according to pattern, the whole thing should end with a giant brawl and "The French Mistake."

When do we build a replica America?
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:11 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


In fact, building on my previous comment, at this point the Republican party seems to have become a bizarre coalition of scoundrels, corporate shills, oil men, tea-baggers, isolationists, expansionists, libertarians, Misesans, Friedmanites, mercantilists, holy-rollers, Randeans, paultards, ponzi-schemers, tinfoil-hatters, know-nothings, do-nothings, birthers, birchers, bimetalists, hoopleheads, wing-nuts, gun-nuts, just-plain-nuts, Left Behind types, queer-panickers, and Mormons.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:26 AM on November 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


And what have the Dems got?
posted by crunchland at 7:34 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and, here's some food for thought.... Witness Dubya in a debate with Kerry in 2004 election. (And we all know how that ended.)
posted by crunchland at 7:42 AM on November 10, 2011


Dammit we just paid thousands for my US permanent residency. Don't tell me we're going to have to get my wife's PR in Australia sorted out now as well.

Although I suppose if the US implodes there's going to be no "safe" place to go in the world anyway.
posted by Talez at 7:44 AM on November 10, 2011


Republicans seem to be doing too well at weeding out the field. I'm hoping for a candidate that implodes next year.
posted by CrazyJoel at 7:45 AM on November 10, 2011


I just want to point out again that Kerry *outperformed* the poli-sci models against Bush. That's not to say Bush wasn't terrible (he was!) or that Kerry didn't come thisclose to winning (he did, alas!) -- but based on the fundamentals of the economy, the war, and Bush's popularity the models indicate Kerry did better than the average candidate would have.
posted by gerryblog at 7:46 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


And what have the Dems got?

A President who has actually accomplished quite a bit and who has surprised as before during campaign season. Just because progressives have (very justifiable) bones to pick with Obama, it doesn't mean that his administration has been a failure. Unfortunately, Obama isn't much of a braggart, and many of his greatest successes either only prevented disasters from getting worse or are not easy to explain in a sentence.

There's also the matter of Republicans being able to dance circles around even those achievements which they would endlessly laud, had a Republican been in charge. I've had (real life!) conversations with people who will say things like "say what you will about Bush, but he was much more protective of the American people than Obama." You start talking about the bad intelligence behind the Iraq War, and they'll say "but Hussein had to go," despite the fact that that was not the stated rationale behind that war. Then seconds later, they'll complain that Obama is "taking us to Africa"...even though, logically speaking, if we're saying dictators, as a rule, "have to go," then of course we would also go after African dictators. When you say that America did a great job of helping out in Libya at a minimum of cost, manpower, casualties, and international incident, they'll refuse to give the Obama administration any credit for that, even though merely seconds ago they were complaining that Obama was taking us to Africa. And so on.

Anyway, the point is, Obama always has tricks up his sleeve, but his opponents are highly resistant to them.

Oh, and, here's some food for thought.... Witness Dubya in a debate with Kerry in 2004 election. (And we all know how that ended.)

Dubya wound up performing fairly well in those debates by the last round, but still, this is a very good point. Dubya was famously inarticulate, but to a lot of people, that's not only unimportant, but thoroughly relatable. Dems snorted about "you forgot Poland," but Bush had the last laugh. I mean, hell, even with Perry, I could see the talking point becoming, "well, there are just so many agencies to get rid of, how could you pick just three?"
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:47 AM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


the base is loathe to rally round him, but after so many failed, flawed, or forfeited challenges, can anyone topple Mitt Romney?
People keep saying this. At least in my echo chamber. For some reason I have a hard time convincing myself there's anything to it except that people keep saying it.
posted by adoarns at 7:48 AM on November 10, 2011


0xCFAF: I'm a white male who isn't Mitt Romney, isn't Barack Obama, can often form coherent sentences, hasn't sexually harassed anyone, and has zero government experience. By any measure, I should be the next Republican frontrunner.

Okay. Okay. This sounds promising. How crazy are you?
posted by Naberius at 7:51 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am just completely baffled by the support for Cain. I spent the weekend with my grandparents, who have no shame about using the words colored, n*gra, etc, who baselessly accuse the African-American cleaning staff of stealing from them, but who love Herman Cain. I'm like, have you not seen a picture of the guy? Spoiler: HE'S BLACK.
posted by desjardins at 7:53 AM on November 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


There is a fundamental need for fiscal conservatism in Keynesian economics, Sticherbeast, not during a recession obviously, but still. Ronald Reagan destroyed our social safety net by pioneering the "Spend it all so the Democrats don't get it" approach employed by every subsequent Republican administration. Yet, the fiscal conservatives have remained with the Republican party, thanks to our first-past-the-post voting systems. Ron Paul might alter that political dynamic. I'd agree his economic policies sound completely wrong for the current economic crisis, but deep enough cuts in graft rich industries like defense might enable useful social spending by a future FDR. Yes, 12-dimensional chess, whatever.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:57 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


So Perry is out because he forgot the third dept. that he wants to abolish?

What about the absolutely lunatic idea of abolishing those three departments (commerce, education and energy) in the first place?
Does he really think they are indispensible? Aren't those the ones keeping the bad guys (like, oh I don't know, BP?) in check? Why isn't anyone calling him out on that? In fact, where is the discussion about that cu-raaazy idea?

