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Eastwood-Chair 2016
August 30, 2012 10:20 PM   Subscribe

Perhaps you missed Mitt Romney's speech tonight, where he accepted the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Maybe you were too busy trying to understand the special appearance of Clint Eastwood, who spent most of the time talking to a chair. Or maybe you just couldn't listen to Mitt because you were too busy making memes about his scolding of "Invisible Obama." If this last statement describes you, you might just be The Internet.
posted by foxywombat (696 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite

 
What a metaphor for what the Republican party has become; an angry old man yelling at an empty chair.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:22 PM on August 30, 2012 [246 favorites]


Nice job, GOP: You've officially killed the otherwise guaranteed news cycle for your own candidate's acceptance speech.
posted by Apropos of Something at 10:26 PM on August 30, 2012 [59 favorites]


"A man's gotta know his limitations..."
posted by Chekhovian at 10:31 PM on August 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


"Invisible Obama: Every Which Way But Lucid"

Hah!
posted by Malor at 10:31 PM on August 30, 2012 [15 favorites]


Yup, certainly embarrassing.

But I was laughing more at lines in Romney's speech such as, "Neil Armstrong's sole touched all of our souls..."

Who wrote his speech, Dan fucking Brown?!
posted by ReeMonster at 10:33 PM on August 30, 2012 [63 favorites]


I trist no one believes the Republicans want the Presidency.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:34 PM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Eastwood stole the chair bit from Ben Linus on Lost.
posted by guiseroom at 10:34 PM on August 30, 2012 [10 favorites]


Invisible Obama on Twitter.

"Someone should tell Marco Rubio he's standing on my foot right now.

Let me paraphrase you, Mitt: Global warming?! Ha! How could you believe in something that you can't even see? #7kindsofirony

One nation! Under God! Invisible!

Global warming's invisible too? Oh it's on now."
posted by andoatnp at 10:35 PM on August 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


The Eastwood-chair thing has convinced me the Republican Party has moved on to performance art. And to think they want to cut the NEA!
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:35 PM on August 30, 2012 [21 favorites]


Now, if all the people busily making memes and snarking on Twitter would just go vote in November, then we might have something. (I know, crazy talk).
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:36 PM on August 30, 2012 [84 favorites]


Thank you, BuzzFeed.
posted by maudlin at 10:38 PM on August 30, 2012


Eastwooding
posted by ShutterBun at 10:40 PM on August 30, 2012 [15 favorites]


The storify link points to that great Eastwood quote about gay marriage from less than a year ago. Obama's folks should be all over that; someone should respectfully quote it (minus the cussy bits) from the podium in Charlotte next week.
posted by mediareport at 10:41 PM on August 30, 2012 [30 favorites]


So many gems but I think this one is my favorite.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:42 PM on August 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


An old man yelling at an empty chair. I dunno, guys. Beckett? Miller? Kafka?
posted by sonmi at 10:43 PM on August 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


This seat's taken.
posted by Jimbob at 10:43 PM on August 30, 2012 [40 favorites]


Thank god someone posted this so I can have all the new memes in one place!
posted by lalex at 10:45 PM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whoever dug up the Simpsons screen grab of a newspaper with a picture of Abe Simpson shaking his fist under the headline "Old Man Yells at Chair" has got to win all the points tonight, right?

The pics of everyone yelling at their empty chairs are also very, very funny.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 10:48 PM on August 30, 2012 [21 favorites]


Making fun of an 82 year old icon could be a bad political move. Clint got old.
posted by pdxpogo at 10:50 PM on August 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Source, but still just as funny.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:51 PM on August 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Good, the Bad, and the Excruciating.
posted by scody at 10:54 PM on August 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing (or an ugly thing, buh-duh-bump, ching!) that Obama is a better orator than an actor of Mr. Eastwood's talent.
posted by Drumhellz at 11:02 PM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Making fun of an 82 year old icon could be a bad political move."

Nah, pretty sure the internet wins this one cold.
posted by bardic at 11:05 PM on August 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'll still always be an Eastwood fan, but when someone inevitably photoshops a smiling Obama in that empty chair, please link!
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 11:07 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


He was amazing in Planet of the Apes.
posted by PHINC at 11:10 PM on August 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't know, Eastwood still had it in January in the Halftime in America Superbowl ad.

With Ryan emphasizing the GM plant closure, Romney discussing his youth intertwined with Detroit and the auto industry, the prominent Eastwood appearance, it's like they based 50% of their message around a Chrysler ad.
posted by clearly at 11:10 PM on August 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


omg, someone totally needs to photoshop tom cruise jumping up and down on that chair...
posted by sexyrobot at 11:11 PM on August 30, 2012 [14 favorites]


Even a great actor is only as good as the material written for him. And in the Chrysler ads, he could do as many takes as he needed.
posted by The World Famous at 11:13 PM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney has to be a secret alcoholic.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:13 PM on August 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: an angry old man yelling at an empty chair.
posted by Malice at 11:15 PM on August 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


I trust no one believes the Republicans want the Presidency.

That's what I said when McCain's campaign rolled Palin out.

Of all the amazing and literally bewildering stuff that the GOP has been doing for at at least a decade now, up to an including the array of bigots, circus geeks, drooling kallikaks, and grasping evil climbers that were the field of potential nominees this time around -- culminating in this ritual anointing of a platinum-plated robot and a happyface fascist -- the most amazing thing is that there are actually a significant number of people in America who might be willing to vote for them.

Otherwise normal, ostensibly sensible, good-hearted people, but people who are keen to elect the very sort of businessmen -- in some cases the actual ones, in point of fact -- who have created the conditions that are crushing them. I know the easy answers to why people vote exactly counter to their own interests are the failure of the media and of the education system, the polarization of politics, racism even, OK, but: I am still shocked and amazed by the ludicrous happy horseshit folks are willing to swallow from these Republicans and their media outlets.

I'm as disappointed as anyone in Obama's failure to deliver all that much on either the Hope or the Change fronts, but come on, people. The GOP delivers the laughs, and the pleasant disorienting buzz of cognitive dissonance, but could the better choice be any clearer?

If Obama doesn't win this election by a clear majority -- and I have no confidence that he will -- I'm going to need to mash the hell out of my cortical reset button until my BIOS updates itself. Or just embrace the madness, which might be more fun.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:22 PM on August 30, 2012 [145 favorites]


Watched the whole thing. Can't resist a trainwreck.
posted by wrapper at 11:24 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Republicans think black people are invisible? Who knew?
posted by grajohnt at 11:24 PM on August 30, 2012 [113 favorites]


"Eastwood-Chair 2016"
"Invisible Obama, still more substance than Romney"
"Obama couldn't be here tonight, he's running the country"
"Look, this works with Jesus, OK?"

Hah.

Obama's official response is better though.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:26 PM on August 30, 2012 [33 favorites]


I heart Clint Eastwood in all his many forms.

And that's why I'm not going to watch this one.
posted by zippy at 11:30 PM on August 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Watched the whole thing. Can't resist a trainwreck.

After watching what probably amounts to hours of videos of bike crashes, leg fractures, and two-girls-one-cups on the internet, I have hit my limit. I started the video of Clint, fast forwarded to the midpoint and saw he was dithering, and turned it off. I can't bear to watch Romney at all, and might avoid the radio tomorrow so as to miss the "highlights."

