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"My God, what a fucking mess."
February 28, 2012 10:11 AM   Subscribe

...Many Republicans are already looking past 2012. If either Romney or Santorum gains the nomination and then falls before Obama, flubbing an election that just months ago seemed eminently winnable, it will unleash a GOP apocalypse on November 7—followed by an epic struggle between the regulars and red-hots to refashion the party. And make no mistake: A loss is what the GOP’s political class now expects. “Six months before this thing got going, every Republican I know was saying, ‘We’re gonna win, we’re gonna beat Obama,’ ” says former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins. “Now even those who’ve endorsed Romney say, ‘My God, what a fucking mess.’ ”
John Heilemann in New York Magazine on "The Lost Party", part one of a series on the modern Republican party in light of the 2012 presidential election.

Part two: Jonathan Chait looks at demographic shifts and the Republican (over)reaction, "2012 or Never":
The modern GOP—the party of Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes—is staring down its own demographic extinction. Right-wing warnings of impending tyranny express, in hyperbolic form, well-grounded dread: that conservative America will soon come to be dominated, in a semi-permanent fashion, by an ascendant Democratic coalition hostile to its outlook and interests. And this impending doom has colored the party’s frantic, fearful response to the Obama presidency.

The GOP has reason to be scared. Obama’s election was the vindication of a prediction made several years before by journalist John Judis and political scientist Ruy Teixeira in their 2002 book, The Emerging Democratic Majority. Despite the fact that George W. Bush then occupied the White House, Judis and Teixeira argued that demographic and political trends were converging in such a way as to form a ­natural-majority coalition for Democrats.
Bonus: The Atlantic on "Why Can't the GOP Race Settle Down?" ahead of today's primaries in Michigan and Arizona and Super Tuesday next week. FiveThirtyEight finds Romney with the advantage in Arizona; after many polling shifts Michigan is too close to call.
posted by 2bucksplus (246 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you want a side of lulz while reading through these links, take a moment to consider this morning's public self-shaming slash cry for help from David Brooks.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:15 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I WANT TO BELIEVE!
posted by mazola at 10:16 AM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


(Also posted in the comments of this thread.)
posted by box at 10:17 AM on February 28, 2012


That pic in the first link of Santorum staring straight into my soul, teeth bared and mouth agape, is NSFL
posted by hellojed at 10:18 AM on February 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


take a moment to consider this morning's public self-shaming slash cry for help from David Brooks.

Part of me knows it is wrong to kick a man when he is down, but a much larger part of me thinks that when David Brooks is down is when kicking him will produce the most enjoyable noises.
posted by mightygodking at 10:19 AM on February 28, 2012 [57 favorites]


There are eight months until the election.

In August 2008, Obama and McCain - a lackluster candidate with all Bush's baggage - were tied in the national polls.

It took the crash of September 2008 to give Obama the edge and even then he did not win by anything like a landslide and by 2010 the voters had turned on the Democrats.

If that is the "emerging Democratic majority", I'd say someone needs to check their work more carefully.
posted by three blind mice at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


The Democratic party is now what the Republican party used to be. Hell, Nixon and Reagan had some more liberal policies (universal health care, higher capital gains taxes) than current Democrats. How do we develop an actual liberal party within the US?
posted by cereselle at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2012 [37 favorites]


And yet so little of the Democratic agenda could be enacted.
posted by dave78981 at 10:21 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't see this as any more apocalyptic for the Republicans than 2000 was for the Democrats - or 1996 was for the GOP, for that matter. Sometimes you just don't have any decent candidates in the primary, and you lose. As long as the two-party system remains, whenever the Democrats/Republicans screw up, the pendulum will swing back to the Republicans/Democrats because there's nowhere else for it to go.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:22 AM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Republican party can survive, but not as the current anti-latino, anti-urban, anti-modern party. America is getting browner, more urban, more tolerant and, on the whole, less religious. Those changes are probably irreversible and it'll be interesting to see what the GOP looks like in 30 years.
posted by Avenger at 10:23 AM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


hellojed: "That pic in the first link of Santorum staring straight into my soul, teeth bared and mouth agape, is NSFL"

His eyes follow me, wherever I go.
posted by zarq at 10:26 AM on February 28, 2012


There are a lot of empty magazine/newspaper/blog pages to fill over the next 8 months. Looks like the New York literati have found their trope.
posted by spicynuts at 10:28 AM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


"My God, it's not full of stars!"

More like dwarf planets
posted by lukemeister at 10:31 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


When your primary audience doesn't object to things like this it's going to be hard to pull the candidates that far back to the center without a full activist dummy throw:

"Fox News Commentator: "Aren't we the only country allowed to make preemptive strikes? Who the hell does Iran think it is?"

Tucker Carlson: [laughs] Actually, I know you're sorta kidding, but I agree with that. I think we are the only country with the moral authority"

Fox News Commentator Breaks In: No, I'm not kidding at all!

Tucker Carlson: “I think we are the only country with the moral authority sufficient to do that. [The U.S. is] the only country that doesn’t seek hegemony in the world. I do think, I’m sure I’m the lone voice in saying this, that Iran deserves to be annihilated. I think they’re lunatics. I think they’re evil."


Right now anyone who wins the Rep primaries is bound to say such insane things to appeal to this demographic (trade war with China, actual war with Iran, college education is teh bad, etc.) that the attack ads for the general are going to make whoever wins the nomination bleed heavily when competing for actual independents.

Exclusive prediction: if it's Santorum for the nom then it will be a dirty southern strategy the likes of which has not been seen for many years. Probably with violence when the evangelicals get the candidate of their dreams who can offer a anti-abortion Supreme court judge, religiously influenced education, and still loses even though God is supposed to love them all and Obama is the antichrist. Maybe even violence.
posted by jaduncan at 10:32 AM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


That pic in the first link of Santorum staring straight into my soul, teeth bared and mouth agape, is NSFL

Whereas the picture of Romney looks like an outtake from Jizz In My Pants.
posted by nanojath at 10:34 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


How do we develop an actual liberal party within the US?

There are actual liberal parties in the US, they just haven't won many elections. Start helping them do so by not empowering either of the conservative parties. Alternatively, one of those conservative parties may try to attract your vote away by moving leftward. Either way, it's a win.
posted by DU at 10:35 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good god, David Brooks is such a fucking clown. He should have to wear a red nose ball and oversize shoes wherever he goes.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:36 AM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Today is primary day in my state. I think I'm going to vote for Rick Santorum (I'm a Democrat with no qualms about strategic voting), but I feel like I'm going to hate myself afterward.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 10:40 AM on February 28, 2012


hellojed: That pic in the first link of Santorum staring straight into my soul, teeth bared and mouth agape, is NSFL

The picture of the Gingrich supporters is just beautiful. Grant Wood would look at these faces and think: "Nah, too grim."
posted by Kattullus at 10:42 AM on February 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


wbbd: Vote for Ron Paul. It's just as strategic and at least a tiny bit less repugnant. (Racist but not especially anti-gay, plus pro-drug legalization for sidesys)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:43 AM on February 28, 2012


repugnant either way tho
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:44 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyway at first I was almost sympathizing with David Brooks and other mainstream republicans (like I used to be as a young'un) in the article posted above, then I got this:

"First they went after the Rockefeller Republicans, but I was not a Rockefeller Republican. Then they went after the compassionate conservatives, but I was not a compassionate conservative. Then they went after the mainstream conservatives, and there was no one left to speak for me. "

And like, nevermind. Sorry Brooksy, we're going to feed you to the oven called Anne Coulter.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:46 AM on February 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


Matt Taibbi with epicaricacy and schadenfreude:
These people have run out of others to blame, run out of bystanders to suspect, run out of decent family people to dismiss as Godless, sex-crazed perverts. They’re turning the gun on themselves now. It might be justice, or it might just be sad. Whatever it is, it’s remarkable to watch.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 10:46 AM on February 28, 2012 [21 favorites]


"Why Can't the GOP Race Settle Down?"

Didn't see it mentioned in the article, but my answer is because as soon as it becomes clear that one person is the nominee for sure, they are getting ripped to shreds. The Republicans are hanging around together for safety in numbers. As soon as one of them steps out of the crowd like the blade-wielding guy on Raiders of the Lost Ark, he's getting shot.
posted by cashman at 10:47 AM on February 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Today is primary day in my state. I think I'm going to vote for Rick Santorum (I'm a Democrat with no qualms about strategic voting), but I feel like I'm going to hate myself afterward.

You'll feel exactly the same way I've felt for the past 12 years for voting for John McCain in an open primary.
posted by blucevalo at 10:47 AM on February 28, 2012


I know it's too early for a victory dance, but I have mine well-fucking-choreographed don't worry.

And to reiterate something I've said many times: I will bet anyone any amount that Obama will win this election. Even money. MeMail to set it up.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:48 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am already wincing imagining Romney or Santorum debating Obama. I don't think I will be able to watch.

Santorum has had very little exposure to the national public, political junkies know the guy is a loon but the general population has no idea how far out there the guy is. The dude is against blowjobs.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:48 AM on February 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


"My God, it's not full of stars!"

More like dwarf planets


Gas giants, I'd say.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:49 AM on February 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


If the Republican party could just stop being racist they wouldn't have to worry about the shifting demographics, but I suppose that's just too difficult.
posted by jnaps at 10:49 AM on February 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


Nietzschean Ubermensch Newt Gingrich mocks your plebian ideas of 'moral qualms' and 'consistent ethics'

I think the piece in the OP makes strong points, but I wouldn't start chilling the champagne yet. There's a lot of stuff that could go wrong, or worse, or just remain as it is, which will make people swing to whoever has the R in front of their name.
posted by codacorolla at 10:50 AM on February 28, 2012


I thought the Brooks column today was interesting. But, I cringed at the "First they went after..." stuff.
posted by found missing at 10:52 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


And finally, they went after the disingenuous gas-bags who used the "then they went after" line.
posted by obscurator at 10:52 AM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I were a republican strategist, I'd be focusing on whatever I can do to catalyze a European financial market collapse with enough time to infect the US economy. That'd increase malaise against Obama, which is really all they can count on these days.

It'd be nice to have a good candidate, but short of a bunch of RNC maneuvers, that's not going to happen.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:52 AM on February 28, 2012


They are in trouble.

Incredible speech before the UAW today by Obama.

This is what the 2012 election is going to be about. And the GOP right now is in deep do do. They're actively hoping for the country to collapse so they can rule the ruins.

Never a winning strategy.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:53 AM on February 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


If the Republican party could just stop being racist they wouldn't have to worry about the shifting demographics, but I suppose that's just too difficult.

Racists are an integral component of the party.
posted by goethean at 10:53 AM on February 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Dear Internet,

Please Photoshop a picture of David Brooks dressed like a clown, carrying water, with a solitary tear rolling down his cheek. The caption should read "Then they went after the mainstream conservatives, and there was no one left to speak for me."
posted by diogenes at 10:53 AM on February 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


The Republican party is just reaping the full bounty of the Southern Strategy. It worked for decades, but they ought to have recognized twenty years ago that it wasn't going to work forever. This is a bed entirely of their own making.
posted by ambrosia at 10:53 AM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Just coming after the same quote, Potomac Avenue. Every time I hear someone riff on that poem in a ordinary context I want to fly through the internet and grab them by the throat.

When Martin Niemöller said "they came for me" he was talking about when THEY actually CAME for him... "They" meaning the FUCKING NAZIS and "CAME FOR ME" meaning came to take him to fucking Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps for EIGHT FUCKING YEARS which he barely survived! AAAAAARRGGh.
posted by nanojath at 10:55 AM on February 28, 2012 [63 favorites]


Dear Internet...

I'm still waiting for my photoshopped picture of Romney as the monopoly millionaire, top hat, coattails, and all.
posted by goethean at 10:55 AM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Watching Romney debate Obama would be like watching a mean drunk with a Louisville Slugger take on a sabre fencer; you'd almost feel sorry for him until you remember that he's a mean drunk and could actually hurt someone, given the chance.

Watching Santorum debate Obama would be like watching that Palin/Obama debate that nobody will admit that they want to see but that they really do, deep in their dirty, dirty hearts. The only real suspense would involve how early and often Santorum would evoke his special-needs child.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:56 AM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


If Obama wins in November, I hope the Secret Service is prepared. The Republicans as a political party may be in tatters but they have some seriously angry constituents that won't be going away any time soon.
posted by tommasz at 10:58 AM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think we should balance the budget by cloning Obama and creating an attraction at county fairs where you can bet $5 you can beat him in debates.