Next, there'll be a candidate who can actually rattle off three agencies without falling over his shoelaces and the public will gobble it up. Because we have learned that it is not the content of the message but whether you are able to deliver it without any brainfarts.
posted by sour cream at 8:00 AM on November 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Desjardins, supporting Cain is their way of proving they're not racist, no matter how many offensive words they use or racist behaviors they display.

The right was really spooked by Obama on so many levels, and one was that the Democrats elected a black man, while they barely had any black people on board. So they were desperate to show that they could raise up a black man too. That's how they stuck themselves with Michael Steele. Sadly, they're discovering that, while they do have some black conservatives (Steele, Cain, Clarence Thomas) it's a lot harder to find one that's not a clown.
posted by Naberius at 8:03 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ronald Reagan destroyed our social safety net

Most of his fiscal Destruct-O-Beam was directed at the Great Society, not the New Deal. Most of his other attacks on welfare queens and welfare bums were more rhetorical than concrete. That said, his memes did linger on - look at how readily Clinton signed "workfare" into law.

I'd agree his economic policies sound completely wrong for the current economic crisis, but deep enough cuts in graft rich industries like defense might enable useful social spending by a future FDR. Yes, 12-dimensional chess, whatever.

Not only would Paul's austerity probably send us screaming into a deep New Depression, but the military would get their pork back after Ron Paul leaves.

What America needs is a new mentality, by which we could see that defense spending and resources ought to be spent for the greater good, not to enrich bloated contractors. If Eisenhower could build infrastructure, so can we.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:04 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm like, have you not seen a picture of the guy? Spoiler: HE'S BLACK.

This is just a total guess, but perhaps part of Cain's support is that it protects people from criticism of being racist. They don't like Obama, but they can't say it's because he's black. So by supporting Cain, they can make themselves immune, pointing out that they could indeed vote for a black guy. But, again, total guess.

posted by Capt. Renault at 8:05 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd vote for Nixon over Obama.

Kind of a throwaway line, but it should be responded to in case his card ever comes up again:

Hunter S. Thomson's eulogy for Nixon. Has there ever been a more scathing obituary?

Also, his Fear and Loathing in the Bunker (Google Books link), from The Great Shark Hunt, which should help to dispel any lingering fondness for Nixon. (Although I should point out, in that essay Thomson admits he voted for Nixon over Herbert Humphery, using the lesser evil strategy. That is pretty much the only positive thing Hunter S. has to say about Nixon in the whole piece.)
posted by JHarris at 8:07 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sour cream...Eliminating those departments is pretty-much a bog-standard bullet-point for Republicans, so it's no surprise that it isn't getting any notice in the press.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:10 AM on November 10, 2011


uneducated voters who only read the headlines and the op-ed section

Sticherbeast, I think you may be overly generous with your definition of "uneducated."
posted by psoas at 8:10 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the end, Romney will win. Because when in doubt, we always vote for vanilla. There's a reason why it's the most favorite ice cream flavor in the US. It's safe, it's predictable and even if we're not crazy about it, we can easily finish the whole scoop.
posted by Kokopuff at 8:11 AM on November 10, 2011


Quoting myself:

I mean, hell, even with Perry, I could see the talking point becoming, "well, there are just so many agencies to get rid of, how could you pick just three?"

And here we go: "Rick Perry's damage control: "I think I'm like most Americans in that there's so many agencies of government we'd like to forget." (1:30 in the video)
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:13 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


> The truth is that the presidency is just not as powerful as your political folklore makes it out to be.

That's just such garbage. Many if not most of the things that people complain about Mr. Obama are things that he absolute control over.

Take his promise to be "the most transparent Administration ever" - which resulted in what seems to be the least transparent Administration ever. How can you blame this on others?

Mr. Obama's endless war on whistleblowers - his responsibility, his fault. Why aren't the Wall Street criminals going to jail? Why has the Justice Department simply refused to charge any of them with felonies, even while they are accepting small fines as "punishment" the blatant commission of felonies? Why weren't any of the war criminals of the last Administration punished or even really investigated?

If the President is powerless, why did George W. Bush make such headway in the wrong direction? Why was Mr. Clinton successful? Bush I was not particularly effective - and he was a one-term President. But look how effective Reagan was!

We needed an effective President. Mr. Obama promised that he was going to be a reformer like FDR. Near as I can see, he didn't even try to hit that mark.

This is why it's such a disaster that we have such inferior Republican candidates.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:14 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd agree his economic policies sound completely wrong for the current economic crisis

Ron Paul's policies were probably good in 1050 AD. Since then they'd be crazy.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:20 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I actually think race + Republicans + Cain is a neat dynamic. This article, by Bruce Bartlett (a Republican) The Secret of Herman Cain's Political Success is a fascinating thesis on the embrace of Cain by the GOP.
posted by artlung at 8:21 AM on November 10, 2011


I'm like, have you not seen a picture of the guy? Spoiler: HE'S BLACK.

You have here summed up Herman Cain's entire appeal. The Republican candidates are a lineup of differently-shaped wedges to try to use in the minds of the voters, and the primary process is just them giving each of them a test shove. Cain is the black-shaped wedge, keyed to try to fit in where Obama did four years ago. Obama had more going for them back then though -- after eight (Eight? Really America?) he was an adult. Herman "U-beki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan*" Cain brings blackness without the adulthood, which I guess appeals to Republican voters. For all of Obama's faults, he's at least capable.