I've had enough trainwreck, thanks.
posted by Forktine at 11:31 PM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


i'm ignorant of political history, maybe someone can fill me in - is this campaign unusual in being built entirely on trying to pick apart and recharacterize things the opponent has said or done? i'm not being facetious when i saw that i have not heard romney ever say what he was going to try to achieve. it's the emptiest campaign i think you could ever hope to put together.
posted by facetious at 11:33 PM on August 30, 2012 [10 favorites]


Clint Eastwood AMA question on Reddit tomorrow:

"What were you thinking?"
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:35 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoever dug up the Simpsons screen grab of a newspaper with a picture of Abe Simpson shaking his fist under the headline "Old Man Yells at Chair" has got to win all the points tonight, right?

Done (I can't take credit - I'm not that fast with Photoshop.)
posted by lunasol at 11:41 PM on August 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh my. I thought it was taken out of context at first, as if it just looked like he was talking to a chair.
The real thing's much more painful. It's like an actual relative reading out loud all the drivel they've forwarded me over the years.
posted by hypersloth at 11:42 PM on August 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm giddy with the delight this meme has brought me so far this evening.

Clint might be bonkers or perhaps doing too many bong hits, but he's like a MEME GOD NOW.

My fave so far: Chris Rock on Twitter.
posted by Skygazer at 11:46 PM on August 30, 2012 [33 favorites]


My favorite pic of Eastwood scolding the invisible chair: "The Strawman: We Built That"
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:48 PM on August 30, 2012 [25 favorites]


First of all, the GOP faithful are not going to see it the way it's seen here on the blue. Also, Independents are what Romney is after, and although Eastwood may seem old hat, he is respected across party lines.

I would not underestimate Romney. I'm not voting for him, but his authenticity worries me; he genuinely believes that he must *adapt* to different situations in order to accomplish a goal. He's authentic in that way, and it translates in a positive way to those who are inclined to believe him, and to some of those who are on the fence. That is very typical for many of the best people in the business world, where principle doesn't get in the way of profit (I'm not judging this, either way - it just "is").

There is something about Romney's firmness of faith and conviction that WILL translate to votes. that said, he's got a lot of catching up to do, because he's further behind in the "likeable" category (he scores 35%, according to the Pew Center) than any candidate has ever been (no candidate has won with a "likeable" score that low at this point in the race).

I have no doubt that Romney/Ryan, especially if they took the prize, with both houses, would move straightaway, within months, to dismember social safety nets - it would be a disaster.

All that said, if you want Obama to win, I would not mock Romney in front of your moderate Independent friends. We took George Bush for granted, and got 8 years of living hell, in return.

Incidentally, I was a Hillary supporter, and still think she would have done a better job than Obama has, or at least as "good" a job - given that Obama, from where i sit, has been a major disappointment.

Frankly, I"m fed up with both parties, and sick, sick, sick of the Plutocracy that this country has become. Obama decries the money in politics, but he didn't do a damn thing to end the moneybags syndrome when he had votes. Chalk it up to inexperience, or naivete' - it doesn't matter...he failed on that one, and many other promises.

What worries me about Romney is that if elected, he will simply step aside and preside over a dismantling of the middle class, or put the American middle class back far enough so that it will seem like it has to start all over again. Maybe he wants that; maybe he is nostalgic for the work and values ethics that helped make America the powerhouse that it became.

Anyway, don't underestimate Romney. I'm worried about this election, and at the same time smoking hot mad that the choice before is simply the less of two evils. Romney is a center-right politico who will do anything it takes to set this country on a conservative course; Obama is a center-left politico who is big on rhetoric, and little on action. I hope it's over by the time I get to vote, so that I don't have to pull the lever for Obama, but I will if I have to, because we can't afford the alternative.
posted by Vibrissae at 11:49 PM on August 30, 2012 [31 favorites]


Bitch and moan about Obama all you want, but I'm still enjoying the whole not-being-at-war-with-Iran thing.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:58 PM on August 30, 2012 [23 favorites]


"he failed on that one, and many other promises."

Not to go all Obot on you, but Obama never promised to end the influence of money on politics.

What he's done is staunched some of the bleeding of the Cheney years, and as a country we still have a way to go.

And no, playing nice is not going to help him win in November. That dog stopped hunting in 2000.
posted by bardic at 11:58 PM on August 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Not voting for one is the same as voting for the other. Please remember this.
posted by o0o0o at 12:00 AM on August 31, 2012 [20 favorites]


This seat's taken, too.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:00 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


SFGate:
The Romney camp, smelling an “Ishtar” on their hands, quickly — and diplomatically — backed away from Eastwood’s..uh…”performance” afterwards. Said a campaign spokesperson: “Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn’t work. His ad libbing was a break from all the political speeches, and the crowd enjoyed it.”
Thanks, Clint Eastwood!

(They really should have gone with Tupac Reagan.)
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:01 AM on August 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


Not voting for one is the same as voting for the other. Please remember this.

And thus, we are stuck with the "lesser of two evils" pretty much forever--because people keep parrotting this. How is this any less the politics of fear than what the Republicans are pushing?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:03 AM on August 31, 2012 [11 favorites]


I wonder if prospective liberal celebs have all suddenly declined invitations to speak at the DNC? On the other hand, that may not be a bad thing...

I guess having the "home field " advantage at least allows the Dems to watch all this and go, "Okay, let's NOT do that..."
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:03 AM on August 31, 2012


It seems to me that all of the speeches were written by the same person, because all of the speeches had the same voice and cadence. What really killed it though, was that he or she is a terrible writer and they charged for their services by the yard.

Each speech is practically a Mad Lib:

"I was born in [Detroit/Havana/the Greatest Country in the World], with a unique sense of optimism]. in [Massachusetts/Utah/France] and Mitt Romney gave me [hope/money/a job]. "

"Anne Romney is a [Mother/a Mormon/a Housewife]. Her opinions are [thoughtful//serene/expensive]."

"Mitt Romney is a good and generous [boss/leader/freeloader]. He knows how to get things done, for [freedom/kinship/the American People/the Future]. Paying down loans is [who we are as a people/it's what you deserve/something we have to accept]".

"The Family is the most important institution in society... our faith in our creator is the most ]exceptional/myopic/precious] thing in the entire world!"

Neurolinguistic programming isn't that interesting, esp. when they use the same template over and over again.
posted by vhsiv at 12:03 AM on August 31, 2012 [39 favorites]


Obama decries the money in politics, but he didn't do a damn thing to end the moneybags syndrome when he had votes.

Your complaint here isn't really valid: for almost all of the time "he had the votes", the McCain-Feingold Act was in effect and somewhat regulating money in politics. In early 2010, Citizens United overturned that, and then the Dems lost the House in the 2010 midterms, which really demonstrated how bad the money problem could potentially be.
posted by LionIndex at 12:08 AM on August 31, 2012 [18 favorites]


And thus, we are stuck with the "lesser of two evils" pretty much forever

You have many more evils to choose from, but only two are currently viable. You can pretend otherwise, but it doesn't change the circumstances.
posted by o0o0o at 12:08 AM on August 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


Not voting for one is the same as voting for the other. Please remember this.

And thus, we are stuck with the "lesser of two evils" pretty much forever--because people keep parrotting this.