The Tea Partiers would come from miles to each of these, thinking their talking points would win. Then, they leave, crying, blubbering "But he didn't even have a teleprompter!"
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:58 AM on February 28, 2012 [20 favorites]


Incredible speech before the UAW today by Obama.

Imagine how great the last this administration could be if they could walk 1/10th as good as they talk.
posted by DU at 10:59 AM on February 28, 2012 [20 favorites]


Ad hominem: "I am already wincing imagining Romney or Santorum debating Obama. I don't think I will be able to watch.

Santorum has had very little exposure to the national public, political junkies know the guy is a loon but the general population has no idea how far out there the guy is. The dude is against blowjobs.
"

You can bet your sweet bippy that he's getting (or giving) blowjobs every fuckin' night. That's who it works - anti-gay? gay. sit on anti-pedophilia committee? pedophile. Hate blowjobs? either giving, receiving or both.
posted by symbioid at 10:59 AM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Incredible speech before the UAW today by Obama.

Boy, that guy is going to give the president a run for his money in November.
posted by deanc at 11:01 AM on February 28, 2012 [14 favorites]


I can never get through these kinds of pieces on American politics because I always feel I'm reading an article about sports.

"Yes, Romney took the lead early in Super Tuesday but after crossing the third ballot was injured in a sudden sprint right-of-centre. That's sure to cost him points. He might be forced to miss the next race and with that setback it's not clear if he'll keep his lead in the Michigan rally. He's facing disqualification as it is for that critical misstep in Wyoming, you know."

Where's the part where they talk about platform goals?
posted by sixohsix at 11:02 AM on February 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


How do we develop an actual liberal party within the US?

Step 1 - Stop trying to convince people that "liberal" is a dirty word. The GOP started this, but the Democrats played into it and seem to be afraid not only to call themselves liberals, but to actually behave like liberals.

Step 2 - I haven't this far ahead. Step 1 seems so far away...
posted by asnider at 11:02 AM on February 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm a Democrat with no qualms about strategic voting

If you are looking for a principled approach to politics, why vote for a candidate you despise in a party you hate? Show some real leadership, stick with what you believe in, and stop playing dirty tricks.
posted by No Robots at 11:04 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I personally have no problems with dirty tricks, If anyone has any ideas for dirty tricks I can play to help dems win let me know.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:06 AM on February 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


There are actual liberal parties in the US, they just haven't won many elections. Start helping them do so by not empowering either of the conservative parties. Alternatively, one of those conservative parties may try to attract your vote away by moving leftward. Either way, it's a win.

...because that worked out so well last time.
posted by goethean at 11:07 AM on February 28, 2012


I think strategic voting is a necessary evil in the first past the post voting system. Anyone who doesn't accept this is voting against their own interests in my opinion. If you want to send a message, call politicians' offices.

Long term, I really wish we'd get instant runoffs, but that'd break up too many oligarchies.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:07 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Watching Romney debate Obama would be like watching a mean drunk with a Louisville Slugger take on a sabre fencer; you'd almost feel sorry for him until you remember that he's a mean drunk and could actually hurt someone, given the chance.

I see Obama as more of a foil fencer -- technically proficient, top-notch fundamentals, but tends to win in boring ways. Maybe he'll graduate up to epee in his second term and start stabbing the republicans in the wrist and toes until they go totally insane with frustration.
posted by clockzero at 11:08 AM on February 28, 2012 [15 favorites]


Incredible speech before the UAW today by Obama.

Boy, that guy is going to give the president a run for his money in November.


Same President, defending the same policies he actually executed. Let's stop wishing he was constantly making us feel better with speeches and be glad that he saves his best for when it is actually needed, instead of being the psychologist-in-chief, constantly holding our liberal hands. If the President made any major mistake, it was not correcting the impression that he's here to make us feel better about being liberals. He's here to get things done. And not letting Detroit go bankrupt and saving 1,000,000 jobs in the process was doing just that.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:08 AM on February 28, 2012 [35 favorites]


Please Photoshop a picture of David Brooks dressed like a clown, carrying water, with a solitary tear rolling down his cheek.

Boo-hoos in paradise.
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:08 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just in the last week, angling for votes from Christ alone knows what constituencies, Romney got tangled up trying to pretend that he loves NASCAR, and by claiming to see an event that happened before he was born. ("Zygotes are people too, my friend.") Meanwhile, Santorum decided to run against John F. Kennedy for a couple of days, and then determined that the president was working to betray the nation's youth by encouraging them to go to college, where the socialists and the lady parts run free, despite Rick's diligent lifelong efforts to restrict the activities of both of them. Remember back when conservatives thought it was comic books and Chuck Berry that would lead the Youth of America astray? Now, apparently, college is the worst thing that can happen to an American kid. This isn't a presidential campaign anymore. It's a bunch of flyers that should be stapled to a lamp post somewhere. I wish conservatives still remembered how to, you know, conserve.
-Charles P. Pierce unloads
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:09 AM on February 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


The dude is against blowjobs.

Obama should just put this quote up on a few thousand billboards and kick back while the votes come pouring in. Santorum might as well be against apple pie.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 11:10 AM on February 28, 2012 [16 favorites]


Ich liebe die abstimmung bei den Präsidentschaftswahlen. Ich fühle mich frei. Als bonus bekomme ich zu sehen unser militär in verschiedenen abenteuern auf der ganzen welt zu engagieren.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:11 AM on February 28, 2012


The conservatives are Democrats, the reactionaries are Republicans, the liberals are boned.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:11 AM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Daily Kos and Rick Santorum agree on one thing: Michigan Democrats should vote Santorum today in the open primary. Romney says this is a dirty trick, despite having participated in and praised the same tactics.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:13 AM on February 28, 2012


When Martin Niemöller said "they came for me" he was talking about when THEY actually CAME for him... "They" meaning the FUCKING NAZIS and "CAME FOR ME" meaning came to take him to fucking Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps for EIGHT FUCKING YEARS which he barely survived! AAAAAARRGGh.

What's funny is that it's used in an irony-free way in an op-ed piece about why Republicans are doing so poorly. It is as if Brooks is completely unaware that the Nazi Germany references go a long way to make the right look like a bunch of crazed, kooky nutbars.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:13 AM on February 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Dirty tricks destroy parties from within, rotting their ideals and ethics. Parties should ruthlessly eliminate from positions of power anyone advocating or practicing such tactics.
posted by No Robots at 11:13 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah when's the last time Joe America gave a shit about fencing? In a fight between a drunken bully and a fencer, most of America is going to be like 'fucking pound that fag!'
posted by spicynuts at 11:15 AM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Rush Limbaugh thought he could spoil the 2008 election by telling his listeners to vote for Hillary Clinton.

That said, the whole Democrat president who is black thing has worked out quite well for the right wing media's ratings, so maybe it was a 12-dimensional chess gambit.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:16 AM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Dirty tricks destroy parties from within,

There's nothing dirty about strategic voting. "Dirty tricks" rely on dishonesty, illegality, and consciously attempting to fool people by lying to them. Meanwhile, there's a difference between being honest and virtuous and being a self-righteous prig.
posted by deanc at 11:17 AM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


How do we develop an actual liberal party within the US?

Well, for one you could convince the actual liberal parties in America (yes, they exist) to run viable candidates. The last time the Technocrats ran, they chose people who weren't even elligible under the constitution. The Socialist Party runs a valid candidate, but doesn't spend any money on politicing. The Social Democrats and Democratic Socialist parties, strong in Europe, have only a token presence here and to my knowledge haven't run anyone recently. The Greens ran Nader for a while, but he's hardly a popular candidate. Even the Libertarians, conservative but perhaps the strongest 3rd party in America, have only been running old Republicans and people who inject colloidal silver into their blood recently.

So long as the system is "winner takes all" in a first-past-the-goalpost configuration, if the liberal 3rd parties want to have a chance, they'll have to get past their differences, form a coalition under a single party name, and position themselves as to the left of the Democrats, preferably when the Republicans have done something that leaves them weakened, allowing the Democrats to continue moving towards center right, and allowing the new party a chance to become the new Democrats.

Or, you know, you could join your local party organization, and agitate from within for a leftward-march on platform planks. Good luck with that.
posted by Blackanvil at 11:18 AM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Where's the part where they talk about platform goals?

Romney has no goals, so why discuss them?

Santorum's goals are clearly illustrated: obsess about sexually related topics.

What I think would be really funny is if Santorum indeed got elected, because the Republicans would shit when Santorum finally came out of the closet.

Yes, I do believe there is a very significant possibility that Rick Santorum is indeed a closeted homosexual.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:22 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah when's the last time Joe America gave a shit about fencing? In a fight between a drunken bully and a fencer, most of America is going to be like 'fucking pound that fag!'

Until the fag runs his razor thin highly sharpened tip right between the bullies eyes, pinning him to the wall, then flips up his mask, sighs, lights a cigarette and goes "Hey Willard... get the _point_?" and the crowds like BOOOOOOOM HEADSHOT MOTHER-FUCKER

Then does he a tap dance like the Wiz up a rainbow stairwell to an acid-jazz version of Enter Sandman with Spock on slapbass and Kyle McLaughlin wailing on a sax and disappears in a cloud of money.

posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:23 AM on February 28, 2012 [20 favorites]


What I liked about the ending of Brook's article, and his version of the "they came for the..." trope, was that he was basically calling the tea party folks Nazis. That was awesome.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:26 AM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


(if maybe unintentional)
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:26 AM on February 28, 2012


I was surprised to see this paragraph in a serious analysis of oil prices at Naked Capitalism.
The smartest kids on the block knows that gasoline prices much over US$4 per gallon will be both deflationary and lethal to President Barack Obama's re-election chances. So that won't happen other than briefly.
And I immediately thought "...unless the Republican nominee clearly has a better offer to make to 'the smartest kids on the block'." Which I can see more much more likely from Romney than Santorum.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:32 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


with regard to the question of dirty tricks: So for whatever reason, people believe that measuring preferences among a population (which is to say, running an election) is simple. This is a little baffling to me, since anyone who's ever been in a large group that's deciding where to go to eat knows that when there's more than two options, figuring out which option the group prefers can sometimes be nearly impossible.

Because deciding preferences between more than two options1 is difficult, frequently we end up with voting systems (like the one we have in the U.S.) where winning an election acquires a strong gamelike aspect. There's several moves (for example, "vote in the other side's primary and saddle them with a loser!") that seem against the spirit of pure preference-measuring... but if you don't make these moves in the game and your opponent does, you'll get boned.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you should hate the game, not the player. Well, and that hating the player isn't an effective method of changing the game.

[1]: Or even between two, if "it's not worth it to go in to vote" counts as a preference.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:33 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


(if maybe unintentional)

I sincerely doubt that a clueless moral scold like David Brooks is bright enough to realize that he just called tea partiers Nazis.
posted by mightygodking at 11:33 AM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have to note that this entire thread is focused on the Presidential election. If that were all that mattered, much of the Obama agenda would've been fulfilled. Turns out there's a whole Congress made up of states and districts that'll probably be red for a long time, regardless of how the Presidential election ends.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:33 AM on February 28, 2012 [17 favorites]


“[That] didn’t seem to have done [Democrats] any harm in the general election..."

Except that the US wound up with the asshole as president.
posted by Ardiril at 11:36 AM on February 28, 2012


Perversely, every time I read an article about the fracturing of the GOP, it makes me more afraid, not less. I refuse to hope. I can't even begin to think positively. I am convinced that Obama will lose. This country is fucked up so badly that I have no problem believing ignorance and hatred will prevail at the polls in November.
posted by tzikeh at 11:36 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think I said this before, but...It doesn't matter one flying fuck whether the Republicans win the White House. It really doesn't. What truly matters is how they do in local, state and Congressional races. And, honestly, they're doing just fine outside the beltway, especially (frighteningly?) the crazies.

I mean, take my home of Indiana. We're going to have Mike Fucking Pence as our next Governor. And Dick Lugar looks to be in serious trouble in the upcoming primary, because the teabaggers have convinced themselves that he's not nearly conservative enough.

So, yeah, there's all sorts of angst and drama over the Presidential clown show currently touring the nation. And, don't get me wrong, if the R's could somehow pull-off a win, that would just assure the descent of the nation into craziness, but all they really need to do is pick-up a few more seats in the Senate and they will be able to push their ideas onto the nation, armed with a veto-proof block of R's and conservative D's.

I suppose the big fear for the party might be that the train-wreck we see going on ends up damaging the down-ticket candidates. That, and if Paul stages a third-party run.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:37 AM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Once the vote goes online, Republicans are particularly screwed cuz then Cats can run for office.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:37 AM on February 28, 2012


Just for those who have not seen this great Rick Santorum family picture.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:38 AM on February 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


The dude is against blowjobs.