The other candidates? We have the CEO wedge (Romney), the Bush-II wedge (Perry), the legacy wedge (Gingrich), the female wedge (Bachmann) and the libertarian wedge (Paul). None of them seem to be finding much purchase in the American brain this time though -- the best of the lost, Romney, would be putting up a target directly in front of the Occupy Wall Street cannon. It seems anti-zeitgeist.

* (How on earth did he say this? Doesn't he have handlers?)
posted by JHarris at 8:21 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


“our blacks are so much better better than their blacks,”

-Ann Coulter
posted by Danf at 8:24 AM on November 10, 2011


In the end, Romney will win. Because when in doubt, we always vote for vanilla. There's a reason why it's the most favorite ice cream flavor in the US. It's safe, it's predictable and even if we're not crazy about it, we can easily finish the whole scoop.

Yeah, but have you ever tasted vanilla extract? It's potent and foul.
posted by psoas at 8:26 AM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wouldn't want to hear him try and name other famous trilogies.
posted by DoubledayBooks at 8:27 AM on November 10, 2011


> For all of Obama's faults, he's at least capable.

I don't think "capable" is the right word - perhaps "presentable," or, as you say above, "adult".
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:27 AM on November 10, 2011


Bush 41 was actually extremely effective in a number of areas. His only real failure, from his administration's perspective, was letting the Democrats boss him around on taxes. Bush I just didn't succeed in too many "sexy" areas, outside of running the Gulf War in a succinct and effective manner. He also lost quite a bit of Republican support since many of his successes were in doing such things as increasing funding for such things as education and tech research. Bush 41 also signed the ADA into being and renewed the Clean Air Act. As a result, Republicans did not regard him as one of their own; after all, Bush 41 had only been Reagan's VP as the moderate counterweight.

Compare Bush 41 with Bill Clinton, whose own policies were hardly any different outside of health care. However, he was more charming, he was more fresh, and he played the saxophone.

None of them seem to be finding much purchase in the American brain this time though -- the best of the lost, Romney, would be putting up a target directly in front of the Occupy Wall Street cannon. It seems anti-zeitgeist.

Popular support for OWS is down - not as low as support for the Tea Party, but down. Many people, especially non-young people who've been working for years, prefer the status quo narrative of people just "getting back to work." Romney could handily fill that position for them.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:28 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Republicans seem to be doing too well at weeding out the field. I'm hoping for a candidate that implodes next year.

The danger is that we vote him into office before the implosion happens. Once he actually becomes a candidate though, the Republican overlords will be sure to insert the control rods and soak up some of those crazy neutrons.
posted by JHarris at 8:29 AM on November 10, 2011


Popular support for OWS is down - not as low as support for the Tea Party, but down.

I don't think poll watching is going to tell the whole story with Occupy Wall Street (or, indeed, many things), it's still too new and the public reaction to it is too vulnerable to noisy rattles and shiny objects.
posted by JHarris at 8:31 AM on November 10, 2011


Sticherbeast: all good points, my memory was hazy. In fact, if you had to point to one reason that Clinton defeated Bush I, it'd be a very limited bungling - that being the poor response to hurricane Andrew.

But that puts the question into an even sharper relief - how can you say that the office of the President is powerless when the previous 28 years of Presidents have not?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:33 AM on November 10, 2011


I don't think poll watching is going to tell the whole story with Occupy Wall Street (or, indeed, many things), it's still too new and the public reaction to it is too vulnerable to noisy rattles and shiny objects.

That's a good point. My hope is that they're moving the discussion far away from Republican talking points. I'll happily eat some crow if it turns out that the "silent majority" regard the Occupiers as smelly hippies, but while also having absorbed how OWS has framed the issues.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:33 AM on November 10, 2011


Huh. I can't imagine my grandparents caring if someone knows they're racist, but I guess they do know enough not to call black people names to their faces. In fact, they're unfailingly polite to the few black people they encounter (who are mostly service workers). It's a cognitive dissonance I can't begin to understand.
posted by desjardins at 8:34 AM on November 10, 2011


Brain farts? Oh boy. I once began a speech, pudding-headedly, with "My second point . . . " But I was eighteen at the time, and I wasn't running for the U.S. presidency.
posted by mcwetboy at 8:35 AM on November 10, 2011


Corporations are people! ... This is NOT mainstream thought

It isn't? Sounds like a plain statement of fact to me. A corporation is a legal structure for organizing people to do stuff. When we say a "corporation" makes or loses money, that's just shorthand for the fact that certain people are making or losing money, which is what Romney was trying to explain to his ridiculous hecklers. If anything is outside-the-mainstream, it's the left's reflexive hostility to "corporations," to the point that they deny the most mundane observations.
posted by John Cohen at 8:37 AM on November 10, 2011




Holy shit, it's brilliant. You get one party in the White House you can excoriate constantly, while crafting laws that are entirely batshit insane.
Wow. I hope Karl Rove isn't reading this....


I'm sure the HAMTRON 3000 has already considered it. In fact, looking at the field, he's probably relying on it, in the sense that, if they don't get the Presidency this time around, they still have a good chance of keeping Obama impotent be controlling the legislative branch.
posted by JHarris at 8:40 AM on November 10, 2011


It isn't? Sounds like a plain statement of fact to me. A corporation is a legal structure for organizing people to do stuff.

They're already people, that should be good enough. Anyway, the thing about a corporation is that the "organized people" are basically under the control of a CEO.

When we say a "corporation" makes or loses money, that's just shorthand for the fact that certain people are making or losing money, which is what Romney was trying to explain to his ridiculous hecklers.