Seems to me the problem is that it's true, not that people keep saying it. Denying the flaws of a two-party system isn't going to make them disappear.
posted by teraflop at 12:13 AM on August 31, 2012 [41 favorites]


I'm sorry, but do all of you liberal communist scum have any proof that Obama wasn't sitting in that chair? Huh? Yeah, I didn't think so. Flithy pinko atheists.
posted by cthuljew at 12:13 AM on August 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


More crazy chair geezer jokes less get out the vote, plz.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:14 AM on August 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'm at a loss as to understand what Romney expect to accomplish with such vacuous speech. There was perhaps a time when such a nothing of a speech of a presidential candidate might've been enough, but for Romney to even go through such an uninspired and dispassionate, speech so bereft of any new ideas or even an unspoken, but implied understanding of what's happening in this country, and I for one think this is a massive transitional time that requires a true vision and a narrative, seems an action verging on careless negligence or...a real or metaphorical sort of autism...

Romney didn't proved to anyone in this country (Independents...), other than the RedState faithful at the RNC and in the GOtP, that he's on the same page, and in the same thought cycle as HUGE swaths of this country. Ironically, all those ethnic groups the RNC went to such great lengths to shine such a relentless, almost desperate And utterly phony spotlight on with all those forced examples of people in those demographics "happily comfortable" within their "inclusive" Party.

There are massive social changes in the works, and huge economic opportunities that dove tale into the changes at hand in the country and for Romney to be as tone-deaf as he sounded on that stage is just a catastrophe-of-empathy, and a lack thereof, on his part.

Romney is DONE. He's just incapable of seeing fully enough or outside his very limited data-filled world of high finance.

Obama's response next week, will be telling, but I think he knows what he needs to do, and most importantly he's eminently capable of it. And that is to show the country where it was, where it's progressed to now, and HOW it moves into the future and what that will mean and will look like. If anyone can cobble together that narrative it is OBAMA. It's so important he wins. This country has already lost too much time via the Right 2000-2008...via his first term and the horse_shit obstruction (168 filibuster threats!) the Right has thrown at hiim and the negligence and carelessness towards the economy just to make Obama, and McConnell said it was their first priority, to make Obama a one term president.

He hasn't been perfect, but there's simply no other choice really. I for one, hope he and the DNC take this meme and all the lies spouted so glibly at the RNC and destroy those evil fucks.
posted by Skygazer at 12:16 AM on August 31, 2012 [26 favorites]


You know, if I could turn invisible, the Republican National Convention would be at the absolute bottom of places I'd go to hang out.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:18 AM on August 31, 2012 [35 favorites]


There's an adage in auto racing that I think really applies to politics: "In order to finish first, first you have to finish." If you want your ideals to win the day, you can't just jump straight to the finish line where everything you ever dreamed of has come to pass. Political change, like anything as massive as the US government is, is slow. You have to chip away at it and come at it in increments if you want to get anywhere. The idea that you should refuse to vote for anyone less than someone who represents all of your ideals is the best way to make sure that nothing you want ever comes to pass.

There is, in fact, at least one political party in the world where the base has refused to let their elected leaders compromise their high-minded ideals. They demand that their leaders hold strong against unfavorable times and events, decry any compromise of the ideals that they are so sure are correct, and punish those who don't uphold their oaths, promises or agreements to not waver one inch. That party is the Republican Party. Politics is compromise, to a strong opposition, to public opinion, to world events and reality. Anyone who believes otherwise will find themselves very disappointed when either their candidates fail to win office, or they spend their lives crying foul on a system that they refuse to engage with.
posted by Punkey at 12:25 AM on August 31, 2012 [47 favorites]


That's not to say that you have to bend over - but being subversive and slow wins a lot more battles than being brash and immovable.
posted by Punkey at 12:27 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Just a random moment, before the utter lack of coherence caused me to tune out: Eastwood mentions 23 million unemployed people, and says that Obama did nothing to fix that, and we should get new people.

So the whole Bain making money by replacing American workers with cheaper foreign workers? That's not a thing anymore? That's not important?

A co-worker today said we should just have the election today and get it over with. Barring some kind of dead-hooker/live-boy thing, no one is actually going to change their mind, right? Are there actually undecided people anymore? If we could just move on, and we'll be able to avoid any more horrifically Eastwoodian moments.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:27 AM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


From Romney's speech: "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. MY promise...is to help you and your family."

What...? You have got to be kidding me.
posted by faustdick at 12:29 AM on August 31, 2012 [32 favorites]


"Screw the Earth, we're all gettin' rich, hehe!"
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:37 AM on August 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


LionIndex:for almost all of the time "he had the votes", the McCain-Feingold Act was in effect and somewhat regulating money in politics. In early 2010, Citizens United overturned that, and then the Dems lost the House in the 2010 midterms, which really demonstrated how bad the money problem could potentially be.

Obama was decrying the need to raise private money way back in 2007, but he copped to private money because it was the pragmatic thing to do. In his defense he has recently suggested a constitutional amendment to end the current abuses, but Obama has a way of saying stuff like this in a manner that is convenient to his purposes, and then not following through. We'll see.


skygazer: There are massive social changes in the works, and huge economic opportunities that dove tale into the changes at hand in the country and for Romney to be as tone-deaf as he sounded on that stage is just a catastrophe-of-empathy, and a lack thereof, on his part.

He may have sounded tone deaf to you, because you are an Obama supporter. Romney did what he had to do this evening; he set loose a whole bunch of people that humanized his image, and he played right to the middle in his speech.

You are not a fence sitter; Romney's speech wasn't for you; it was for the roughly 10% or less of those voters who are just now tuning in. Do NOT underestimate Romney. I saw more of this when the devil himself, George Bush, was being mocked as a nincompoop. Look what happened.

Obama's response will fire up the base, but he had better end up where Romney did this evening, only better. Obama has to sell to the Independent middle, and it's going to go right down to the wire. Romney is going to have a pile of Citizen's United cash flooding the media, and working the Independents. Romney is NOT done. We make that claim at our own risk.

I think Obama will win, but I'm not taking anything for granted, and I will work on my more moderate acquaintances between now and November. Independents lean ever-so-slightly conservative on a lot of issues. That's where this race will be won, or lost.

Romney is setting himself up as a "nice guy" - and he probably is a very decent fellow; that will help him with Independents. Obama has to be very careful about becoming too glib, or derisive. He has to clearly let Independents know what is at stake, and hope that he resonates.

Obama has got to get back youth - another problem, in that recent surveys show 18-21 year old voters trending more conservative (not surprising, given their high rates of underemployment and unemployment, respectively).
posted by Vibrissae at 12:44 AM on August 31, 2012 [21 favorites]


Truest quote from Eastwood's speech to a room filled with rich white republicans: "But I'd just like to say something ladies and gentlemen, something that I think is very important. It is that you - we - we own this country." Thanks for rubbing it in.
posted by platinum at 12:52 AM on August 31, 2012 [35 favorites]


And thus, we are stuck with the "lesser of two evils" pretty much forever

Not forever. In a year or two, it'll swing 'round to primary season and you can find a candidate who matches your views much more closely, try to persuade as much of one caucus or another to coalesce around them. This being a democracy and people's interests and views being diverse, chances are better than not that your candidate will lose, of course, but it's certainly not a forgone conclusion, and at least this is the stage where you can generally find *somebody* you feel pretty good about.