Obama should just put this quote up on a few thousand billboards and kick back while the votes come pouring in.


Hey, Santorum already described the Democrats as the party of orgies, lust, and sexual freedom. What more do you want?
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:38 AM on February 28, 2012


I have to note that this entire thread is focused on the Presidential election

I have a feeling that if faced with the prospect of voting for Santorum, republicans of the non-loon vein will stay away from the polls out of disgust and drag down all republican chances. If faced with the prospect of voting for Romney, they may just not even care enough to show up to vote.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:39 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Today is primary day in my state. I think I'm going to vote for Rick Santorum (I'm a Democrat with no qualms about strategic voting), but I feel like I'm going to hate myself afterward.

That doesn't sound like "no qualms" to me. :)

wbbd: Vote for Ron Paul. It's just as strategic and at least a tiny bit less repugnant. (Racist but not especially anti-gay, plus pro-drug legalization for sidesys)

I'd believe that *maybe* the US is on a secularization trend and that Santorum might not be able to win as a theocrat. But a disturbing number of my acquaintances regularly post "the government budget is/should be just like a household budget!" on Facebook and probably to some degree buy Paul's libertarian anti-federalist government-must-be-drowned-in-a-bathtub-because-it's-*the*-problem-not-the-solution.

Conservatives are over-represented in general in my social circle, so it might not be as general an issue as I see it, but I genuinely worry that libertarianism has a potential future not only as an influence but perhaps even institutionalized in a party. In that light, there's no way I'd ever vote for Paul, even aside from the fact that I don't believe he's capable of representing my interest and doing good policy work as an officeholder.

I think strategic voting is a necessary evil in the first past the post voting system. Anyone who doesn't accept this is voting against their own interests in my opinion. If you want to send a message, call politicians' offices.

I've absorbed this last message, but I can't bring myself to vote strategically for a candidate I think represents the worst of a primary. I've voted in Republican primaries in Utah because that's where races there are decided most of the time, but I've never been able bring myself to cast a vote for someone because I thought they were crazy enough to lose the general.

Possibly because from where I stand, it looks to me like sometimes crazy people win general elections. I really want to believe Santorum couldn't possibly win one, but he won a Senate seat in a state that isn't exactly deep red.
posted by weston at 11:40 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


How do we develop an actual liberal party within the US?

Well, for one you could convince the actual liberal parties in America (yes, they exist) to run viable candidates. The last time the Technocrats ran, they chose people who weren't even elligible under the constitution. The Socialist Party runs a valid candidate, but doesn't spend any money on politicing. The Social Democrats and Democratic Socialist parties, strong in Europe, have only a token presence here and to my knowledge haven't run anyone recently. The Greens ran Nader for a while, but he's hardly a popular candidate. Even the Libertarians, conservative but perhaps the strongest 3rd party in America, have only been running old Republicans and people who inject colloidal silver into their blood recently.


The other thing is that you have to respect voters' choices. I've met a lot of far-left friends who insist that "propaganda" makes working class voters vote contrary to their economic interests. Start by assuming that they have every right to make a decision based on whatever criteria they want and that it is perfectly legitimate for them to do so. Find a way to address those cultural needs without assuming they are dumb. It would go a long, long way.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:41 AM on February 28, 2012 [26 favorites]


How do we develop an actual liberal party within the US?

Why does this only ever seem to come up in the context of presidential elections? If you want to run a presidential campaign, it requires a committed national organization, a broad coalition that appeals to the perceived interest of a large cross-section of the country more than any existing party, and a deep bench of candidates, not just one guy riding in on a white horse to take the presidency. Even if a third-party candidate could win without a broad and deep national party behind them, they would be completely ineffective in the presidency with nobody at all behind them in the legislature.

And yet it always seems to come down to people talking about how they can get a president elected outside of the two-party system. If you want a Real Leftist for president, maybe that can happen in twenty or thirty years if you start electing Real Leftists to state legislatures and school boards, and comptroller of the county water board in left-leaning areas today. If you just think you can pull the presidency out of thin air, that's just a pointless and destructive fantasy.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 11:43 AM on February 28, 2012 [58 favorites]


And yet it always seems to come down to people talking about how they can get a president elected outside of the two-party system. If you want a Real Leftist for president, maybe that can happen in twenty or thirty years if you start electing Real Leftists to state legislatures and school boards, and comptroller of the county water board in left-leaning areas today. If you just think you can pull the presidency out of thin air, that's just a pointless and destructive fantasy.

Dude, get out of my head.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:46 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Strangely stunted trees, I agree with you. Republicans played a long game for the power they have today. I'm all for grassroots candidates coming in at the local level and moving up. It seems to me, though, that apart from Howard Dean and his 50-state strategy, few if any of the upper-level party members support this activity.
posted by cereselle at 11:46 AM on February 28, 2012


Racist but not especially anti-gay, plus pro-drug legalization for sidesys

Ugh. How is this less repugnant?
posted by dave78981 at 11:46 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


but he won a Senate seat in a state that isn't exactly deep red.

He won his first senate election during the "Contract with America" election where things swung to the right.
posted by drezdn at 11:48 AM on February 28, 2012


Find a way to address those cultural needs without assuming they are dumb. It would go a long, long way.

What about coming to terms with the fact that manipulating dumb people is, in fact, a large portion of what a general election is about? Sad but true.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:48 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Start by assuming that they have every right to make a decision based on whatever criteria they want and that it is perfectly legitimate for them to do so. Find a way to address those cultural needs without assuming they are dumb. It would go a long, long way.

Agreed, in spades. I'm most disappointed by politics when it devolves into "WE ROCK U SUCK". Dude, we don't want to shut the ignorant up - we want to give them a reason to want to be educated. Making them out to be morons doesn't achieve that purpose.
posted by Mooski at 11:49 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


What about coming to terms with the fact that manipulating dumb people is, in fact, a large portion of what a general election is about? Sad but true.

Except, it's not true. But thanks for illustrating the point.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:49 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not to blow my own horn, but well, okay I will blow my own horn. I've been saying the GOP is looking at a profound existential crisis for literally since 2008. Outside of this country turning into a far right theocracy (and that could happen make no mistake, with the right sequence of electorial disasters, even if the Constitution is hard-coded to prevent that...), the GOTP either needs a major and I'm talking MAJOR renaissance of the kind that blows it's base apart or that keeps the base and loses the country forever. It's in a classic Catch-22 of it's devisement and man....I think there's Schadenfrueden, and than there's this, and that word doesn't even capture the satisfaction I feel.

It's almost sexual in it's vindication and whole-hearted sense that the GOTP is a monsterous jo0ke that needs to either die or be taken out of it's misery because why? FUCK YOU, THAT'S WHY....
posted by Skygazer at 11:50 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not to blow my own horn, but well, okay I will blow my own horn. I've been saying the GOP is looking at a profound existential crisis for literally since 2008.

Also said in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2008. So, yeah.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:52 AM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wish Hunter S. Thompson was still around to write about this ...
posted by carter at 11:53 AM on February 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


I've met a lot of far-left friends who insist that "propaganda" makes working class voters vote contrary to their economic interests. Start by assuming that they have every right to make a decision based on whatever criteria they want and that it is perfectly legitimate for them to do so.

I can't speak for your far-left friends, but I wouldn't make the assumption that only dumb people are influenced by propaganda. The statement that it "makes" them vote one way or another is maybe implying a bit too much in terms of causality, but it influences everyone--some more than others.
posted by Hoopo at 11:55 AM on February 28, 2012


Strategic voting? OK. Robocalls to constituents telling them that they're polling date has shifted? Not OK in the slightest.

Get in the mud and get dirty so someone else down the road doesn't have to wade through piles of GOP shit to get anything progressive or responsible done in the capitol.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:55 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thorzdad: It doesn't matter one flying fuck whether the Republicans win the White House. It really doesn't.

It really does. Unlike the Democrats, who couldn't get shit done when they had both houses of Congress and the Oval Office, a Republican President, a Republican-controlled House, and a 50% Republican Senate (plus DINOs) will GET SHIT DONE. Bad shit. Massively damaging shit. Horrific shit--at a federal level. So, yeah, it matters big-time.
posted by tzikeh at 11:55 AM on February 28, 2012 [15 favorites]


"manipulating dumb people is, in fact, a large portion of what a general election is about?"

It's about manipulating undecideds. Which, given the present polarization, may be saying the same thing.
posted by klarck at 11:55 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Gallup has Santorum beating Obama. Still want to "vote strategically"?

Ultimately, though, I doubt it matters whether Santorum or Romney are president. Congress will be blood red, and they pretty much dictate what the president will sign. I don't see Romney vetoing a bill to end Social Security or banning gays in the military.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:56 AM on February 28, 2012


>There are actual liberal parties in the US, they just haven't won many elections. Start helping them do so by not empowering either of the conservative parties.

I don't think there's a minimum participation threshold for an election's validity.

Even if everyone opted out, except for one guy named Jeff in Alaska, well, Jeff, would determine the election.

And really, if the GOP could drive participation down to five percent of eligible voters, or the five billionaires who have invested the most money in campaigns, the Grand Old Party would be very happy with that.
posted by darth_tedious at 11:59 AM on February 28, 2012


I don't see Romney vetoing a bill to end Social Security or banning gays in the military.

I agree. Romney, despite his faults, is the most reasonable of the Republican candidates.
posted by drezdn at 11:59 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gallup has Santorum beating Obama.

I am laughing and I don't know why because it's sad.
posted by Hoopo at 11:59 AM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ron Paul is racist, anti-gay, AND anti-women. How anyone could support him is beyond me.
posted by agregoli at 11:59 AM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rick Santorum: "I Was Basically Pro-Choice All My Life, Until I Ran for Congress."
posted by drezdn at 11:59 AM on February 28, 2012


How do we develop an actual liberal party within the US?

Stop bothering with trying to elect a third party president.

Instead, focus on building up a set of safe seats for your party in the House. Once you have those, get a Senator or two elected.

It's a fools errand to run as a third party candidate for president because no one takes third parties seriously. Figure out how to get taken seriously--like by being a coalition partner in Congress that actually makes or breaks deals--and the possibility of electing a president will follow.
posted by fatbird at 12:02 PM on February 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


I agree. Romney, despite his faults, is the most reasonable of the Republican candidates.

That's the exact opposite point dirigibleman was trying to make.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:02 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


As if this was really a contest of ideas rather than a race to line the pockets of campaign "consultants" advert salespersons, robocallers and fundraising "specialists.
The GOP wants to win this election as much as the economy is magically healing itself JIT for the election.
posted by Fupped Duck at 12:03 PM on February 28, 2012


The climactic moment in them came when Romney would recite (and offer attendant textual analysis that would make Stanley Fish beat his head against a wall) the lyrics of “America the Beautiful.” Even staunch Romney allies were abashed by this sadly persistent, and persistently sad, rhetorical trope. “I have never seen anything more ridiculous or belittling,” a prominent Romney fund-raiser says.

This is an interesting detail and I haven't seen it fully analyzed anywhere. Do you know why Romney does that? I'm pretty sure it's because of what happened in 2011. Romney was in charge of the Olympics in Salt Lake City when 9/11 happened, though he was in Washington D.C. at the time. When he finally got back to Salt Lake, he delivered an address that has become legend, speaking about the awesome responsibility and the honor of hosting the world's first international meeting after the attacks. He then led the team singing America the Beautiful

I've read other accounts of that speech that suggest that Romney was incredibly inspiring and very presidential. It was the high water mark of his political career. And he would desperately like to have that moment back again.

But leading a group of people in a chorus of America the Beautiful immediately following 9/11 isn't the same as doing it eleven years later. Romney keeps trying to use that song as a magical incantation, trying to get it to work again, utterly clueless about why it worked the first time.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:05 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ron Paul is racist, anti-gay, AND anti-women. How anyone could support him is beyond me.

Dunno, maybe some of them are racist white hetero males? And maybe others don't agree with that assessment or are supportive of unrelated elements of his platform? People support all kinds of idiots in elections. I live in a country that gave Stephen Harper a majority government.
posted by Hoopo at 12:06 PM on February 28, 2012


That's the exact opposite point dirigibleman was trying to make.

I misread his statement. I do think Romney would be more likely to reign in the more extreme elements than Santorum. That said, Obama would reign it in even more than either of them, hence he'll probably get my vote.
posted by drezdn at 12:06 PM on February 28, 2012


Gallup has Santorum beating Obama. Still want to "vote strategically"?

Eh, in the same article, one paragraph down, another poll had Obama beating Santorum by 11 points.