It's really not. Corporations as people has always been a useful legal fiction, but this thing about giving them free speech rights is a dangerous development and I think most people know it. That part is not shorthand, it's legal precedent now.
posted by JHarris at 8:44 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


What about the absolutely lunatic idea of abolishing those three departments (commerce, education and energy) in the first place?

GOP candidates have no policies they want to discuss which use those departments. They don't see much use in the whole "cabinet" thing, and probably don't think those need cabinet-level officers. At this stage they're rather the opposite of technocratic governance, and subscribe to the unitary executive theory.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:48 AM on November 10, 2011


Mitt Romney really is the John Kerry of Republican candidates.

Seriously:
  • From the north, with no ability to speak vernacular
  • Vaguely handsome in an old-person sort of way
  • a voice that sounds like it should be charismatic but isn't
  • running in an election where the aspirational attitude of his base is "anyone but <the President>" and the ideal candidate would be someone named "not <President's Name>"
I personally think the fact that even now so many Republicans are loathe to support him doesn't bode well for the election. Obama is mired down now in being presidential and I think it's been a while since we've been able to see how charismatic he really is. I think (I hope!) he's going to step it up during the campaign next year.

And yeah, it's disappointing that the best we can do as progressives is elect someone who is extremely moderate and has largely extended the policies of his batshit conservative predecessor. Ironically I think if it had been Obama v Romney in 2008 and Romney had won, we'd probably see a lot of similar policy and it might have actually passed instead of being quashed for partisan reasons. Even if he's voiced socially conservative positions I just don't think it's as strong a priority as it would have been for other candidates.

I'd honestly be somewhat comfortable with Romney as president, because he's practically as moderate as a Republican as Obama is as a Democrat. Hell, Massachusetts has more progressive health care that he passed into law and for a while was one of the earlier states allowing same-sex marriage. What's really needed for economic recovery is an old-school tax-and-spend liberal to grease the wheels of the economy, but in a sense that ship sailed long ago. Real genuine fiscal conservatism might work just as well at this point, or at least keep the US in suspended animation and leave the path open for a real progressive in 2016…
posted by Deathalicious at 8:48 AM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


There is only one Republican that I'll vote for, but Mr Paul is always pre-decided to be un-electable by the media, despite getting a sizable vote, despite being consistent for 30+ years, despite being sane, honest, and competent.

The more I google Ron Paul, the less convinced I become that this is, in fact, true.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:52 AM on November 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


But that puts the question into an even sharper relief - how can you say that the office of the President is powerless when the previous 28 years of Presidents have not?

Your point is well-taken, but the office is neither all-powerless nor all-powerful. While Reagan and Clinton were both powerful Presidents, people exaggerate how much power Reagan and Clinton wielded, and people forget how often those Presidents had to compromise to get what they wanted, and people forget how often Reagan and Clinton performed ideological backpedaling.

Consider how Reagan had to deal with Tip O'Neill on Great Society issues. Reagan wanted to gut the whole animal, but O'Neill kept the screws on Reagan to such an extent that Reagan not only had to largely preserve those programs, but also publicly defend his administration by citing how many meals, and how much health care, he had provided for the needy. Reagan was still forced to acknowledge and deal with the other side, even though they were ostensibly weaker. Also remember how, say, Bork's confirmation hearings were so disastrous, that we now use "bork" as a verb meaning "to fuck up." Or remember how often Reagan raised personal taxes, or remember the failure of "Star Wars."

Look at how Clinton had to deal with Newt Gingrich, et al. on health care. The Republicans destroyed Hillarycare so resoundingly that Obama was forced to present the the Republican counter-offer from the 90s. And don't you remember the government shutdown from years later? It temporarily destroyed Gingrich's career, but at the time, it also wrecked Clinton's policies. And certainly we can't forget back when Clinton's missile strikes against Al Qaeda were treated at the time as mere coverup for the Lewinsky Scandal - or how Clinton was followed constantly by a legal fishing expedition.

Dubya, unlike Reagan and Clinton, coasted on a wave of having several "hot" or hot-seeming wars - the War on Terror, the War in Iraq, and the War in Afghanistan. Dubya did not have a mandate until 9/11. Dubya had tremendous say-so because he was the commander-in-chief of wars which mattered to the people on the ground - and to put a more human spin on things, Dubya was probably as scared and confused as anyone else was, when it came to terrorism and unsuccessful wawrs. Still, he had many political failures even before Katrina, such as his attempt to privatize Social Security.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:53 AM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't think "capable" is the right word - perhaps "presentable," or, as you say above, "adult".

Oh, Jesus. Is this some definition of the word "capable" meaning "performs only as I wish"? Because by comparison with the run of American Presidents—a low bar, to be sure, since none of them have yet brung the Jubilee—Obama is very "capable." A capitalist stooge? Possibly. But a very capable stooge.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:20 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd agree that OWS has over a thousand time greater chance for improving our current situation than Ron Paul, Sticherbeast. I'm simply blaming our recession upon so-called conservatives not doing their ideological job, although obviously graft and lobbyists created that situation.

Ain't nobody gonna let Ron Paul implement his economic policies, Ironmouth, but I'd rather deal with ideological libertarians with some interest in their philosophy actually contributing something long term instead of simple kleptocrats.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:21 AM on November 10, 2011


Ignoring racial issues completely, I think some Republicans love Herman Cain because he can toss out the tea party talking points clearly and with little filter. If any candidate were the one to forward you a crazy conspiracy about Obama, it would probably be Cain.
posted by drezdn at 9:35 AM on November 10, 2011


Obama's stooginess is on a very, very even keel with the stooginess of every single other President ever. This is why it's so important to wrangle your local congresscritters - you can never assume you can trust the people at the top, even when some are preferable to others.