For the moment, though, yes, while we're in a general election in a plurality based system like the US, there are essentially two choices. One of them is probably better than the other by any number of measures based on things you believe, even measures you feel neither of them meet the baseline on.
posted by weston at 12:54 AM on August 31, 2012 [11 favorites]


I saw more of this when the devil himself, George Bush, was being mocked as a nincompoop. Look what happened.

Right on. And Mitt Romney, I think it can be said, is a superior candidate to George Bush.

I repeat myself that John McCain was ahead of Obama in Aug 2008. It took the financial crash of Sept 2008, the selection of Palin, and what had to be one of the most inept GOP campaigns on record to give Obama the edge.

And now was have had 3 1/2 years with Obama and his Bush tax cuts and amped-up Bush wars and tell me again why I should vote FOR him? It was easy to vote against Bush. Romney with his moderate past isn't as repulsive.

So by my way of thinking, Obama is by no means a shoe-in in November and I am not so certain that seeing him go would not be the better option.

It is one hell of a change for me since 2008 to now be one of those independents up for grab, but if a President Romney will be more like Governor Romney and less like candidate Romney, I could imagine voting for him. Given his record, it would seem him changing positions after the election is a safe bet.
posted by three blind mice at 12:59 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Not voting for one is the same as voting for the other. Please remember this.


If you're in Ohio or Florida, sure. But for the vast majority of the American population, this is bullshit.
posted by mek at 12:59 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


[Comment deleted. Maybe less soap box preaching, all caps, rhetorical questions, etc. at other members, more "we're discussing this all together"? Thanks. ]
posted by taz at 1:29 AM on August 31, 2012


I'm not voting for him, but his authenticity worries me [...] There is something about Romney's firmness of faith and conviction that WILL translate to votes.

You may literally be the only person on the planet, including people who are planning on voting for him, that considers authenticity and conviction to be characteristics attributable to Mitt Romney.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 1:46 AM on August 31, 2012 [51 favorites]


I can't say I agree with you three blind mice. Romney is preaching a top down economic vision, one that has a proven track record of abject failure. The social base he pushes is also at complete odds with the current administrations. I go with the platform that extends social liberties, continues a slow but steady recovery policy, and one that embraces science and free thought, unlike the Texas Republican platform of openly rejecting critical thinking. I cannot imagine voting for that.
posted by karmiolz at 1:49 AM on August 31, 2012 [11 favorites]


Three Blind Mice, it's crucial to remember what a Romney presidency would do to the Supreme Court for a very long time. And the decisions such a Scalia / Thomas / Alito dominated court would make.
posted by Skygazer at 1:53 AM on August 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


"I will bet you $100 right now that, when it finally comes down to it, the Republicans will hold their noses and nominate Romney.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:05 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite +] [!]"
(Source)

You all owe me a hundred bucks. Each.
posted by Paul Slade at 1:57 AM on August 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


Come tomorrow, I think Clint's going to remain....Unforgiven, by the Romney campaign for this lsurreal little performance he put on...
posted by Skygazer at 1:58 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Memes travel further, faster and stick harder than facts. when the lols have dissipated, "invisable obama" will be planted in a lot of skulls. Well played, somebody?
posted by Tuatara at 2:01 AM on August 31, 2012


Skygazer: Yeah, but at least he probably came away from it with... a fistful of dollars.
posted by cthuljew at 2:11 AM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think hauling out an old coot is like a republican Thing. Remember the Zell Miller Spitballs speach, that shit was cray.

I think it is comforting or something, like Sunday dinner at grandma's house. You get that crazy old dude diatribe.

I lost patience after Gran Torino. What a racist movie. I'm not even talking about all the slurs. I'm talking about the premise. That immigrants are ok if they do your yard work. If not they are just thugs and criminals.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:18 AM on August 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


if a President Romney will be more like Governor Romney and less like candidate Romney, I could imagine voting for him. Given his record, it would seem him changing positions after the election is a safe bet.

It seems a safe bet that Romney will say whatever serves his interests best, but it sounds like you are saying that he will swing back towards the centre after getting elected, which I find much harder to believe.

In the recent past - after Bush's election in 2004 or after the formation of the Coalition government in the UK - new right-wing governments have a shown a disturbing tendency to cram through radical right-wing social engineering at speed. They tend to seize the narrowest margins of victory and treat them as if they were, to quote Bush, a "mandate".

So, while Romney may not actually repeal Obamacare on day one, I think it's reasonable to assume that what he will do is enact policies that will harm a lot of people and do massive damage to the US economy. Bear in mind that it was the GOP's policies, not Obama's, that were responsible for the downgrade of the US economy.

Business is supposedly based on trust. For a "businessman", Romney tells an awful lot of lies. I would not be comfortable trusting anyone, from any party, who was so systematically, blithely dishonest.
posted by lucien_reeve at 2:19 AM on August 31, 2012 [21 favorites]


All of this finally made me understand why many vote counter to their interests. To use a bit of marketing speak, the Republican Party is an aspirational brand.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 2:20 AM on August 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


Holy shit...that was tremendously sad. He's lost his god damn mind.
posted by Optamystic at 2:21 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm worried about this election, and at the same time smoking hot mad that the choice before is simply the less of two evils.

Except that this time one of the evils appears to be purely, unadulterated, lying-in-your-face, selling your soul to the devil and your country to the highest bidder evil.

For a while, I thought that the Republicans are trying to lose the election on purpose, in order to duck the blame when the economy (inevitably) finally tanks for good. But now I think when that happens and a Republican is in the white house, they'll just try to cling to power by suspending elections and declaring martial law or something.

I would not be comfortable trusting anyone, from any party, who was so systematically, blithely dishonest.

Yeah, but most voters base their trust on the way a person looks, not on what he actually says.
posted by sour cream at 2:24 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope the Democratic convention puts an empty chair on the stage. Never mention it, never acknowledge it. Just leave it there during all the speeches.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:25 AM on August 31, 2012 [59 favorites]


i wonder what poors and olds who don't use the Internet think about this
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:42 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Memes travel further, faster and stick harder than facts. when the lols have dissipated, "invisable obama" will be planted in a lot of skulls. Well played, somebody?

But the meme is about Eastwood, not Obama. And the latter will be doing his rounds, keeping his presence known. Eastwood will be promoting his movie and people will worry he'll do something nutty again. But I don't think Romney will be negatively perpetuated as "The guy who unleashed Clint."

The "This seat's taken" tweet was awesome and sharp, but I hope they don't pound it into the ground during the DNC. It's low-hanging fruit, and besides, all the good jokes will have already been made. And it could just as old as "You did build that!"
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 2:46 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


it's crucial to remember what a Romney presidency would do to the Supreme Court

The social base he pushes is also at complete odds with the current administrations.

Sorry, but I am not and never have been and will never be a "values" voter. I don't think left-wing social engineering is any more desirable than right-wing social engineering.

This year, as Bill Clinton said to his own people: "It's the economy stupid." I have too many friends and acquaintances who are struggling and who shouldn't be forced to ride out four more years of economic hardship. Obama offers nothing looking back or looking forward. There is no game to step-up. We've seen all he has and it's not good enough.

I hope the Democratic convention puts an empty chair on the stage. Never mention it, never acknowledge it. Just leave it there during all the speeches.