I really can't see the Republican elite allowing Santorum to get the nomination, at least not without an elder statesman-like VP as a minder. But really, he gets the nom and there's almost certainly open revolt at the convention. Google how many endorsements Santorum has from former colleagues in the Senate. No one trusts him or thinks he really has a shot.
posted by dave78981 at 12:06 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sorry. I meant what happened in 2001.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:06 PM on February 28, 2012


I do think Romney would be more likely to reign in the more extreme elements than Santorum.

How, exactly? As far as I can tell there's no sunlight between the two on social issues, but if you've got examples I'd love to see them.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:08 PM on February 28, 2012


The Left in America has to dump the term "liberal" as fast as possible.

First, there's no possible way to reclaim the word, now the Republicans have voided their bowels on it for a generation.

Second, most people have no idea what liberalism really is anyway. Many political scientists refer to Reagan as "the last liberal". Liberalism includes a deep belief in capitalism and free trade, things which pretty clearly are not working out well.

I call myself a social democrat (Martin Gardner, RIP, used to refer to himself as a "Democratic Socialist" :-D) because it closely reflects the changes I think are needed - for example, a "profound[] reform [of] capitalism to align it with the ethical ideals of social justice".
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:10 PM on February 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


Hoopo, I meant anyone HERE. I'm well aware that there are assholes who vote.
posted by agregoli at 12:11 PM on February 28, 2012


Its worth noting that it doesn't especially matter which Republican wins, because Grover Norquist just needs them to "sign this stuff."
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:12 PM on February 28, 2012


It doesn't matter one flying fuck whether the Republicans win the White House.

Completely disagree. A Republican President can veto anything that doesn't pass with overwhelming majorities. More importantly, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is seriously ill, and the thought of a Republican selecting her replacement sends chills down my spine. That means Kennedy is no longer a swing vote, but a justice who sometimes makes the decision 6-3 instead of 5-4.

It absolutely matters that the Democrats keep the White House this time around, in a very serious way.
posted by ambrosia at 12:12 PM on February 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


Also said in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2008. So, yeah.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:52 PM on February 28 [+] [!]


Yeah, but this time it's for real, I'm not talking out my ass and this is not simply wishful thinking. The Dubya aughts were a massive turning point...with a party who got killed for it in the voting booth in 2008. And with a country who voted for a balck man for president, and was ready for a black president, and I think Obama would've won pretty much at any time, mind you, but the GOP was going to go down with a wallop and it did, and it's establishment took notice of the extremes in passion down in it's lowest registers (the bigots) and it fed that and stroked it up, with a few hundred million from the Kochs and the Texas Oil "incest is best" Billionaire's into a "populist movement." And it pulled the wool over the country for a bit there along with the utter hurricane of loathing aimed at Obama and the Left by the Fox-type media, and this group of Tea bag shitheads have basically screwed the pooch beyond belief...

And now they're a national joke and now the establishment GOtP wants it's party back and these good ole boys and girls who want "Gubmint off'n oursz Medicare!!!" are like "Get bent, Romney not one of our'n, he a FREAK WEIRD-O CREEP who likeS the hieght of the trees in MichigaN!!"

And Rove is fucked, and so is Jeb, and so is Romney, and so is that whole fucking insane clusterfuck of a party that hates a huge part of itself, whether it be the Hover-round Tea bigots or the oil-rich Randian anti-union Koch bitches.
posted by Skygazer at 12:16 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


You all enjoy your Republican primary. Here in northern Ohio we've got a gerrymandered liberal congressperson Thunderdome death-match to worry about. The only good thing about the Republican primary being such a clusterfuck is that there are fewer of them paying enough attention to point and laugh about what they did to us up here.
posted by charred husk at 12:16 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


One more thing.

I've spoken many times here about the necessity of supporting third parties and not accepting the lesser of two evils (i.e. the Democrats).

Santorum is such a nutcase that it would really leave any rational Americans with no choice but to swallow their scruples and vote for Mr. Obama, despite his complete lack of respect for the rule of law, his hypermilitarism, his obsession with secrecy and punishing whistleblowers, his lack of any significant response to the war crimes committed by the previous Administration or the crimes committed by Wall Street (the cost to the Treasury of those two catastrophes being trillions of dollars) and his inexplicable war on medical marijuana (and a general stepping up of the War on Drugs, WTF?)

It makes me deeply angry that we are put in such a position every fucking election - that we are given the choice between a dreadful candidate, and one who is so utterly awful that you can hardly imagine how any rational person can take them seriously. I had no idea what a scoundrel Mr. Obama would turn out to be, but there's no question I'd have still supported him against a McCain/PALIN presidency.

If Mittens gets it, well, I think a Romney Presidency would be little different from a second Obama Presidency. I believe it would be worth taking that risk to really convince the Democrats to actually listen to their supporters, FFS.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:20 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


but if you've got examples I'd love to see them.

Romney's record was pretty middle of the road in Mass.
posted by drezdn at 12:20 PM on February 28, 2012


lupus_yonderboy, I like "egalitarians". The underlying beliefs fit fairly well, it's not a common phrase in US politics (and so hasn't been tarred like socialist, liberal or democrat), and best of all its supporters would be called 'eagles'.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 12:21 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


drezdn: Romney, despite his faults, is the most reasonable of the Republican candidates.

That's a frightening truth.
posted by tzikeh at 12:24 PM on February 28, 2012


Dave78891: But really, he [Santorum] gets the nom and there's almost certainly open revolt at the convention.

Strangely, the media's just not talking about that, but in their private moments, both they and the Insider's are utterly stoked for that to happen for the drama and the ratings it will bring and the raw excellent journo material it provides. I think the RNC is definitely going there. One guy who has the power to prevent that and is bidding his time to come in with the strongest card possible = Ron Paul.

I could see him getting a VP slot with the Romn-E Bot 2012 and keep the proceedings from descending into pure farce.
posted by Skygazer at 12:24 PM on February 28, 2012


I think a Romney Presidency would be little different from a second Obama Presidency. I believe it would be worth taking that risk to really convince the Democrats to actually listen to their supporters, FFS

I think you really don't have a handle on who owns Romney and what his marching orders would be and this sort of thinking is just not productive anymore and hasn't been since 2000 when Nader fucked the country with Dubya for 8 years. That debacle is still working itself out. Please vote Democratic and please forget this lesser of two evils myth and let the GOTP drive itself into extinction. Thank you very much.
posted by Skygazer at 12:28 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul gets the VP nod with Romney and keeps the proceedings from descending into farce?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:29 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've spoken many times here about the necessity of supporting third parties and not accepting the lesser of two evils (i.e. the Democrats).

Have you argued that for anything other than the presidency and federal offices? Because if not your methodology is completely turned around.

It makes me deeply angry that we are put in such a position every fucking election - that we are given the choice between a dreadful candidate, and one who is so utterly awful that you can hardly imagine how any rational person can take them seriously.

So, no. The presidency is the be-all and end-all.

If Mittens gets it, well, I think a Romney Presidency would be little different from a second Obama Presidency. I believe it would be worth taking that risk to really convince the Democrats to actually listen to their supporters, FFS.

This is wrong on so many levels.

Romney's record was pretty middle of the road in Mass.

Not really. He had a fairly liberal legislature to temper his worst aspects (he railed against legalizing gay marriage for essentially the entirety of his term, for instance), and the chances of that being the case in January 2013 are essentially zero percent.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:29 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is what the 2012 election is going to be about. And the GOP right now is in deep do do. They're actively hoping for the country to collapse so they can rule the ruins.

Never a winning strategy.


This tribalism stuff really ruins politics sometimes. No, the Republicans don't want America to collapse. No, the Democrats didn't in 2004 either. I'm not a big fan of putting bipartisanship up on a pedestal but cooperation has its uses, which gets a lot harder to achieve when each side sees the other as the devil incarnate.

“We will move forward together, or not at all — for the challenges we face are bigger than party and bigger than politics.”
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:29 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


> It absolutely matters that the Democrats keep the White House this time around, in a very serious way.

I'm almost 50 years old and I've heard that argument all my life. The net result is that half the country has been forced to unquestioningly support the Democrats as they sprinted to the right.

The Progressive wing of the Democratic Party has literally no leverage whatsoever, because the DNC knows full well that they will turn out and vote D no matter how badly they are treated. The far-right Republican base doesn't do that - they relentlessly throw out candidates who aren't right enough for them, even if they lose some elections as a result. In the long term, this has been a massively winning strategy for them.

As I wrote above, Santorum is such a threat to America and the world that he must not be allowed to win the Presidency. But if Romney were to win, I would be directing my support toward third-party candidates - I cannot support Mr. Obama any more.

I should add that if we did eventually get a real candidate who was serious about reform, there are at least one and probably two sitting Supreme Court judges who could easily and successfully be impeached, if we took the laws on the books as laws, and not simply as suggestions, and could find an impartial court to do it.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:29 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well the brokered covention idea is already being floated in a bunch of different places.

Pretty soon it will be conventional wisdom, then it is inevitable.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:31 PM on February 28, 2012


Ironmouth: "The other thing is that you have to respect voters' choices."

Does that work in reverse?

Because I've seen some things in political threads from some people *ahem* that sure seem very disparaging and non-respectful towards people who don't toe the party line, and would seem to belie the intent of what was just stated.
posted by symbioid at 12:32 PM on February 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


No, the Republicans don't want America to collapse. No, the Democrats didn't in 2004 either. I'm not a big fan of putting bipartisanship up on a pedestal but cooperation has its uses, which gets a lot harder to achieve when each side sees the other as the devil incarnate.

Wow, I didn't know John Stewart had an account here!

Here's an idea: If you don't want to be seen as the devil incarnate, stop trying to turn our country into a theocratic serfdom.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:33 PM on February 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


I really can't see the Republican elite allowing Santorum to get the nomination, at least not without an elder statesman-like VP as a minder. But really, he gets the nom and there's almost certainly open revolt at the convention. Google how many endorsements Santorum has from former colleagues in the Senate. No one trusts him or thinks he really has a shot.

the new delegate rules make that nearly impossible. What leverage do they have, not electing him as the candidate after he gets the most delegates? Really? Let's look at the politics of this. The GOP literally pulls some brokered convention shit and throws out the conservative who has enough delegates to win in favor of the moderate?

If that happens, it will be the end of the GOP.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:33 PM on February 28, 2012


> So, no. The presidency is the be-all and end-all.

We get this derail each and every time we talk about the Presidential election. Knock it off, will you? I support local candidates just fine. Unfortunately or fortunately, living in New York City it's extremely hard to move the local right-wing Democrats - but at least I don't have the problem of wondering about strategic voting, I can support anyone I like with the almost certain knowledge that a D will still win. :-/

And I must also say that the issues that are of the greatest importance to me - the endless wars, the rule of law, the Wall Street crimes, the surveillance state and that sort of thing - are mainly decided at the Presidential level.

This is irrelevant. We're discussing the Presidential candidates - to invalidate my argument because I'm staying on that topic is unreasonable and disrespectful.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:34 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ironmouth: "The other thing is that you have to respect voters' choices."

Does that work in reverse?

Because I've seen some things in political threads from some people *ahem* that sure seem very disparaging and non-respectful towards people who don't toe the party line, and would seem to belie the intent of what was just stated.


like what?
posted by Ironmouth at 12:35 PM on February 28, 2012


Ironmouth: you cannot be serious. You drove me, personally, away from metafilter for half a year by bullying me every time I suggested that people might want to vote third party.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:36 PM on February 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


the endless wars, the rule of law, the Wall Street crimes, the surveillance state and that sort of thing - are mainly decided at the Presidential level.

Almost all of those things are heavily decided at the Congressional level. Bush got Congress's authorization for Iraq and Afghanistan, Patriot Act stuff was all Congress, etc.

The President has a lot of power on those issues, but so does Congress. And sometimes just a few members can make a difference (look at how much power Lieberman had for a while, it's conceivable you could have a few left-wing power brokers in certain Congressional configurations as well, if the Dems needed them for a majority/supermajority).
posted by wildcrdj at 12:40 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Progressive wing of the Democratic Party has literally no leverage whatsoever, because the DNC knows full well that they will turn out and vote D no matter how badly they are treated. The far-right Republican base doesn't do that - they relentlessly throw out candidates who aren't right enough for them, even if they lose some elections as a result.

Sure they do... In. The. Primaries.

Rebelling against lackluster candidates in the general election is a recipe for political suicide.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:44 PM on February 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ironmouth: you cannot be serious. You drove me, personally, away from metafilter for half a year by bullying me every time I suggested that people might want to vote third party.