I'd agree that OWS has over a thousand time greater chance for improving our current situation than Ron Paul, Sticherbeast. I'm simply blaming our recession upon so-called conservatives not doing their ideological job, although obviously graft and lobbyists created that situation.

I hear you. Basically, if Ron Paul were to get the nomination, then that would be great, because he would have to air his plans alongside Obama's, and America would be forced to decide what they really believe in. Paul's Hayekian utopia doesn't sound so nice when you see it all spelled out, just as Obama's support of the status quo doesn't sound so appealing when you realize that the US doesn't have to be that way.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:37 AM on November 10, 2011


With Cain though, I wouldn't be shocked if the "Princess Nancy" comment hurts him more than the harassment accusations. If anything, it's exactly the wrong sort of thing to say when fighting off harassment accusations.
posted by drezdn at 9:43 AM on November 10, 2011


Based on the amount of crazy that is being thrown around on the Right, I really want to get a talking point out there that Cain is named after the biblical brother killer, just to watch the discomfort it would bring up in a debate:

"Mr Cain, How do you respond to the stories that you killed your brother Abel?"

"What? What are you talking about? That's just a story?"

"So you are saying that the bible is not literally true?"


And so on.
posted by quin at 9:46 AM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


> Because by comparison with the run of American Presidents—a low bar, to be sure, since none of them have yet brung the Jubilee—Obama is very "capable."

I'm sorry, I don't see it. It's not like he has a stellar record of success. He and his Administration seem to make foul-up after foul-up, and I'm not talking about my specific interests.

Look at the whole health care bill. Certainly the first year of that debate is one mistake after another. He spent a year attempting to get bipartisan support for the bill - while the Republicans loudly and publicly told everyone that this would never happen. The bill that did get passed isn't severable which is a beginner's mistake but a critical one, since the actual bill itself has parts that appear to be un-Constitutional.

Look at his response to the oil spill - cover-ups, lack of transparency from the beginning until this today, a complete lack of willingness to make an example of BP by simply enforcing the laws.

Look at the debt crisis! He had had the ability to raise the debt ceiling at the same time that he had extended the Bush tax cuts (and what sort of bullshit was that, calming allowing the Bush tax cuts to continue when any fool could have seen that the government was already running on empty?) - and he deliberately did not, publicly saying because he relied on the common sense of the Republicans not to endanger the full faith and credit of the US!

He went out of his way recently to flip-flop on medical marijuana, suddenly escalating the war again, wasting our tax dollars getting one part of the government, the Feds, to fight against another part of the government, the States. It's not just a waste of money, not just something that's going to fuck up a lot of people for no good reason, but it's something that's disproportionately important to his "base" - and if he'd simply done nothing on this issue and allowed the States to move forward with medical marijuana, this wouldn't be anything that he'd have lost any votes for.

Where's the Wall Street reform? For the most part, assigned to a department that doesn't even exist and will probably never exist as it will never get funded.

Now, you can try to blame all the rest of his failures to deliver on a recalcitrant Congress and Senate. But he had an astonishing advantage when he first got into office, he had the Congress, the Senate and a frightened country behind due to the start of the global financial crisis and the realizations that we'd had a moron governing us for eight years.

He squandered that on nothing. He told us things were fine, we had nothing to worry about, and he'd make sure to work with the Republican party, the very architects of our grief!, to make sure that business as usual continued.

So, no, I don't see "capable" at all. I see a bumbler who happens to be a charismatic orator.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:55 AM on November 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


CAIN!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:57 AM on November 10, 2011


Oh, and I'm sorry to get off topic, but it was pretty obvious to everyone here that Perry would never be a serious contender even before his final gaffe - he was simply too creepy, too stupid, and Texas is in too bad a state.

By next summer, we're going to be having constant disaster headlines from Texas, and people will be wondering how they ever could have even considered this fool as a candidate.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:58 AM on November 10, 2011


I'd rather deal with ideological libertarians with some interest in their philosophy actually contributing something long term instead of simple kleptocrats.

I don't know if the long-term implementation of the more politically viable libertarian policies would be a good thing. The one that comes immediately to mind as something that would have some significant degree of popular support would be gutting welfare cuz nanny state this and poor people need to act like grown ups that.
posted by Hoopo at 10:03 AM on November 10, 2011


I had the opportunity to attend the debate last night and boy was it interesting. First, it was pretty awkward when the moderate tried to get Mitt to judge Cain. Secondly, the Perry gaffe was really strange, even more so when he returned to the topic to fimble it again.

Lessons learned from the debate:
if you cant afford a home, or lost your job, tough shit.
the freemarket is a a force not unlike god, mystical and problem solving.
Fuck college kids, let the market set the price, and those pesky students did debt to themselves.
posted by handbanana at 10:05 AM on November 10, 2011


the Perry gaffe was really strange, even more so when he returned to the topic to fimble it again.

Perry is the Leon Lett of politics.
posted by drezdn at 10:12 AM on November 10, 2011


>> it was pretty obvious to everyone here that Perry would never be a serious contender

I recall that there was a period of time where it seemed obvious that he would be the nominee, and tough to beat at that.
posted by JohnFredra at 11:32 AM on November 10, 2011


I can just picture everyone who works for every govt agency in the country watching those 45 seconds thinking "Don't say my agency"
posted by harrgt44 at 11:37 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't see "capable" at all. I see a bumbler who happens to be a charismatic orator.