I'm pretty sure President Obama is going to attend.
posted by three blind mice at 2:46 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why is Dirty Harry yelling at Elijah?
posted by 1adam12 at 2:48 AM on August 31, 2012 [53 favorites]


Love the comments on the President's Twitter feed. Seems 'thin' is the new black.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:59 AM on August 31, 2012


We have seen all he has three blind mice. In the face of the most dishonest opposition in modern times, he passed a sweeping healthcare bill that will serve as the platform for real change on an issue we had embarrassingly ignored for a generation. The stock markets have recovered, housing prices recently turned around, and unemployment is down. The values matter, even if they are not the main issue. The agenda of restricting sexual and religious freedom, of demeaning women and degrading science, will march on even if they are not the most important or highest profile issues.
posted by karmiolz at 3:13 AM on August 31, 2012 [18 favorites]


I don't care, Clint is an awesome actor and director. So I prefer to think that Dirty Harry just punked the GOP.

And if the last few days have taught me anything, it's that if I'd rather reality was different, then it can be!
posted by adamt at 3:21 AM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


Thanks for this post. I've been away a lot this summer and sometimes American Politics can be hard to understand and explain. So...it's good to have this piece all in one place- the chair, Clint Eastwood, the memes, it is so surreal. And hilarious since prior to seeing this I saw a few super republican facebook friends giving 'high fives' to Clint's awesome speech.
posted by bquarters at 3:55 AM on August 31, 2012


I am gobsmacked that after the country's credit rating got downgraded specifically because of the belief that the Republicans in congress were poor stewards of the economy, when the current Republican VP voted against the Bowles-Simpson business (and had the audacity to claim Obama somehow blocked it), when the Republican presidential nominee has offered absolutely no plans to fix the economy just a suggestion that we go back to the disasterous trickle dowb policies of Bush II and where every serious job bill has been voted down by the Republicans (with no alternative plans other than "cut taxes on the rich more") that any serious human being would think Romney would be a preferable candidate in any way. The Republicans have shown a willingness to destroy public sector jobs, weaken safeguards on private workers and ship American jobs overseas for corporate profits. The improvements under Obama have been slow, but they've been improvements none the less. No, voting for Romney is akin to replacing the termites that were destroying your house with larger more voracious termites because you didn't think the spray was working fast enough.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:07 AM on August 31, 2012 [63 favorites]


You know, if I could turn invisible, the Republican National Convention would be at the absolute bottom of places I'd go to hang out.

Really? Because I can see how it'd be lots of fun. Goosing people during their horrible lying speeches, pulling off toupees and making them dance around while I made scary ghost noises, whispering in Santorum's ear that I am the voice of God, and I command him to grab the mic and finally admit to the world that he's a homo...

And of course I'd crouch down behind Mitt during his entire speech and make constant farting sounds with my mouth. Loud enough for the mic to pick up, and with each fart lasting for like 20 seconds.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:10 AM on August 31, 2012 [29 favorites]


Not voting for one is the same as voting for the other. Please remember this.

The use of fear to scare the populace into a certain political mood has a name and it isn't "democracy".

Vote for the person who most represents you.
posted by DU at 4:13 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


the Eastwood meme now referred to as clintboarding

for all the indifferent liberals out there, Clint was Chairman of the Board
posted by Postroad at 4:13 AM on August 31, 2012




Clint Eastwood on the phone with Obama now: "It all went according to plan, my lord."
posted by robbyrobs at 4:18 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


The laughter from the crowd when Romney said something like "Obama said he was going to stop the rise of the oceans and heal the planet" filled me with such dread. In 50 years, when Tampa is underwater and doesn't hold any RNC's anymore because the Romney "Gut The Planet" Act of 2013 singlehandedly melts 10% of the polar ice caps, people are going to watch the video of this acceptance speech and hear people laughing. And then they will cry.
posted by King Bee at 4:22 AM on August 31, 2012 [19 favorites]


Who wrote his speech, Dan fucking Brown?!

My guess is Romney wrote it himself. It clearly wasn't done by a professional writer.
posted by waitingtoderail at 4:45 AM on August 31, 2012


First of all, the GOP faithful are not going to see it the way it's seen here on the blue. Also, Independents are what Romney is after, and although Eastwood may seem old hat, he is respected across party lines.


Umm, he WAS respected.

Nope, that was pure fail territory. Romney blew his one big chance to change the narrative.

Now watch how it is properly done next week. Because remember, no one but no one delivers a kickass speech when it is needed like Barack Obama.

And at the debates, Obama will tear Romney limb from limb while smiling through it all, because that's how you beat Republicans. You make them look like angry old men. Worked with John McCain. It will work with Mitt Romney.

In fact the amusing thing was that this Eastwood stunt gave Romney a little bit of that smelly old man yelling at the kids thing that McCain had and Romney lacked. I believe the Republicans call it "charisma."
posted by spitbull at 4:46 AM on August 31, 2012 [13 favorites]


Also, it doesn't matter how the "GOP Faithful" see anything. They already hate the black president and they're already committed to voting his black ass out of that empty chair. Problem is, even in America, there aren't enough racist fuckheads in non-southern states to win the electoral college. So you have to convince a few non-racist fuckheads in non-southern states to back you up. And that means you have to hide your racist fuckhead light under a bushel and hope your blathering racist yahoos keep quiet. Fat chance.
posted by spitbull at 4:49 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also fun to note that the words "rambling," "incoherent," "weird," and "strange", searched in Google News, all yield dozens of Eastwood stories at the top of the page. "Rambling" seems to be the adjective of choice for journos who don't want to insult the actor or the GOP. It's in half the headlines.

But I think I prefer "shuffling."

Remember when a disoriented, angry John McCain kept walking past the camera while Obama was speaking in the second debate? That's what this was. A permanent meme.
posted by spitbull at 4:55 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is one hell of a change for me since 2008 to now be one of those independents up for grab, but if a President Romney will be more like Governor Romney and less like candidate Romney, I could imagine voting for him. Given his record, it would seem him changing positions after the election is a safe bet.

It's not a safe bet. In fact, the chances are essentially zero. He will govern as promised because if he wins the country will have swung enough that he will also have majorities in both houses of Congress, and they are batshit crazy. He will govern how they tell him to govern, because he's an empty suit and Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have been doing the legislative thing so long it will be trivial for them to steamroll their stuff through. After all, once a year they only need a simple majority of votes in both houses (plus the VP) to enact legislation that affects the budget. This can include the social safety nets, health care (including abortion and birth control), and education reform, among others. He can also nominate judges to Federal courts and the Supreme Court that can overturn major decisions. Major portions of the Voting Rights Act, abortion, and gay marriage are already in the pipeline for the next year or two and almost assuredly hinge on a single vote, and that's just the beginning, not to mention that the courts (Supreme as well as lower) would remain very conservative for a generation or two. Again, those depend on Congressional approval, so he would have to play by their tune.

The use of fear to scare the populace into a certain political mood has a name and it isn't "democracy".

Vote for the person who most represents you.