I disagreed with you and indicated that it was likely to harm the long term interests of the country. No personal feelings were involved. I apologize if it seemed as if it was. But I think that voting third party in a time like this has more potential for long-term harm than good.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:44 PM on February 28, 2012


> Almost all of those things are heavily decided at the Congressional level.

Sorry, I don't buy it. The rule of law; the Wall Street crimes; the surveillance state; the war on drugs; all of these are executive issues, the Department of Justice.

As for the endless wars, if you recall, the last two Presidents claimed that they did not need Congressional approval to start wars, and acted on those words. Yes, there is also a lot of blame to go around to Congress and the Senate.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:46 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The far-right Republican base doesn't do that - they relentlessly throw out candidates who aren't right enough for them, even if they lose some elections as a result. In the long term, this has been a massively winning strategy for them.

What? This is the same party that chose McCain, both Bushes, and Dole as their candidates against candidates who were much further to the right than they were.

As I wrote above, Santorum is such a threat to America and the world that he must not be allowed to win the Presidency. But if Romney were to win, I would be directing my support toward third-party candidates - I cannot support Mr. Obama any more.

Why would Romney win if the base throws out candidates that are supposedly not right enough for them?

And I must also say that the issues that are of the greatest importance to me - the endless wars, the rule of law, the Wall Street crimes, the surveillance state and that sort of thing - are mainly decided at the Presidential level.

Disregarding the fact that most of those aren't decided at the Presidential level (and the disturbing lack of care for women and racial/sexual minorities), this begs the question of are you willing to vote third party if the consequences make all of that exponentially worse?

This is irrelevant. We're discussing the Presidential candidates - to invalidate my argument because I'm staying on that topic is unreasonable and disrespectful.

The topics are not inseparable. Can you think of a single point in American electoral history where change came from the top down?
posted by zombieflanders at 12:46 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


They're actively hoping for the country to collapse so they can rule the ruins. Never a winning strategy.

I think its called the Lex Luthor strategy.
posted by Billiken at 12:49 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can you think of a single point in American electoral history where change came from the top down?

The Civil Rights Act of 1964.

(Okay, yeah, other than that, pretty much never. And even that is far from a pure example. But, hey, just sayin'.)
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:51 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


No blowjobs? Man, buzz kill in a sweater vest.
posted by angrycat at 12:52 PM on February 28, 2012


Sorry, I don't buy it. The rule of law; the Wall Street crimes; the surveillance state; the war on drugs; all of these are executive issues, the Department of Justice.

First of all, no they're not. Second of all, Congress decides the funding for the Departments and where that funding goes.

As for the endless wars, if you recall, the last two Presidents claimed that they did not need Congressional approval to start wars, and acted on those words.

Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists:
420-1 (House)
98-0 (Senate)

Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002:
297-133 (House)
77-23 (Senate)
posted by zombieflanders at 12:53 PM on February 28, 2012


> What? This is the same party that chose McCain, both Bushes, and Dole as their candidates against candidates who were much further to the right than they were.

> Why would Romney win if the base throws out candidates that are supposedly not right enough for them?

Maintaining ideological purity by throwing out candidates who don't toe the party line is absolutely not the same as "always voting for the right-most candidates". I didn't say that, and I didn't mean that.

> Disregarding the fact that most of those aren't decided at the Presidential level

I named four items. Three of them - the rule of law, the Wall Street crimes, and the surveillance state - are almost entirely executive items.

> (and the disturbing lack of care for women and racial/sexual minorities)

I'll let that just sit there and not comment on it.

> The topics are not inseparable.

You were criticizing me quite harshly for not discussing local and regional politics. I was not preventing you from bringing these issues into play at all - I simply didn't mention them.

> Can you think of a single point in American electoral history where change came from the top down?

FDR? Reagan?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:54 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Almost all of those things are heavily decided at the Congressional level.

Sorry, I don't buy it. The rule of law; the Wall Street crimes; the surveillance state; the war on drugs; all of these are executive issues, the Department of Justice.

As for the endless wars, if you recall, the last two Presidents claimed that they did not need Congressional approval to start wars, and acted on those words. Yes, there is also a lot of blame to go around to Congress and the Senate.


I do think Congress is incredibly important--The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 is a case in point. It stripped the CFTC of its powers to regulate derivatives, including the Credit Default Swaps. If you want to one thing that did more to harm Americans than any other--it was that bill.

The problem for the President is that he can only sign off on what Congress presents to him. There's very little he can do beyond regulation. He can only set broad mandates re: the DOJ prosecution issues. Many who seek criminal charges in a lot of these situations don't realize that the problem is the actual legality of the acts in question. And Congress allowed for that. Second, there's very little understanding of the securities laws here, the reach of 10b-5, and the rest. It is assumed that if a capitalist engaged in stupid activity which helped to bring the economy down there must be a tool to criminally prosecute him. For a lot of the things we saw in '08, that's not the case.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:54 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


the surveillance state; the war on drugs

Either could be easily ended by Congress. These behaviors are both supported by and prompted by laws (Patriot act, federal drug laws). I see little to no evidence that the President is acting beyond the bounds of those laws.
posted by wildcrdj at 12:55 PM on February 28, 2012


the new delegate rules make that nearly impossible. What leverage do they have, not electing him as the candidate after he gets the most delegates? Really? Let's look at the politics of this. The GOP literally pulls some brokered convention shit and throws out the conservative who has enough delegates to win in favor of the moderate?

Not 'enough delegates to win'. Nobody's going to get that, with some states splitting their delegates proportionally, and some surrendering half their delegates because they jumped ahead in voting order. 1144 delegates to win, out of 2061 total. 2061 - 37 (already committed to Gingrich and Paul) 2024. Either candidate has to beat the other by about 15 or 20% to get a clear first-round win - not going to happen.

My suspicion is that after super Tuesday, the RNC is going to admit that this batch of candidates is damaged beyond any hope of winning in the general, and try to put forward a late entrant (Chris Chris Christy). "Why run with someone who's already beaten to a bloody pulp? Vote for who's behind Door Number 1 instead. A great candidate, you'll really love him. Just trust us."
posted by newdaddy at 12:56 PM on February 28, 2012


zombieflanders: Neither of these are declarations of war.

In particular, since Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists is completely open-ended, you're saying that Congress has simply written themselves out of the "declaring war" business.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:57 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is a thing that they (and Presidents Obama and Bush) have done, yes.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:05 PM on February 28, 2012


zombieflanders: Neither of these are declarations of war.

In particular, since Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists is completely open-ended, you're saying that Congress has simply written themselves out of the "declaring war" business.


Terribly, it is so. And Congress lacks the power to declare peace.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:05 PM on February 28, 2012


> Can you think of a single point in American electoral history where change came from the top down?

FDR? Reagan?


The New Deal was a response to a national financial emergency (and don't forget the Brain Trust). Reagan was nothing but a doddering figurehead for the pro-corporate, ignore-the-poor, pander to the Christian fundamentalist forces that are still around and now pushing the current slate of GOP candidates.
posted by aught at 1:07 PM on February 28, 2012


And it's been true since 1941, the last time the US issued a Declaration of War.
posted by neroli at 1:07 PM on February 28, 2012


My suspicion is that after super Tuesday, the RNC is going to admit that this batch of candidates is damaged beyond any hope of winning in the general, and try to put forward a late entrant (Chris Chris Christy). "Why run with someone who's already beaten to a bloody pulp? Vote for who's behind Door Number 1 instead. A great candidate, you'll really love him. Just trust us."

Nearly impossible. You have to look at the rules and state laws. Most of the filing deadlines have passed. Super Tuesday is 7 days from now. There's a 1% chance of a brokered convention--the only way it could practically happen is that one candidate is short of a majority, as Ford was in 1976.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:07 PM on February 28, 2012


Lupus_yonderboy: Ironmouth: you cannot be serious. You drove me, personally, away from metafilter for half a year by bullying me every time I suggested that people might want to vote third party.

Hmm...look, unless he was insulting you, (in which case that's what MeTa for,) you should have the tenacity to fight for your convictions, that's not Ironmouth's fault.
posted by Skygazer at 1:09 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Civil Rights Act of 1964.

You mean the one that was passed along ideological lines?

Maintaining ideological purity by throwing out candidates who don't toe the party line is absolutely not the same as "always voting for the right-most candidates". I didn't say that, and I didn't mean that.

You said "they relentlessly throw out candidates who aren't right enough for them" and all of the examples I provided refute that.

I named four items. Three of them - the rule of law, the Wall Street crimes, and the surveillance state - are almost entirely executive items.

They're really not. See also: The PATRIOT Act, Dodd-Frank, and Supreme Court rulings.

I'll let that just sit there and not comment on it.

From my point of view, that's kind of the problem, but whatever.

You were criticizing me quite harshly for not discussing local and regional politics. I was not preventing you from bringing these issues into play at all - I simply didn't mention them.

And then when I did, you called it a "derail" and "irrelevant."

FDR? Reagan?

If you've got solid evidence that their elections or terms changed the ideologies of their constituencies and Congressional representation instead of being responses to ideological movement from said constituencies and reps, I'd love to see it.

Neither of these are declarations of war.

I'd really like to know how they're not.

In particular, since Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists is completely open-ended, you're saying that Congress has simply written themselves out of the "declaring war" business.

Unless Congress acted after war was authorized and begun, that's not entirely true. But the problem of those wars was not solely that of the President.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:10 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Many who seek criminal charges in a lot of these situations don't realize that the problem is the actual legality of the acts in question.

Let's be clear on this matter - with respect to Wall Street, it's absolutely and certainly clear that many if not most of the acts in question are in fact criminal acts which the SEC should have been prosecuting - if they weren't completely overloaded and underbudgeted. Financial firms from Goldman on down have paid settlements for acts which, as described, involved multiple, gross felonies.

Moreover, there is no question whatsoever that there were huge violations of Sarbannes-Oxeley in the financial reporting of failed companies like AIG. These people presented pictures of their companies that were widely different from the truth. For Sarbannes-Oxeley, you don't even have to prove intent - a CEO of a company can be criminally liable for misstatements by his underlings even if he or she can prove that they had no idea this was happening. It is the responsibility of a CEO of a firm to make their best effort to ensure that the books are accurate, and it is a criminal matter, with harsh penalties including mandatory jail time for many provisions, if this is not done.

And this is just the part we know about. We also know that the books of the top offenders have been completely sealed - we don't even know how solvent or insolvent they are. It's hard to believe, given the gross and blatant nature of the criminal activity in the few cases we're allowed to know about, that there aren't just as many and probably far more criminal activities that have remained hidden. A rational person sees literally trillions of dollars evaporate almost overnight from companies' balance sheets and has to conclude that there was a lot of lying going on.

But we don't have to speculate. We know for a fact that numerous felonies occurred, and that the companies were allowed to pay fines, because this is a matter of public record, as is the fact that there were massive balance sheet irregularities that should also be felonious.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:11 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


a Republican President, a Republican-controlled House, and a 50% Republican Senate (plus DINOs) will GET SHIT DONE. Bad shit. Massively damaging shit. Horrific shit--at a federal level. So, yeah, it matters big-time.

Yeah, I understand that. Scares the piss outta me, too. All I'm trying to say is that with sufficient power in both chambers, they can treat a Democrat President like a minor speed bump, and shove a lot of odious shit through. They have the House now, and, with just a little effort, they can effectively lock-up the Senate (by gaining a few more seats and strong-arming conservative Dems) And, it's much easier, and cheaper, to get seats in Congress than it is to get the Oval Office.

Believe me, I don't want them anywhere near the White House, either. I'm just saying that all this focus on the Presidential race, in my view, ignores the real effective gains they could make lower down on the ticket. Not to mention their gains in state assemblies. And, really, that's where the true craziness is boiling-over.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:20 PM on February 28, 2012


If Romney were president

In particular, since Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists is completely open-ended, you're saying that Congress has simply written themselves out of the "declaring war" business.

Well, yes. Congress (as the sum of its individual members) has a strong incentive to delegate away the responsibility for any policy change whose benefits are unlikely to manifest before the next election cycle. Take drug legalization; the potential downsides are highly foreseeable in the short term, whereas the socioeconomic benefits might need a decade to become clear. Even if you think the existing policy is terrible, who wants to be the first to leap off into the unknown? Hence the phenomenon of politicians becoming much more liberal around the same time as they retire from electoral politics.

When Hamilton and Madison were working on the Constitution, they tried selling the idea of a lifelong senate akin to the British House of Lords, and settled on legislatively (rather than popularly) elected Senators as the next best thing. I'm beginning to think they were right; the more offices that are filled by popular election, the more likely you are to get lowest-common-denominator policies.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:22 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let's be clear on this matter - with respect to Wall Street, it's absolutely and certainly clear that many if not most of the acts in question are in fact criminal acts which the SEC should have been prosecuting - if they weren't completely overloaded and underbudgeted. Financial firms from Goldman on down have paid settlements for acts which, as described, involved multiple, gross felonies.