By this metric, Clinton was, well, even less capable than that. And Carter? Less than that. In fact, by your metric, I'm having difficulty coming up with a politician that wasn't a "bumbler." Anyway, not that it matters much because third party, no difference, Republocrats ... Hey, look! at last Obama has a challenger!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:44 AM on November 10, 2011


But he had an astonishing advantage when he first got into office, he had the Congress, the Senate and a frightened country behind due to the start of the global financial crisis and the realizations that we'd had a moron governing us for eight years.

This overstates the amount of concrete support Obama had. Not only was Congress not filibuster-proof, but Obama, was liberal relative to Congress, let alone relative to progressives. It's not as if the Democrats in Congress were sitting around waiting for their moment to launch universal health care.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:56 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


can anyone topple Mitt Romney?

More to the point, is anyone trying? Steve Benen points out the obvious opportunities to cripple Romney with the base that the other GOP "contenders" have passed on:
Romney had promised center-left activists he would "act as essentially a sleeper agent within the Republican Party, adopting liberal stances, rising to national prominence, and thereby legitimizing them and transforming the Party from within." But the other Republican campaigns let it slide.
Romney's health care program in Massachusetts uses taxpayer money to provide medical care to undocumented immigrants. But the other Republican campaigns let this slide, too.
Romney's policy team advised the Obama White House on how best to shape "Obamacare." But, again, the other Republican campaigns said nothing.
...his support of health care mandates. And his support for gun control. And his record supporting gay rights. And his belief in climate change.
and now:
During Romney’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign, he sought the endorsement of Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts by filling out a questionnaire that made his continued support clear. The document was first circulated in 2007, but is now taking on new relevance as Romney tries to clarify his opposition to abortion rights and government-funded family planning.

Romney pledged his support for Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that protects women’s choice, for laws protecting the safety of abortion clinics, for increased access to the morning-after pill and for late-term abortions when the mother’s health is at risk. Romney also indicated on the form that he supported the “state funding of abortion services through Medicaid for low-income women.”

This is about the time we’d see every other Republican presidential campaign launch their rapid-response operations, raising hell with every political reporter they can find. We’d see press releases, web videos, the works.

But in 2011, that just never seems to happen.
Even assuming staggering ineptitude, it seems clear that Romney is the only candidate actually interested in the nomination.
posted by nicwolff at 12:12 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Breaking: Rick Perry complains that Hermain Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan is "too complicated".

Actually, he would have done that but he couldn't remember the last number.
posted by euphorb at 12:31 PM on November 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


It's not as if the Democrats in Congress were sitting around waiting for their moment to launch universal health care.

Believe it or not, I was alive back then, and I can tell you that we definitely had the impression that universal health care was something Democrats stood for. They even wrote it down!
posted by gerryblog at 12:32 PM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm confused by his basic premise of 'eliminating' three entire governmental agencies. Can he really believe that there needs to be no coordination/oversight of things like energy or commerce(!) on the federal level?

Well, we need to compete with China. Right now we have a significant heavy metals gap, and eliminating the ... EPA? ... I think it's the EPA ... will help us with that.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:39 PM on November 10, 2011


Oh, Jesus. Is this some definition of the word "capable" meaning "performs only as I wish"? Because by comparison with the run of American Presidents—a low bar, to be sure, since none of them have yet brung the Jubilee—Obama is very "capable." A capitalist stooge? Possibly. But a very capable stooge.

He's capable in that, when natural disasters happen, he's there. In that he took out Bin Laden. In that it looks like we actually will get out of Iraq. He has his problems, but if it doesn't require legislative action he seems able to function.

More to the point, is anyone trying? Steve Benen points out the obvious opportunities to cripple Romney with the base that the other GOP "contenders" have passed on:

Hmm... maybe, the Republicans actually never intended to field anyone else. It's PACs who are funding these candidates mostly, right? Why not have a bunch of candidates run then, it's not costing them that much. They all pretend to run, building up a lot of publicity, so when the GOP picks Romney they claim to the base that this was the best they could do, 'cause everyone else melted down.
posted by JHarris at 12:48 PM on November 10, 2011


Believe it or not, I was alive back then, and I can tell you that we definitely had the impression that universal health care was something Democrats stood for. They even wrote it down!

"universal" not found
"single-payer" not found

I read their health care bit. It's still within the frame of purchasing health insurance: "health care should be a shared responsibility between employers, workers, insurers, providers and government." It studiously avoids even saying outright that they want a public option available to the general public. They mention "a public plan," but it is obviously not the focus of their proposal at all. What the Dem proposal suggests, in its vague, mealy-mouthed fashion, is "affordable, quality health care."
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:03 PM on November 10, 2011


It's in the first paragraph of the document: "We believe that quality and affordable health care is a basic right."

In any event, universal health care is not the same thing as single-payer. There are other ways to get there (though single-payer) happens to be the best.
posted by gerryblog at 1:15 PM on November 10, 2011


That should have read: There are other ways to get there (though single-payer happens to be the best).
posted by gerryblog at 1:15 PM on November 10, 2011


In any event, universal health care is not the same thing as single-payer.