Oh, please. The persecution complex and accusations of facism are uninformed and misplaced. This kind of voting style works fine in European-style 3+ party systems with proportional elections. Sadly, we have a two-party system with first-past-the-post voting, which makes this a non-starter, particularly in close elections. Remember, your ballot is secret, so there's no one that can be "convinced" (least of all, politicians) by a 3rd-party vote apart from spoiling, which will only turn people against your goals. You have to build a base and infrastructure starting from local politics and working your way up, which you can do either with a third party (hard for the reasons above) or within your closest major party, which is what the crazies have been doing to the GOP for 30+ years. In the meantime, changing the method of voting (i.e. from FPTP to proportional) requires a bunch of structural changes, probably through constitutional amendments. Those require a supermajority of state legislatures to pass, which brings us back to voting and organizing locally rather than starting change on national/federal levels and working downwards.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:55 AM on August 31, 2012 [19 favorites]


Here's mine: Clint chastising a Chippendale.
posted by taz at 5:00 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I remember watching Million Dollar Baby and afterwards being full of rage and listening to everybody but the disabled talk about what a great work of art it was and I was all 'yo, that movie was pure evil bullshit.'

Aaaaaaaand many years later, it is fun to see the man responsible for that movie help to bring down Mitt Romney. Clint, just stop. Stop. Stop. You did a lot of good shit, now you can't even do evil well.
posted by angrycat at 5:02 AM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ironically, Million Dollar Baby contained gross, patently offensive stereotypes of working-class whites (as well as the usual Eastwood stereotypes of black people, as usual represented by Morgan Freeman as The Narrator and the evil woman who paralyzes Hillary Swank).

That was the movie where I knew Eastwood had lost it.
posted by spitbull at 5:06 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


The persecution complex and accusations of facism are uninformed and misplaced.

Actually, it was an accusation of terrorism. As in, put the voters into a state of terror to get the result we want. Both sides do it and you are helping.
posted by DU at 5:16 AM on August 31, 2012


LTruest quote from Eastwood's speech to a room filled with rich white republicans: "But I'd just like to say something ladies and gentlemen, something that I think is very important. It is that you - we - we own this country." Thanks for rubbing it in.

TBH I think Eastwood he might just be the help.
posted by Artw at 5:19 AM on August 31, 2012


Maybe you were too busy trying to understand the special appearance of Clint Eastwood, who spent most of the time talking to a chair.

Having now watched the speech, it's clear that Eastwood is intentionally using a prop for comedic effect to feed red meat to the base and say "fuck you" to the President. It was a classic example of the aging paternal figure mouthing off with his downhome "wisdom".

The current front page of the Drudge Report has a photo of Eastwood speaking at the podium, above the phrase "We own this country..." People laughed and cheered during his speech. Even at the part where Eastwood berated the President of the United States for using the Presidential plane, as if he has a choice. The Secret Service wouldn't let any President take any other type of plane. Everyone knows this. Yet the crowd cheered and no doubt thought "That damn Obama, using the Presidential plane, how dare he?!"

It was red meat y'all, beautifully aged and exquisitely prepared at the finest restaurant in town that night. The only rational thought behind it was "Make'em feel good, really good" and it accomplished that to a magnificent degree.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:19 AM on August 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


One thing that Clint Eastwood has in common with Ronald Reagan: I knew he lost it when he made that movie with the ape in it.
posted by box at 5:19 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


106 odd comments in and nobody's commented that the end-line of his speech was from a movie where he was holding a gun to someone's head as he said the same line?
posted by Happy Dave at 5:25 AM on August 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


David Brooks, NY Times : The Real Romney
posted by crunchland at 5:26 AM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ironically, Million Dollar Baby contained gross, patently offensive stereotypes of working-class whites

Did you grow up poor in the American South? I did, and that was a pretty accurate representation of a lot of people that I have known throughout my life.

(as well as the usual Eastwood stereotypes of black people, as usual represented by Morgan Freeman as The Narrator

Morgan Freeman was just playing Morgan Freeman. There's a difference between a racial stereotype and lazy storytelling.

...and the evil woman who paralyzes Hillary Swank).

Really? She was one of many black boxers in the film. Only one of them paralyzed Hilary Swank.
posted by Optamystic at 5:26 AM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


That was actually pretty crappy of whoever yelled that out. How old is this guy, and you want him to dance out an ancient catchphrase for you?
posted by cashman at 5:28 AM on August 31, 2012


Clint Eastwood: Its Halftime in America, Superbowl, 2012, which was decried by the Conservatives as a glowing endorsement of Obama.
posted by crunchland at 5:32 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't know, Eastwood still had it in January in the Halftime in America Superbowl ad.

Yeah, the GOP got punked. Hard. Eastwood argued with a dining room chair, and in doing so, called the party platform crazy, and the GOP a bunch of lunatics. The allusion to Barney Frank's famous quote when dealing with a Tea Partier - "Madam, conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table." - is pretty unmistakable.

He's a hoary old center-right Republican with antiquated notions of race and disability, but he's a very skilled film-maker who makes every image count and twice. He knew what he was doing, and the memestorm is the pay-off, not an unintended side effect.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:37 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Did you grow up poor in the American South?

I didn't grow up poor in the American south, no. But for reasons I won't go into, I've spent years of my life working in poor communities in the American south.

So, just to check -- in your experience all white, working-class southerners are loud, money-hungry, inhumane assholes with meth addictions? Speak for your own relatives.

And if you don't see Morgan Freeman's genial black sidekick role (in about half a dozen Eastwood movies) as playing to a racist cinematic trope, you don't know film history.

My closest friend from my hell-raising days is a mechanic who looks like Waylon Jennings, rides a Harley, and who lives so far out in the backwoods Ozarks that he hunts deer from his back porch. His son served in Iraq. What that war did to his boy has him planning to vote for Obama, a second time.

Even just sticking to continuity issues, did you really find the portrayal of Hillary Swank's family in MDB believable?
posted by spitbull at 5:41 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, am I the only one hoping the Dems can get a secret guest speaker to reprise the Eastwood sketch, and that it's Dave Chapelle?
posted by spitbull at 5:44 AM on August 31, 2012 [26 favorites]


Not voting for one is the same as voting for the other. Please remember this.

We'll never have a proper socialist in office if people keep believing this.
posted by dgran at 5:46 AM on August 31, 2012


106 odd comments in and nobody's commented that the end-line of his speech was from a movie where he was holding a gun to someone's head as he said the same line?

That was something someone on my Facebook feed pointed out. Even eerier when you realize he got the entire audience to say it along with him....to a chair that was standing in for the President.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:47 AM on August 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


I really don't know how conservatives took Eastwood's speech, but, even if it was effective among Conservatives, it doesn't matter. It matters how many undecided people watched it and what there take on it was. My guess is that it didn't do Romney any favors among people that haven't made up their mind yet.

The easiest way to see how the right and the older parts of the soft middle are taking it would be to watch Leno tonight. He's their guy.
posted by drezdn at 5:49 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, am I the only one hoping the Dems can get a secret guest speaker to reprise the Eastwood sketch, and that it's Dave Chapelle?


If they get Pee-Wee Herman to shout at Chairy, I will move heaven and earth to become a U.S. citizen in time to vote Obama in November.
posted by Shepherd at 5:49 AM on August 31, 2012 [58 favorites]


Really? She was one of many black boxers in the film.

Also, I can't let this go. How come the hero star boxer had to be a white girl? Huh?
posted by spitbull at 5:49 AM on August 31, 2012


Whoever dug up the Simpsons screen grab of a newspaper with a picture of Abe Simpson shaking his fist under the headline "Old Man Yells at Chair" has got to win all the points tonight, right?


Not to expose my true Comic Book Guy, but isn't the actual clip "Old Man Yells At Cloud"?
posted by dogbusonline at 5:51 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Not voting for one is the same as voting for the other. Please remember this.