What specifically are you talking about? I guess I just need some specifics. What acts have not been prosecuted which are felonies? Which statues are they violations of. Get as specific as you can. Although I have not practiced in this area as an attorney, I specialized in it in law school and interned in the SEC Enforcement Unit for a semester (they do not do criminal prosecutions). So get as specific as you can regarding cases that were not prosecuted and what statutes were violated.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:24 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


So get as specific as you can regarding cases that were not prosecuted and what statutes were violated.

And, for that matter, how exactly they are almost exclusively the fault of the President.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:25 PM on February 28, 2012


> Neither of these are declarations of war.
I'd really like to know how they're not.

Because they don't actually say anywhere, "The US declares war"?

Because the US has formally declared war five times - the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, and WW I and II?

Did you actually read them? How do you interpret what they say as a declaration of war?

Here's the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.

To me, and to most other legal scholars, it means exactly what it says - it authorizes the President to use force against terrorists. If it declares war, who is it declaring war against?

In fact, it quotes a section of the War Powers Resolution Act that allows the President to use some military force without declaring Congress as long as Congress is notified in a timely fashion, and specifically notes that it does not supersede(*) any other part of the War Powers Resolution.


> FDR? Reagan?

If you've got solid evidence that their elections or terms changed the ideologies of their constituencies and Congressional representation instead of being responses to ideological movement from said constituencies and reps, I'd love to see it.

I've done a lot of work here and you have simply claimed that I'm wrong without proof. Could you perhaps provide some evidence of your claims?


(* - the actual document spells this "supercede" :-D which convinces me that Congress doesn't use spell-checkers)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:25 PM on February 28, 2012


For Sarbannes-Oxeley, you don't even have to prove intent - a CEO of a company can be criminally liable for misstatements by his underlings even if he or she can prove that they had no idea this was happening.

This is significantly more complicated than you're putting out there SO's Section 302 makes it it illegal for an officer to have in place "internal controls" that do not "ensure" that relevant material information concerning the company's activities are made known to the officer.
Further, the officer has to check that this system of "internal controls" actually works
and that the people involved in it are acting honestly. This is not the same as non-scienter liability. However, it does raise the bar significantly.

As for AIG, if you have actual evidence that they violated SO, I'd like to see it. Because

Federal Prosecutors found that Joseph Cassano, made the correct disclosures to management in the case:
The probe focused on whether the executives deceived investors and the firm's outside auditor about AIG's financial exposure from contracts known as credit-default swaps that were tied in part to mortgages, the people familiar with the matter said.

As of last fall, the Justice Department had been planning to ask a grand jury in Brooklyn, N.Y., to consider indicting Mr. Cassano, people familiar with the matter have said. But after a series of meetings with the targets of their probe, prosecutors obtained information about Mr. Cassano's disclosures to AIG senior executives and AIG's outside auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. That changed the course of the investigation, these people said. PricewaterhouseCoopers said it wouldn't comment on client matters.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:33 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did you actually read them? How do you interpret what they say as a declaration of war?

Here's the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.

To me, and to most other legal scholars, it means exactly what it says - it authorizes the President to use force against terrorists. If it declares war, who is it declaring war against?

In fact, it quotes a section of the War Powers Resolution Act that allows the President to use some military force without declaring Congress as long as Congress is notified in a timely fashion, and specifically notes that it does not supersede(*) any other part of the War Powers Resolution.


These do not constitute declarations of war.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:34 PM on February 28, 2012


> What specifically are you talking about? I guess I just need some specifics. What acts have not been prosecuted which are felonies? Which statues are they violations of. Get as specific as you can.

I explained in general terms that Sarbannes-Oxeley requires your books to be accurate and that the gross inaccuracies would have to be felonious - but I don't know Soxeley very well, I'm relying on random reading and the opinion of my friend who's litigating one of these.

For the Wall Street stuff, which I know better, I'd say that the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 was flaunted by AIG, by Goldman, by anyone who was securitizing mortgages, by half the street. I'd point to section 4e and 15g, and, frankly all of sections 9 and 10 (Prohibition Against Manipulation of Security Prices and Regulation of the Use of Manipulative and Deceptive Devices), although I'm well-aware that this has rarely or perhaps never successfully been used against "legitimate" securities firms, but it's true, and they should throw the book against them.

Unfortunately, I don't have access to Lexis at all, so I can't go further.

And actually, I'm noticing that I'm spending a lot of time writing detailed refutations of people who are simply claiming "You're wrong," without doing their own research, so I'm just going to stop here.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:37 PM on February 28, 2012


It seems pretty obvious to me that the Republicans only purpose in this election is to push the debate further into looneyville and Obama can take a spot just to the right of Nixon and look like a liberal-democrat.

I have given up believing that the Republicans and Democrats are not working together.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 1:39 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


(And I'm out of time in general. Thanks for an interesting discussion!)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:39 PM on February 28, 2012


Gallup has Santorum beating Obama. Still want to "vote strategically"?

a) at the start of the campaign, with currently low-information voters included. He's got a lot of quotes to play on adverts;
b) what the fuck;
c) someone should ask him the harder questions like where he stands on contraception in public places so he looks like an idiot;
d) seriously, what the fuck?
posted by jaduncan at 1:39 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because they don't actually say anywhere, "The US declares war"?

Because the US has formally declared war five times - the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, and WW I and II?


So then how did the last two wars get started by the President? I mean, if you're getting into semantics over "declaration" here, then your claim that the last two presidents acted upon claims that they didn't need authority doesn't really hold up.

I've done a lot of work here and you have simply claimed that I'm wrong without proof.

The burden of proof is on those who are making the claims. The only "claims" I've made are refutations of your statements.

Could you perhaps provide some evidence of your claims?

Like what, exactly? If you want to claim that Roosevelt changed things, for instance, you'd have to ignore the fact that there had been a huge upswell in support of Democrats (and opposition to Hoover) in the 1930 elections, and that Roosevelt won in a landslide, both of which are pretty ironclad indicators of pre-existing sentiment in his direction from the bottom up.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:42 PM on February 28, 2012


In his interview yesterday on Charlie Rose John Huntsman said he expected, and seemed to be advancing, the creation of a presumably more moderate third party that could capture the growing independent vote.
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:43 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Urg, of course once I looked into it, there are numerous cases of securities firms being brought up on SEC1934 Section 9, so definitely hit them with that. Now I'm really out.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:43 PM on February 28, 2012


Because they don't actually say anywhere, "The US declares war"?

There is no constitutional or statutory definition of what constitutes a "declaration of war" in the US. If Congress passes a law that permits military action, then there is no possible Constitutional argument to make that war was not declared.
posted by yoink at 1:45 PM on February 28, 2012


Alright, seeing that there have been a lot of obit style articles against the Republicans lately, including this one here, I need to see a 66-33 or better percentage point victory, popular and electoral vote, for Obama in November. Otherwise this is just another shot across the line for the Dems and will be looked at as such past November...

Thank you.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 2:03 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


In his interview yesterday on Charlie Rose John Huntsman said he expected, and seemed to be advancing, the creation of a presumably more moderate third party that could capture the growing independent vote.

I agree, and I think if Romney weren't bending over backward to appear to be a winger, which he intrinsically **isn't**, and everyone knows it, he might be a more credible candidate for independents, and maybe even some disaffected Democrats, the more conservative kinds.

All presidential candidates are actors, but he's a particularly bad actor. Cut the sh*t, Mitt, and why don't you be your blueblood, conservative-from-a-blue-state self and you might actually have some organic support. Not from the wingers, tho
posted by kgasmart at 2:04 PM on February 28, 2012


I found this tidbit intriguing: "One measure of how thoroughly the electorate had changed by the time of Obama’s election was that, if college-­educated whites, working-class whites, and minorities had cast the same proportion of the votes in 1988 as they did in 2008, Michael Dukakis would have, just barely, won."

That's in the 2012 or Never article. I appreciate that the article at least addresses the weird strategy of alienating Hispanics, which seems especially self-destructive. I know, racists, but still.
posted by epersonae at 2:09 PM on February 28, 2012


Gallup has Santorum beating Obama. Still want to "vote strategically"?

Heh...I think Gallup still uses landlines for their polling. Grandma and Grandpa sure do like that Rick.
posted by mygoditsbob at 2:11 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rick Santorum: "I Was Basically Pro-Choice All My Life, Until I Ran for Congress."

And when your wife had one.
posted by scalefree at 2:14 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Heh...I think Gallup still uses landlines for their polling.

IIRC Gallup has also used cell lines since before the 2008 elections.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:24 PM on February 28, 2012


Yep, I was right. Added bonus: calling cell phones doesn't really move the needle that much anyway.

Grandma and Grandpa sure do like that Rick.

You are aware that they're part of the most active voting bloc, no?
posted by zombieflanders at 2:27 PM on February 28, 2012


Heh...I think Gallup still uses landlines for their polling. Grandma and Grandpa sure do like that Rick.

I read that as "landmines," and it still made a weird kind of sense.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:28 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


They're actively hoping for the country to collapse so they can rule the ruins.

I think that's a reasonable, but mistaken read on what the GOP wants.

They believe that the country is GOING to collapse under an administration from The Other Team. All they hope for is for the proverbial chickens to come home to roost before the election so that maybe their guy can win, and implement the all-important measures to make sure that It Won't Be So Bad.

I'm not saying that's a logical way to think about things, but they firmly believe that Obama is dangerous and bad things are going to happen because of his administration (even if they have no evidence for this case, they believe it heart and soul), and they firmly hope that those bad things happen soon enough to prevent a second term.
posted by chimaera at 2:36 PM on February 28, 2012


These do not constitute declarations of war.

And Korea & Vietnam were technically Police Actions, sure. So if we call Afghanistan a Police Action, would that satisfy your semantic niggle?
posted by scalefree at 2:37 PM on February 28, 2012


Technically, Korea was a UN action. But Vietnam and Afghanistan (and Iraq) were all authorized by Congress and signed by the President, in effect making them declarations of war. Which was, of course, the point being made in refutation of the argument that they had been unilaterally declared/authorized/whatever by the President.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:46 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I explained in general terms that Sarbannes-Oxeley requires your books to be accurate and that the gross inaccuracies would have to be felonious - but I don't know Soxeley very well, I'm relying on random reading and the opinion of my friend who's litigating one of these.

Actually, no.

SO's Section 302 makes it it illegal for an officer to have in place "internal controls" that do not "ensure" that relevant material information concerning the company's activities are made known to the officer. Further, the officer has to check that this system of "internal controls" actually works and that the people involved in it are acting honestly.

I'd point to section 4e and 15g, and, frankly all of sections 9 and 10 (Prohibition Against Manipulation of Security Prices and Regulation of the Use of Manipulative and Deceptive Devices), although I'm well-aware that this has rarely or perhaps never successfully been used against "legitimate" securities firms, but it's true, and they should throw the book against them.

Section 4(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 reads
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, whenever any fee is required to be paid to the Commission pursuant to any provision of the securities laws or any other law, the Commission may provide by rule that such fee shall be paid in a manner other than in cash and the Commission may also specify the time that such fee shall be determined and paid relative to the filing of any state­ment or document with the Commission.
This has nothing to do with securities fraud.

As for 15(g), what written policies were not put out there by AIG? Unless you've got information saying that AIG did not establish maintain and enforce its own policies regarding the use of material non-public information. I thought that it was not a question of insider trading, but of failing to notify customers of the securities in question.


Urg, of course once I looked into it, there are numerous cases of securities firms being brought up on SEC1934 Section 9, so definitely hit them with that. Now I'm really out.

But what actions did AIG take that violated Section 9? As for Section 10, is what they were doing market manipulation? I don't think so. The problem is the "well-qualified investor." It removes AIG of a lot of requirements that the statute would otherwise provide. So you get situations where they are essentially legally allowed to rip off the customer.

The issue is complex and just tossing around cites isn't enough. I think a lot of the people who think that these would be really easy prosecutions aren't looking deep enough.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:46 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rick Santorum: "I Was Basically Pro-Choice All My Life, Until I Ran for Congress."

And when your wife had one.


She never had an abortion. She (and he) have said they would be willing to do so if it was a choice between her life and the baby.

An abortion under the circumstances described in this case would not have been a partial-birth abortion - known to physicians as ``intact dilation and extraction'' - nor would it have conflicted with the senator's position.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:52 PM on February 28, 2012


They're actively hoping for the country to collapse so they can rule the ruins.