Yes, which is why I search for both terms. :)

That said, it's a long leap from "affordable, quality health care is a basic right" and either a universal or single-payer system, or even a public option open to the general public.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:19 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


nicwolff: The game being played right now is "Get enough exposure to land a multi-million dollar speaking/writing/paid whore gig funded through Fox and right wing think tanks". Romney has a good chance of being the nominee, and doing something in the primary that'd hurt him in the general is a good way to make enemies.
posted by Grimgrin at 1:56 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The only question at this point is will the voters in swing states such as Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania [and maybe Colorado] choose Obama or Romney in the general election? Everything else is barely worth debating.
posted by Rashomon at 2:11 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is Perry's campaign message the following? "I may be a buffoon completely in thrall to the usual suspect mega-corporate sponsors, but at least I'm honest about it". Could this be a sign to a "new normal" in politics?
posted by telstar at 2:18 PM on November 10, 2011


I like Perry, I could definitely see having some pizza, some breadsticks and those meat things that come from that bird animal at the place with the red roof.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:23 PM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why doesn't anyone in the media take Paul seriously as a candidate? He's not even mentioned in the FPP, despite having way more of a chance than, say, Gingrich. Paul's fiscal policies make my blood boil, but I'm pretty sure he's not intent on removing reproductive rights so I like that.
posted by schroedinger at 4:07 PM on November 10, 2011


I'm pretty sure he's not intent on removing reproductive rights

You are deeply, profoundly, a billion percent wrong about that. Paul is completely over the top anti-choice.

Why doesn't anyone in the media take Paul seriously as a candidate?

Because he could not possibly win the nomination unless every serious candidate suddenly died.

More broadly, because he is not a serious candidate. Really, he's barely even a serious politician. He's the sort of random crank that any system of largely gerrymandered single-member districts will throw out from time to time.

He's not even mentioned in the FPP, despite having way more of a chance than, say, Gingrich.

No, he really, really doesn't. He has the committed support of a small portion of the Republican primary electorate, and that's it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:29 PM on November 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


I thought he did better in the polls than many candidates? I haven't checked them in a while though.

Fuck, you're right about the abortion thing. For some reason I thought he was a true "Git your hands off of my choices" libertarian. Fuck him.
posted by schroedinger at 4:39 PM on November 10, 2011


I thought he did better in the polls than many candidates?

Maybe. But polls aren't primaries, and the differences between a poll of likely Republican voters and a vote of actual Republican voters can matter.

In the 2008 primaries, where he was actually running in a series of elections against other people, he was only able to get more than about 10% of the Republican primary vote in a few places. One was Nevada, where he came in second but Romney got something over half the vote (a landslide in a primary). And IIRC he pulled 15% or so in some of the irrelevant primaries after McCain had locked up the nomination. Both of which are to say he pretty much only pulls a more-than-trivial share of the vote when he's acting as a protest vote against the state's obvious winner.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:48 PM on November 10, 2011


This overstates the amount of concrete support Obama had. Not only was Congress not filibuster-proof, but Obama, was liberal relative to Congress, let alone relative to progressives. It's not as if the Democrats in Congress were sitting around waiting for their moment to launch universal health care.

This is true only because they let it be so. The Democrats had the option of fixing the insane Senate filibuster rule and removing the dual track system on the first day, and they didn't do it because they wanted to use it the same way the Republicans do.
posted by atbash at 5:35 PM on November 10, 2011


Why doesn't anyone in the media take Paul seriously as a candidate? He's not even mentioned in the FPP, despite having way more of a chance than, say, Gingrich.

Paul consistently polls better than some of the folks who also end up losing the primary will be polling for some or all of the remainder of the primary process, yes. But he consistently polls that well, and that's a ceiling as well as a floor, and it's not primary-winning numbers. Barring a huge sea change in the general Republican base's attitudes toward Paul, he will never, ever be the GOP candidate.

He's got his ups and his downs, and I think he is all else aside an interesting and useful presence on the GOP primary debate stage, but the difference between him and Gingrich is that while Gingrich hardly has a chance of surging into the primary win, that's at least a chance. Paul is such a steadfast, consistent, reliable entity as what he is that he's never, ever going to surge like that short of a bizarre and massive contortion of the conservative electorate itself.

Whether that means he should be any more ignored than more volatile but on average equally poorly-polling candidates is an interesting question, but the pragmatic answer is that it doesn't matter because covering a guy you know is going to lose is less interesting that covering a guy you can paint a "maybe they'll pull it off" narrative onto.
posted by cortex at 6:06 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


From David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest (emphasis added):
[The "liberal-intellectual wing" of the Democratic Party] was a section of the party not only dubious of [JFK] but staunchly loyal to Adlai Stevenson after those two gallant and exhilarating defeats [to Eisenhower]. That very exhilaration had left the Kennedys, particularly Robert Kennedy, with a vague suspicion that liberals would rather lose gallantly than win pragmatically, that they valued the irony and charm of Stevenson's election-night concessions more than they valued the power and patronage of victory.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:24 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know why you're all nyuking it up about Perry. Last time one part of the electorate were pointing and laughing at what a moron a candidate was, you got President Bush. -- rodgerd
That was during a general election, not a primary. The people laughing at Perry now are republicans.

No doubt most republicans would still vote for Perry in a general. But during a primary you have to consider not only who you like best, but also who you think will win in a general election. Which is the only reason why republicans might even give a crap about this Cain scandal.