And thus, we are stuck with the "lesser of two evils" pretty much forever--because people keep parrotting this. How is this any less the politics of fear than what the Republicans are pushing?
The reason we're stuck with the lesser of two evils isn't because people who vote pragmatically, it's because of the system of elections. As it is, if I vote for a third party candidate, it really is throwing my vote away. What are the chances that Jill Stein is going to win the presidency? I'd say low enough to be the same as 0%.

Instant runoff voting would fix this particular problem. Under that system, I'd vote for my candidates in order of preference: I could put Jill Stein as #1, then Barack Obama as #2. During the vote count, if it became clear that my #1 pick wasn't going to win, my vote would then go toward my second preference. I really could vote my conscience without being worried I was choosing a symbolic gesture over an actual vote. (There's very much more wrong with the elections system, and there are lots of smart people who have volumes to say about it.)

Voting for third-party candidates with the election system we have is like... it's like if the municipality you lived in cancelled it's recycling program, but you still continued to put the aluminum cans out by the curb to ease your conscience. It's something that only makes a real difference if the system supports it.

I support and respect Obama, and I think he'd be doing a lot better if it wasn't for the GOP's stonewall tactics, but I'd love to see a good Green Party candidate have a chance. The way to make that happen is elections reform, not lighting your ballot on fire.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 5:51 AM on August 31, 2012 [23 favorites]


So, just to check -- in your experience all white, working-class southerners are loud, money-hungry, inhumane assholes with meth addictions? Speak for your own relatives.
posted by spitbull

Settle down, Captain Eponysterical. That's not what I said.
posted by Optamystic at 5:51 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


There was a tweeter pre-speech that said liberals were mad Clint Eastwood was going to speak.

Why? We all knew he was the Republican and he's free to speak his mind.

And now that he has come out in support of Romney, it doesn't change my opinion of any of his movies.
posted by drezdn at 5:56 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really don't know how conservatives took Eastwood's speech...

Fox News: Clint Eastwood brings down the house
CBS News: Eastwood's convention surprise
CNN: The speech everyone is talking about
NBC News: Eastwood surprises — maybe in more ways than one
ABC News: Clint Eastwood Electrifies RNC Crowd, Interviews Invisible 'Obama'


106 odd comments in and nobody's commented that the end-line of his speech was from a movie where he was holding a gun to someone's head as he said the same line?

Yes, that was brilliant, in terms of political theatre. Hopefully the DNC was taking notes.

Also, I can't let this go.

Try. The thread is about politics, not racial depictions in a single movie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:57 AM on August 31, 2012 [12 favorites]


He's a hoary old center-right Republican with antiquated notions of race and disability, but he's a very skilled film-maker who makes every image count and twice. He knew what he was doing, and the memestorm is the pay-off, not an unintended side effect.

You mean... he's playing eleven-dimensional chairs?
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:58 AM on August 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


When someone refers to Obama as an evil, even the lesser of two, I generally conclude that further conversation with this person will not bear fruit.

I'm sad to have to inform them that neither Gandalf nor Aslan is ever likely to be President.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 5:59 AM on August 31, 2012 [26 favorites]


RNC Memo

Four Point Plan To Take Back America!

1. Yell at Things.

2. Sensible Meal.

3. Matlock.

4. Nap.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:00 AM on August 31, 2012 [40 favorites]


Even a great actor is only as good as the material written for him. And in the Chrysler ads, he could do as many takes as he needed.

I saw on twitter that according to Ari Fliesher, there was a script written, but he threw it out moments before going on stage.

Clint decided the planned speech sucked and decided to wing it at the last second.
posted by j03 at 6:05 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eastwood / Harvey 2016!
posted by markkraft at 6:05 AM on August 31, 2012 [14 favorites]


The easiest way to see how the right and the older parts of the soft middle are taking it would be to watch Leno tonight. He's their guy.

Not a Leno fan, but he took the lefty side during a recent "debate" with Dennis Miller.

(And while I'm still a Letterman fan, I've given up on his monologues. Those awful video edit jobs he keeps relying on now are pretty much the same thing Leno always did.)

As for Eastwood quoting his very familiar Dirty Harry line, what about the throat-slashing gesture he made after he said Obama needed to lose his job? I know people do it without giving it any thought, but in that context, in reference to any president... I dunno. I think a simple "take a hike" thumb would've been more apt.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 6:07 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


One of the first things I do when I wake up is check twitter/Facebook to see what I've missed overnight. I saw a few tweets, but couldn't believe this actually happened. An Obama cardboard standee would have been slightly less absurd.

This is the most entertained I have been by any political convention, so thanks for that, Republicans!
posted by Fig at 6:07 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eastwood...hmmm...

a few weeks ago my kid was visiting from California... we were sitting in the house as the squirrels began the daily acorn harvesting, chewing them off branches and dropping them on the roof. Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang.....

I commented on how it got a bit tiresome after a while and he mentioned that he had some squirrel problems in his office at Warner Brothers. Many of the offices at the studios are old, detached bungalows, his happened to have some sort of strange rain gutter system that the squirrels used as highways and, due to the way they were constructed, the constant scampering was a distraction. Cue the WB facility staff with a "we have a squirrel problem" memo.

Maintenance staff arrive, spend some time listening to the patter of squirrel feet overhead and, seemingly, in the walls, and acknowledged that it was a bit noisy. "But, there really isn't anything we can do about them.", they stated.

"Why not?", the kid asked.

"Those are Clint's squirrels.", they replied.

"Whose?"

"Clint, Clint Eastwood." Clint's office was in the bungalow next to theirs.

"He feeds them. They all have names. Clint would be very upset if we moved his squirrels", they said as they packed up and left. The squirrels were left in place to continue to disrupt the office, because that's what Clint wanted.

Who knows how this is going to turn out, it probably depends on how well "Man of Steel" does.
posted by HuronBob at 6:07 AM on August 31, 2012 [22 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: "106 odd comments in and nobody's commented that the end-line of his speech was from a movie where he was holding a gun to someone's head as he said the same line?

Yes, that was brilliant, in terms of political theatre. Hopefully the DNC was taking notes.
"

Brilliant? I'd put it in the same rhetorical ballpark as putting targets on a map of Democratic candidates. Oh, sorry, 'surveyor's marks'.

It's politics-as-violence and if it hadn't have been Clint Eastwood it likely would have resulted in the Secret Service getting twitchy.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:07 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]




Twitter seems to have suspended the Invisible Obama account.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:09 AM on August 31, 2012


He probably couldn't show photo ID to verify his account
posted by mikepop at 6:12 AM on August 31, 2012 [27 favorites]


Twitter seems to have suspended the Invisible Obama account.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:09 AM on August 31 [+] [!]
He probably couldn't show photo ID to verify his account
posted by mikepop at 9:12 AM on August 31 [+] [!]
Boo on suspension, cheers on Photo ID comment.
posted by tilde at 6:14 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Brilliant? I'd put it in the same rhetorical ballpark as putting targets on a map of Democratic candidates.

No, the part of the brilliance is that it's a non-politician saying it, one who fits the cowboy image that the GOP loves. It told a great story, but made not a lick of sense and got the base fired up about Clint stickin' it to the Obama. Lovely theatre.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:14 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


This campaign just took a right turn, Clyde.
posted by ColdChef at 6:21 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


I thought Reince Priebus was the GOP chair. I am so confused right now.
posted by emelenjr at 6:22 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wanted to buy in to Clint's speech, I really did, but Invisible Obama sounded nothing like Real Obama.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:24 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seriously, when has Obama ever come close to saying 'go fuck yourself'? The audience hears what they want to hear.
posted by h00py at 6:34 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Vote for the person who most represents you.