I think that's a reasonable, but mistaken read on what the GOP wants.

They believe that the country is GOING to collapse under an administration from The Other Team. All they hope for is for the proverbial chickens to come home to roost before the election so that maybe their guy can win, and implement the all-important measures to make sure that It Won't Be So Bad.

I'm not saying that's a logical way to think about things, but they firmly believe that Obama is dangerous and bad things are going to happen because of his administration (even if they have no evidence for this case, they believe it heart and soul), and they firmly hope that those bad things happen soon enough to prevent a second term.


Really? The Establishment GOP "firmly believes" these things despite their own eyes seeing otherwise? I don't think so.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:52 PM on February 28, 2012


I'm always impressed when discussions about how the GOP is imploding turn into debates about whether progressives should vote for or against Obama.

I wonder if conservatives with sitting presidents have similar conversations.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:55 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


holy crap. Olympia Snowe won't seek reelection.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:55 PM on February 28, 2012


Alright, seeing that there have been a lot of obit style articles against the Republicans lately

Feb 26, 2012 and again
Feb 14, 2012
Nov 21, 2011

And for bonus hilarity - October 23, 2008, August 4, 2006 and February 3, 2004.

Hasn't happened yet, and every time some idiot predicts the death of the GOP, they come back stronger than ever in less than an election cycle. At this point it's safe to assume that any such article is either (a) trolling for clicks and ad revenue or (b) The New Republic
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:55 PM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Gallup has Santorum beating Obama. Still want to "vote strategically"?

The constant polling as if it means anything is so stupid. The republicans have been campaigning for what seems like an eternity; even on the supposedly liberal NPR that is the only news I listen to (I absolutely refuse to watch TV news; most of my information comes from, uh, here) I have to listen to every single twist and turn of this ridiculous kabuki show. I can only imagine what it's like for people that consume more mass media. Obama has thrown a few campaigny things out there, but not much... and if the UAW speech is any indication, the racist homophobic morons won't even know what hit them when the election campaign actually gets under way.
posted by flaterik at 3:00 PM on February 28, 2012


Gallup has Santorum beating Obama. Still want to "vote strategically"?

Every other poll has Obama whipping him.

Real Clear Politics Average has him with a 5.9% lead on Santorum. He leads Romney by only 5.0% on average for RCP.

Romney's gonna be the nominee. Let's make it worse for him.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:17 PM on February 28, 2012


In Republicanas Factio soli.
posted by jonp72 at 3:20 PM on February 28, 2012


Factio Republicanas delenda est.
posted by jonp72 at 3:24 PM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Romney's gonna be the nominee. Let's make it worse for him.

Everywhere I read about the Republican race to the nomination, it's "Romney has it in the bag." "Romney's the guy." But Santorum continues to win the primaries and caucuses.

Can someone explain to me (in small words, if you would be so kind) how you can be so sure it's Romney, the way things are shaping up?
posted by tzikeh at 3:36 PM on February 28, 2012


Can someone explain to me (in small words, if you would be so kind) how you can be so sure it's Romney, the way things are shaping up?

By various counts, Romney appears to have slightly fewer delegates than everyone else combined (125 of 257 so far). A Santorum win in Michigan, coupled with the almost certain Romney win in Arizona, makes today a wash. A Romney win in Michigan makes it more likely that he'll be the nominee.

I don't see Santorum picking up enough delegates, and quickly enough, to pass Romney. Not that I wouldn't be thrilled for it to happen, because in the general, Santorum is easy pickin's.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 3:47 PM on February 28, 2012


Really? The Establishment GOP "firmly believes" these things despite their own eyes seeing otherwise?

Yes indeed. As a matter of fact this particular mental defect has been studied, and it's called The Backfire Effect.
posted by chimaera at 3:48 PM on February 28, 2012


Really? The Establishment GOP "firmly believes" these things despite their own eyes seeing otherwise?

Yes indeed. As a matter of fact this particular mental defect has been studied, and it's called The Backfire Effect.


I'm not talking about the rank and file. I'm talking about Rush Limbaugh and the 1,000 people who run the Republican Party.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:52 PM on February 28, 2012


Can someone explain to me (in small words, if you would be so kind) how you can be so sure it's Romney, the way things are shaping up?

Romney has the campaign support infrastructure, Santorum doesn't. Romney has organizations in every state doing GOTV & fundraising, some established 4 years ago in his previous bid. Santorum doesn't even have a national campaign HQ & in many states his campaign staff consists of a few inexperienced amateurs. He's got a temporary headwind but if he hits any rough spots Romney will easily overtake him.
posted by scalefree at 3:56 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not talking about the rank and file. I'm talking about Rush Limbaugh and the 1,000 people who run the Republican Party.

Could be the Backfire effect works on them as well:
A 2006 study by Charles Taber and Milton Lodge at Stony Brook University showed that politically sophisticated thinkers were even less open to new information than less sophisticated types. These people may be factually right about 90 percent of things, but their confidence makes it nearly impossible to correct the 10 percent on which they’re totally wrong.
I don't think there are many people who can convincingly argue that Rush Limbaugh or the other "Establishment" types in the Republican party are not politically sophisticated thinkers. Some of them are intentionally feeling a line of bullshit to further their own power, and some are true believers. I don't know for sure who falls in which camp.
posted by chimaera at 3:59 PM on February 28, 2012


Ironmouth: "holy crap. Olympia Snowe won't seek reelection."

That's going to make it harder for them to retake the senate.
posted by octothorpe at 4:02 PM on February 28, 2012


But Santorum continues to win the primaries and caucuses.

He's won the most-recent primaries/caucuses (well and tied in Iowa). 9 states have had their caucuses/primaries so far. In the case of Missouri Santorum's winning had no delegates attached to it. The other other states Santorum won also don't directly divvy up their delegates so it is a reason why Mittens didn't spend any time there.

You combine the apathy people have with the candidate pool with a strong anyone-but-Romney feeling by social conservatives and you have the Santorum surge. Mittens should lockup AZ due mostly to the heavy Mormon population. What is happening with Michigan seems to be more of a "fuck you" to Mittens than real support of Santorum. Like Perry, Bachman, Gingrich, et al, Santorum is just the flavor of the month and has no chance of getting the nomination. But more importantly Santorum doesn't have the money it takes to be a presidential contender.

I think a lot of the money people would rather have four more years of Obama than Santorum. Without a huge backing in Congress, Obama won't be able to get his marxist socialist islamofascist agenda passed anyway. I'm not saying the money people will support Obama but they're not going to write the kinds of checks Santorum needs. It would seem to me that the smart money from by the money people would be to spend in congressional races to get a bigger majority on both houses. But like Obama, I'm a socialist marxist islamofascist so what do I know?
posted by birdherder at 4:10 PM on February 28, 2012


It's hard not to read Snowe's decision, and the way she kind of sprung it on the party, as a big Fuck You to the GOP nutters. It's also interesting to read in light of Brooks' column from this morning.
posted by OmieWise at 4:28 PM on February 28, 2012


I wish Hunter S. Thompson was still around to write about this ...

And Molly Ivins.

Cut the sh*t, Mitt, and why don't you be your blueblood, conservative-from-a-blue-state self and you might actually have some organic support. Not from the wingers, tho

Every day I look forward to his latest "They can have some cake" clueless remark.

My suspicion is that after super Tuesday, the RNC is going to admit that this batch of candidates is damaged beyond any hope of winning in the general, and try to put forward a late entrant (Chris Chris Christy).

Jeb Bush?
posted by fuse theorem at 4:52 PM on February 28, 2012


I'm always impressed when discussions about how the GOP is imploding turn into debates about whether progressives should vote for or against Obama.

I wonder if conservatives with sitting presidents have similar conversations.


Remember how Bush won in 2004? They had to mobilize the anti-gay-marriage vote because there were plenty of conservatives who weren't enthusiastic enough to vote for Bush without a demonstration of what John Kerry's America would look like.
posted by Etrigan at 4:53 PM on February 28, 2012


I always figured Kerry lost because he looked like Droopy Dog.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:07 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not talking about the rank and file. I'm talking about Rush Limbaugh and the 1,000 people who run the Republican Party.

Could be the Backfire effect works on them as well:
A 2006 study by Charles Taber and Milton Lodge at Stony Brook University showed that politically sophisticated thinkers were even less open to new information than less sophisticated types. These people may be factually right about 90 percent of things, but their confidence makes it nearly impossible to correct the 10 percent on which they’re totally wrong.
I don't think there are many people who can convincingly argue that Rush Limbaugh or the other "Establishment" types in the Republican party are not politically sophisticated thinkers. Some of them are intentionally feeling a line of bullshit to further their own power, and some are true believers. I don't know for sure who falls in which camp.


I don't think that many of the people actually getting paid to work for GOP causes are glad when the economy shows signs of recovering.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:13 PM on February 28, 2012


That's who it works - anti-gay? gay. sit on anti-pedophilia committee? pedophile. Hate blowjobs? either giving, receiving or both.

Don't forget to throw in a large dollop of guilt and self-loathing to go with that. So, yeah, they're enjoying their sex, etc., just as everyone does, but (important!) they are feeling far, far guiltier about it than the rest of us do.

That's what allows them to self-righteously lord it over the rest of us . . .
posted by flug at 5:14 PM on February 28, 2012


I don't think that many of the people actually getting paid to work for GOP causes are glad when the economy shows signs of recovering.

And they think you were dancing with glee after the 2008 collapse.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:20 PM on February 28, 2012


First results coming in from Michigan... 2.7% of the vote reporting:

Mitt Romney 12,015 37.9%

Rick Santorum 13,091 41.3%

Things look tight... but can Santorum squeak out?!
posted by markkraft at 5:34 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've been thinking a lot about the rise of the "know-nothings" in the GOP, and have come to the following conclusion: The stupid have been able to rise in the GOP because of the ease of communication today.

Back in say, the 1970s, I imagine that everyone knew one or two people who was angry about society and stupid. But, the fact that these people were stupid and/or lazy precluded them from commiserating with each other because of the barriers to communication. Stupid people are not articulate, and thus wouldn't be the types to converse with each other by letter. Finding the local KKK chapter or others like themselves took some time and effort.

Enter the Internet. In the beginning of the Internet age, it was still tough for the stupid to use it to communicate, since the equipment was hard to use and often expensive.

Next comes the web browser. The stupid are now able to check out websites and other porn. But the barrier to communicate is still high, since content creation required some HTML know how or at least a familiarity with Usenet.

Finally, blogs come on to the scene. The stupid are now able to at least write rambling, incoherent nonsense on sites like Xanga and Blogspot. Even though the stupid are not terribly good at writing, the ability to see each others' writings in cyberspace emboldens them. There are others like them. They no longer have to endure the ridicule of their intellectual betters. It is easy now to surround themselves with each other, while maintaining that they're not stupid, but persecuted.

Enter YouTube and the barrier to entry is completely removed. Now anyone with a flip cam can upload their idiotic thoughts and have others like them say, "Hey, that's totally right! Climate change is bogus! Obama is a Muslim! I knew it!"

The Reagan-era operatives see these people and think to themselves, "If only we could mobilize these people." They create Fox News. They help raise the Tea Party. But then, in an unanticipated turn, the stupid take over. They decide that their agendas of extreme social conservatism, hatred of success and wealth, and anti-science are right, by God! They are unhappy that their time in the limelight might end soon, just as the getting got good.

So that is why we have Santorum emerging as a serious candidate. That's why we have elected officials trying to pass "state rape" laws to prevent abortion. A drubbing of these people's candidate will allow the Republican establishment to flush out these pests. While they'll never go away, the stupid can and will be relegated to the margins again.

Even though I am a moderate Republican, I hope that Santorum gets the nomination. When he is smacked down, the stupid can go back to a life of deserved ridicule. It's the only hope people like me have at this point.
posted by reenum at 5:39 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Nate Silver reports:
"According to early-wave exit polls, 59 percent of voters in Michigan's primary today identified as Republican, versus 41 percent who said they were independents or Democrats.

The 41 percent figure is somewhat higher than most recent polls anticipated. Surveys from Public Policy Polling and Rasmussen Reports pegged crossover turnout at 36 percent, American Research Group at 37 percent and a Mitchell Research poll at 19 percent.

Crossover turnout was 32 percent in Michigan's primary in 2008, according to exit polls, when 7 percent of Michigan's voters said they were Democrats and 25 percent said they were independents. "

In other words, there is singificant speculation that the Democratic crossover vote for Santorum may be out in force, in order to spank Romney bigtime.
posted by markkraft at 5:39 PM on February 28, 2012


And they think you were dancing with glee after the 2008 collapse.