I think Mitt Romney will probably win the nomination. Although Herman Cain would be hilarious. Perry worried me quite a bit. Cain seems like someone who's mostly just pandering and who's main goal is simply to sell out the country as quickly as possible. Not good, but not the end of the world. Perry seemed like someone who wanted to do that and was a moral crusader, as well as someone who is willing to execute innocent people for political expedience.
koeselitz: Yeah, except Nixon was the last liberal president, and, save for being scrupulously dishonest and downright unpleasant, he did a pretty damn good job. So, I'd vote for Nixon over Obama. -- cthuljew
Nixon was liberal because congress was liberal (and what about Jimmy Carter, by the way? He was plenty liberal and came after Nixon). If Nixon had been granted immortality (perhaps with his head in a Jar) and was president today he would probably be pretty conservative.
Whoa... that was a wild ride... almost done typing this, and Windows decides to do a reboot/upgrade... and I get even more pissed off... and then it somehow magically managed to save my context and bring me right back to this page, with my text intact??-- MikeWarot
Session saving. Pretty nice. Are you running firefox? I'm not sure if chrome does the same thing.
According to my back of the envelope calculations, the EPA is ~ 0.24% of the federal 2012 budget.

Fuck these guys. Anyone who pretends that the EPA budget is a big deal is accepting bags of cash in the background from polluters.
-- benzenedream
Perry didn't want to reform it. Ron Paul "suggested" the EPA when Perry couldn't remember the third department and Perry went along with it due to his brain freeze. Not that Perry wouldn't be a disaster for the environment. He would be.
Well, this led me to realize I am unfamiliar with what exactly the Commerce Department does, so I looked it up. Turns out Commerce is the aegis under which NOAA, NIST, the Census, and the Patent Office operate! So thanks Rick for making me look that up, but no, let's not eliminate the Commerce Department. -- Salvor Hardin
I wouldn't mind getting rid of the patent office.
Has presidential electioneering, including debates, always started more than a year before the actual election? I feel like we could actually get a better use of our time if we simply didn't allow any electioneering until the actual YEAR OF THE ELECTION. I mean, 10 full months seems like enough time.
This is the republican primary. Also, how would this square with the 1st amendment? If I want to say people should vote for me in the 2036 election I should be able too.

---
I don't get it. if you are pro-Obama (or just anti-Repub) you shouldn't want the Perry's of the world to implode in the primary debates. The more unsuitable they show themselves to be, the more likely the nomination goes to Romney by default, and Romney is the candidate least likely to scare away undecideds. -- JPD
This is an incredibly stupid strategy. I don't think Cain would end up being much different from Romney, other then that he would be less effective in pushing his agenda. But while someone like Perry, Santorum, or Bachman getting the nomination makes it possible that they might actually end up being president.
Romney's the Republican Kerry - except Obama is less popular than Bush was in 2003. And Kerry still almost beat Bush. -- JPD
Which is exactly why we should want the least crazy republican to win. Politics is not a sporting even where you want 'your team' to 'win' but rather it's something that has a huge impact in hundreds of millions of people's lives. At a minimum, you want the least crazy person running things.
People keep saying this. At least in my echo chamber. For some reason I have a hard time convincing myself there's anything to it except that people keep saying it. -- adoarns
The dude's a Mormon. For evangelical Christians he might as well be Buddhist.
posted by delmoi at 7:30 PM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm a Canadian and a regular Daily Show watcher. American presidential races are just fantastic as pure entertainment.
Pure entertainment? If I were Canadian, I would be concerned that President Perry might accidentally invade.
posted by Flunkie at 9:23 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rick Perry is really Stumped - SLYT
posted by rudhraigh at 4:25 AM on November 11, 2011


Is there an autotune for this yet?
posted by desjardins at 6:24 AM on November 11, 2011


I though for autotune to work, the people they mock actually have to speak.
posted by crunchland at 7:08 AM on November 11, 2011






GOP Clown College
posted by homunculus at 2:15 PM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]




It's on the BBC now. Herman Cain denies claim of 13-year extramarital affair.
posted by arcticseal at 7:29 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm always amused by how differently that stuff plays out in France. Nicolas Sarkozy had to find himself an ex-nude-model for an affair when his wife dumped him right after he done the ellection. You gotta wonder how that conversation went :

S: J'ai besoin d'un copine de baise quand pendant que je suis président. Sinon, ils ne me respectent pas. Voudrais-tu être la première dame?   B: Désolé. Je n'aime pas France.   S: Mais vous vivez ici?   B: Baa oui, pourquoi pas.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:40 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


"A statement from Cain's lawyer said White's claims of a consensual affair between two adults is not a legitimate news story."

- Herman Cain "reassessing" candidacy after affair claim

OLOL.

Mais vous vivez ici?

habitez?

also, defining Carla Bruni as an "ex-nude-model" seems a bit unfair to me and maybe even a little sexist. I thought her album was OK. "Songwriter and former supermodel" seems a fairer description. You seem to imply her only asset is a hot body.

posted by mrgrimm at 10:15 AM on November 29, 2011


Herman Cain: "Stupid people are ruining America."
posted by mrgrimm at 2:23 PM on November 30, 2011


This kind of thing is never not funny to me:
Stock photo on Women for Herman Cain site used elsewhere, including AuPairTracker.com.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:08 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, there are tons of these. Pft, facts. I did like getting election day and the voting age wrong, since he probably doesn't want college students voting.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:45 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


This kind of thing is never not funny to me

I loled, particularly at the Hulett's usage. Competition? Ayyyyyy!
posted by mrgrimm at 2:08 PM on December 2, 2011


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