The funny and ironic thing about that comment is that this is still the 2008 collapse. This is still the GOTP collapse. It's their handiwork and their legacy and they deserve to still be held responsible for it.

And it was the most apparent sign of many many different signs that the GOTP needed to be taken out of power.
posted by Skygazer at 5:40 PM on February 28, 2012


In other words, there is singificant speculation that the Democratic crossover vote for Santorum may be out in force, in order to spank Romney bigtime.

Man, poor Romn-EBot. Dude's like the ultimate GOTP spank-boy.
posted by Skygazer at 5:43 PM on February 28, 2012


5.5% reporting in Michigan...

Rick Santorum 26,341 39.8%
Mitt Romney 25,878 39.1%

Well, that got closer, didn't it? It's going to be another one of those nights...
posted by markkraft at 5:43 PM on February 28, 2012


I think any Democrats or liberals who are rooting for Santorum are doing it wrong. A whole lot of things can happen between the convention and the general. If something awful happens to Obama, such as a scandal or oil prices going up or something, the GOP candidate will win. In that circumstance, I'd much rather that Romney were the GOP's candidate. Wouldn't you?
posted by chrchr at 5:45 PM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


The stupid have been able to rise in the GOP because of the ease of communication today.

I argue that the same thing is true of furries. Before the internet, they sat alone in their houses feeling alone and unfulfilled. Once the internet came along and they all has a chance to write about their fantasies, they found that there were other people like them.

Alas, they have not managed to become the swing voted block I'd hoped they would.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:48 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I know Obama signed that bill that gave $3 billion to promoting furry culture around the world but if he doesn't show up to an event actually wearing a tail he just isn't pure enough. No more compromise.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:51 PM on February 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


7.8% reporting:
Rick Santorum 39,405 40.9%
Mitt Romney 36,987 38.4%

Hm. I think he might win this thing..!

And no, I don't see Obama losing to Santorum, even if oil prices go up. That would hardly be his fault.

If Santorum is the GOP candidate, that would *really* hurt the GOP in the fundraising department. Democrats should want to go up against the weaker candidate, if only because if he wins, he will have fewer people riding in on his coattails.
posted by markkraft at 5:57 PM on February 28, 2012


Romney takes Arizona, now back to Michigan...
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:02 PM on February 28, 2012


Go go Santorum!!!
posted by KokuRyu at 6:04 PM on February 28, 2012


You forgot the "Schadenfreud" tag.
posted by mwhybark at 6:17 PM on February 28, 2012


According to MSNBC, Romney is winning Michigan among those concerned about the economy. He is running 42-35 against Santorum among those with a layoff in the family. I just don't buy this suggestion that Republicans care more about getting Obama than the economy. They live in the same economy as the rest of us, they face the same economic hardships. Those hardships can determine who they vote for. They are going to nominate Romney, the guy with the resume and campaign that has been focused on business and economic issues even though they love Santorum's social conservatism.

Now, Obama is the better choice for them on those issues and they are stupid, but it's lame to suggest they are rooting for their own economic distress instead of supporting the guy they have the most faith in to help them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:26 PM on February 28, 2012


Hm. I think he might win this thing..!

With 26.9% reporting Mittens is leading 41.1% to Santorum's 38%. From the county map it seems to follow the same pattern we've seen all along. In the cities Romney does great, out in the country it is Santorum all the way.
posted by birdherder at 6:32 PM on February 28, 2012


Regardless of Romney winning or not (I think he probably will), the fact that he had to outspend Santorum 3 to 1 in his state of birth after nearly having the nomination sewn up... that can't be good news when you look towards a costly general election against a well funded incumbent that you're nearly matched with.
posted by codacorolla at 6:42 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


NBC called Michigan for Romney.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:14 PM on February 28, 2012


Hmm. I've been keeping an eye on the TPM live map and on the last refresh, Hillsdale County's numbers went down to zero. I'm pretty sure they had some precincts reporting previously, because I've been keeping an eye on it to see how well Ron Paul is doing among conservative college students (Hillsdale College is a pretty conservative-minded private (but non-sectarian) college).
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:19 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know it's too early for a victory dance, but I have mine well-fucking-choreographed don't worry.

As long as you have a concession dance too. You wanna tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:20 PM on February 28, 2012


Oddly to me, the numbers for Paul in Hillsdale Co. had been pretty consonant with other counties; he seems to be at about 10-12 percent across the state.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:20 PM on February 28, 2012


I'm surprised it's been called yet. I do think it looks at this point as if Romney will pull it out from Santorum, but given that we're still waiting on a significant amount of precincts from conservative West Michigan (full disclosure: I grew up there) I imagine the final numbers will be somewhat tighter than they are at the moment.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:31 PM on February 28, 2012


Now, Obama is the better choice for them on those issues and they are stupid, but it's lame to suggest they are rooting for their own economic distress instead of supporting the guy they have the most faith in to help them.

God no. I'm saying that the people running the GOP campaigns and the candidates themselves want this. It's the whole point of the Dems' push.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:12 PM on February 28, 2012


Crossover turnout was 32 percent in Michigan's primary in 2008, according to exit polls, when 7 percent of Michigan's voters said they were Democrats and 25 percent said they were independents. "

In other words, there is singificant speculation that the Democratic crossover vote for Santorum may be out in force, in order to spank Romney bigtime.


Since Obama's projected to win Michigan by 20 in th fall, I'd say you're right.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:17 PM on February 28, 2012


That's going to make it harder for them to retake the senate.

I'll be shocked if we (Maine) doesn't replace her with a D, if only one with some tiny amount of credibility can be found to run (the filing deadline is less than 2 weeks away) and they don't all run over each other in a land rush. Sentiment here is so very strong against our fuckwad dickhead Tea Party Governor & his cronies that there is bound to be some hard blowback. Don't misunderstand me -- had she run, she would have won by a landslide (as usual): she's deeply respected here for being willing to not be a pawn of the party, but there really isn't any Republican currently of enough stature to take up her mantle and do well against the "Wow these people are crazy" experience we're currently having with the Gov's office and the legislature.

The real question that I wish more big name outlets were asking is "what is she going to do now?" It honestly wouldn't surprise me at all if she ran for president or vp. It also would not surprise me if she simply took some time off and vanished from the scene for a few years. Or became a Democrat. Or founded some new party with Barney Frank. Or have a cage fight with George Mitchell for Baseball Commissioner. It's a mystery.

Speaking as someone who is firmly progressive, and is of her constituents: the vacuum she leaves behind is so enormous you can hear it. I do admire her, despite not always agreeing with her. She understands her constituents, and has provided a lot of thoughtful representation for us in Washington.
posted by anastasiav at 8:19 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


God no. I'm saying that the people running the GOP campaigns and the candidates themselves want this.

Right, I understand you are motivated by your emotional tribalism which makes you believe they are all evil demons, but they get votes because they share the values of their supporters. You should try and not see politics that way since it doesn't really reflect reality.

When push came to shove, Romney endorsed pretty much the same healthcare plan as Obama because logical policy and political analysis showed it to be the best move at the time.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:30 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't see Santorum picking up enough delegates, and quickly enough, to pass Romney.

If Romney continues to get fewer delegates than the rest of the candidates combined, they go to the convention without a nominee, and anything can happen.
posted by empath at 10:13 PM on February 28, 2012


Which delegate count are you looking at?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:11 AM on February 29, 2012


holy crap. Olympia Snowe won't seek reelection.

Will Olympia Snowe Join Americans Elect?
posted by homunculus at 1:57 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


In other words, there is singificant speculation that the Democratic crossover vote for Santorum may be out in force, in order to spank Romney bigtime.

The polls I've seen actually showed more Dems voting for Romney than Santorum.
posted by drezdn at 5:53 AM on February 29, 2012


Dear prospective corporate political investors,

The Romney campaign would like to take this moment thank its corporate sponsors for their big victory in Michigan. Their contributions won't be forgotten by Mitt, if we win this thing!

The Romney campaign's top ten contributors are:
1> Goldman Sachs $521,180
2> JPMorgan Chase & Co $356,400
3> Morgan Stanley $297,550
4> Credit Suisse Group $296,160
5> Citigroup Inc $280,050
6> Bank of America $245,900
7> Kirkland & Ellis $225,202
8> Barclays $217,150
9> HIG Capital $188,500
10> PricewaterhouseCoopers $185,550
(data from http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/contrib.php?id=N00000286 )

If you're a wealthy corporation and would like to buy influence within the Romney campaign, you're in luck! There's lots of availability for you to buy valuable influence in Washington, DC. In fact, since small donors only make up 10% of Romney's total contributions -- and considerably less than that, if you include our campaign's SuperPACs -- you can be rest assured of having your company's money become free speech in the halls of power, without the pesky opinions of the voters getting in the way... just so long as you give us enough money to get rid of that guy who is currently running things.

Thank you, corporate sponsors! You make Mitt the best candidate that money can buy!

Our Thanks,
Rich "Uncle" Pennybags
Rommey for America
posted by markkraft at 9:45 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Gallup has Santorum beating Obama. Still want to "vote strategically"?

Every other poll has Obama whipping him.


Gallup has Obama (barely) beating Santorum head to head in the overall vote. The article linked in the original "Gallup has Santorum beating Obama" comment had Santorum beating Obama not in the overall vote but in key swing states (Santorum, in particular, does well in places with large Catholic working class constituencies like Ohio).
posted by yoink at 9:51 AM on February 29, 2012


yoink: "(Santorum, in particular, does well in places with large Catholic working class constituencies like Ohio)."

Which is really puzzling to me, being part of the large Catholic working class in Ohio. Go to an Italian restaurant in Lorain and the three pictures on the wall will be of the Pope (still JPII), Kennedy and Sinatra.
posted by charred husk at 11:11 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Which is really puzzling to me, being part of the large Catholic working class in Ohio.

The Michigan exit poll results that I saw yesterday suggested that he really hurt himself with Catholics with the Kennedy thing.
posted by drezdn at 11:37 AM on February 29, 2012


Gallup has Santorum beating Obama. Still want to "vote strategically"?

Every other poll has Obama whipping him.

Gallup has Obama (barely) beating Santorum head to head in the overall vote. The article linked in the original "Gallup has Santorum beating Obama" comment had Santorum beating Obama not in the overall vote but in key swing states (Santorum, in particular, does well in places with large Catholic working class constituencies like Ohio).


Obama is whipping Santorum everywhere. Gallup's poll appears to be a complete outlier.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:21 PM on February 29, 2012


Gallup has Santorum beating Obama. Still want to "vote strategically"?

Every other poll has Obama whipping him.

Gallup has Obama (barely) beating Santorum head to head in the overall vote. The article linked in the original "Gallup has Santorum beating Obama" comment had Santorum beating Obama not in the overall vote but in key swing states (Santorum, in particular, does well in places with large Catholic working class constituencies like Ohio).



RCP has Obama beating Santorum in Ohio.

NBC Marist has Obama absolutely crushing Santorum in Michigan by 26 points.

RCP's average has Obama up by 6.5% in PA.

Wisconsin, a very catholic state, Obama leading by between 5 and 11%


RCP FLA average? Obama by 9%

RCP VA average? Obama by 4.5%

Again, Obama is whipping Santorum. Don't know what Gallup is smoking. Hence, strategic voting makes a lot of sense.

Plus I read somewhere that Obama's people were actually telling voters not to vote for him to deny demographic data to the GOP, as there hasn't been a contested primary for the Dems in Michigan since 1992. I couldn't find that link though.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:33 PM on February 29, 2012


Obama has barely spent a penny on the campaign yet and half the republican primary is all about what an asshole Obama is. By the time the general comes around, it'll be a rout.
posted by empath at 12:33 PM on February 29, 2012


And if by rout you mean some BS will happen that is immoral/illegal but accepted and on election day it will be a nail-biter, then yeah. I would hope some last minute underhanded thing wouldn't happen, but it always seems to. The republicans have gone through a lot of trouble to make voting harder for people they don't like, and they don't seem to have given up on 2012. I'd bet Potomac Ave, but I couldn't think of something interesting to wager.

I thought it would be Palin/Perry, but I was wrong. I have long thought Jeb would be a problem, but the reports keep saying he isn't going to do it.

I'd love to share the optimism, but right now feels like they are up to some yet to be revealed shit.
posted by cashman at 1:18 PM on February 29, 2012


Looks like two former Maine Governors plus both our sitting House members are going to vie for Snowe's seat.

I wish they'd learned something from the LePage debacle and sat down in a room to figure things out. Especially if King runs as an (I). Having a good independent candidate in the race is what gave us LePage with only 39% of the vote. Argh.
posted by anastasiav at 3:32 PM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


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