As I point out every time this comes up, if the purpose of voting is to identify with the person who most represents you, then you really should be writing in yourself. Anything else is just politics as usual on a larger or smaller scale.

This campaign just took a right turn, Clyde.

This fall, coming to a country near you, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Clint Eastwood, and a monkey try to win an election Any Which Way They Can.

I have too many friends and acquaintances who are struggling and who shouldn't be forced to ride out four more years of economic hardship. Obama offers nothing looking back or looking forward. There is no game to step-up. We've seen all he has and it's not good enough.

Easy for you to say, three blind mice; you're in Sweden.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:34 AM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm embarrassed for both of us.
posted by Aquaman at 6:36 AM on August 31, 2012


I totally stole this from wordshore in the Gangnam-style thread.
posted by Mezentian at 6:36 AM on August 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


But I think I prefer "shuffling."
Shuffling.
posted by usonian at 6:40 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


That empty chair was the only thing on the stage last night that supports women.
posted by Mick at 6:43 AM on August 31, 2012 [119 favorites]




Awesome.
posted by drezdn at 6:51 AM on August 31, 2012


Did we ever find out what Trump's RNC surprise was?
posted by drezdn at 6:55 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]




Did we ever find out what Trump's RNC surprise was?
Not showing?
posted by tilde at 6:59 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some day, when we're fighting over who gets to eat that nice big rat we caught, we'll look back on Clint talking to that chair and laugh
posted by Legomancer at 6:59 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney is setting himself up as a "nice guy" - and he probably is a very decent fellow; that will help him with Independents

How many times have we seen the Republicans pull this same old trick; if your candidate has a weak spot then pretend that the one with the problem is the Democrat. Bush had a sketchy service record and Kerry is a decorated vet, becomes Bush is a super patriot and Kerry is a dishonorable vet. Now this. Romney is a robot and Obama is a really decent guy----> Romney is the nice guy and Obama (in Clint's words) "I used to think he was a nice guy but now that I've seen his ads, I'm not so sure."

I have to say that for all his acting chops Eastwood did not convince me that he is voting for Romney. Which strikes me as odd. It should have been the easiest acting gig in the world to channel John Wayne and go all American Gun Fanatic and Old Guy Conservative, yet I'm left wondering how Eastwood really feels and what his real agenda was.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:59 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


The RNC summed up in one picture.
posted by drezdn at 7:09 AM on August 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


While funny as hell, all of this is really, really scary? Think of the machine that is behind this and spending money to produce, an invisible chair tactic. These people want to be in charge of us.

Somebody hold me.
posted by stormpooper at 7:13 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


WE CAN CHANCE IT. (source)
posted by tilde at 7:15 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mother Jones has a transcript and video of Eastwood's performance art for those who missed the show.

I loved this response from the Obama team:

Asked by Politico to respond to Eastwood's speech, Obama press secretary Ben LaBolt replied: "Referring all questions on this to Salvador Dalí."
posted by madamjujujive at 7:19 AM on August 31, 2012 [31 favorites]


So I take it Clint didn't talk about the two abortions he encouraged a former girlfriend to have. [He's always been just one more conservative hypocrite. End of story.]

Haven't watched a second of the convention but am mildly amused by the meme generator linked above. I like "Eastwood addresses all those who will benefit from a Romney presidency."
posted by NorthernLite at 7:21 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


"They WILL know about the night a crazy old man hijacked a national party's most important gathering so he could tell the President to literally go do something to himself (i.e. fuck himself). In those few moments (and these days, it only takes a few moments—see Anthony Weiner), he completely upended and redefined how he'll be remembered by younger and future generations."

true story. When mike was in Flint for his premiere of 'Roger and Me' he and a really scared looking publicist were at the the old magnavox store on Dort Hwy. Whilst on break, I stopped in for some autographs (one i still owe madamejujujive) and there he was...with an empty chair. The prop chair being for Roger in case he wanted to show up and explain.

Clav: "who's the chair for..."

mike: "Thats for roger..."

clav: "oh"

Scared lady: "WOULD YOU LIKE AN AUTOGRAPH SIR!"

clav: "sure, make it out to karl...with a k."

mike you ignorant slut.
posted by clavdivs at 7:21 AM on August 31, 2012


I'm not surprised that this went over like gangbusters at the RNC: The last time they had a senile Hollywood cowboy speaking on their behalf, they elected him president.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:25 AM on August 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


An old man yelling at an empty chair. I dunno, guys. Beckett? Miller? Kafka?
posted by sonmi at 10:43 PM on August 30
How about Ionesco's The Chairs?
posted by Schmucko at 7:29 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


First: My fave picture is the one that reads "Debated and Empty Chair - And Lost!"

Now, let me address the invisible chair that is MeFi!
I agree with vibrissae that this game isn't over. I think the Clint thing overshadowing Romney's speech is not great for the candidate; that's what people are going to remember in 2 months–but there's plenty of time for other things to happen as well.

Here is the opportunity I perceive for Obama. He should not trot out wealthy people and elite athletes to show what he's done for the many-times blessed already. He should trot out the young adult who now has healthcare coverage and was saved from certain death; the single mom who started her own business BECAUSE she could use an affordable aftercare service for the child. The salt of the earth, ordinary people– and he will be the one who has healed the sick, clothed the poor, and so on. I think that comparison will show the maudlin speechifying of a group of gifted athletes to be self-indulgent and self-congratulatory pap.

Then, he should remind us of Osama bin Laden. Yay cheers!

And here's another miscalculation he may exploit: The craven, willful misreading of the 'didn't build that' quote. I have seldom seen so many people gleefully indulging in the 'gotcha' game as I have with this. An acquaintance of mine posted the quote on Facebook and I commented that it sure seemed like he was saying that no one succeeds alone, that parents, teachers, business partners, employees, etc. are all part of whatever success you realize in business. And that furthermore, the very nature of this country and its institutions creates an environment where those who are not lucky enough to be born with the silver spoon can clamber up the ladder of success. I think, in the course of the debates, Obama will make this point at great length. This is a point that no candidate can disagree with! The point is that people can succeed in America because America is awesome! This will take all the wind out of that line and turn it into a rhetorical bludgeon.
posted by Mister_A at 7:30 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


You guys are all so sure.

"Are they trying to lose?" "This is a joke!" "This is pathetic!" "Hahaha!"

And reading your comments, I am bolstered and happy, but then I step back and I look - I look at the numbers, I look at the last, you know, 8, 12 years - and I think, seriously? You're under-estimating this stupid bullshit again, you guys?

Do not take this shit as a sad, pathetic joke with not a chance in hell, because it could seriously, seriously, seriously, SERIOUSLY, happen.
posted by kbanas at 7:32 AM on August 31, 2012 [18 favorites]


i wonder what poors and olds who don't use the Internet think about this

"It's about time someone had the balls to tell this 'Obama' what we really think."

or

"Do you see this, Marge? That 'Obama' didn't even show up to the debate!"
posted by gjc at 7:34 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


This was the convention, folks. Theater, plain and simple. Same as it ever was (although the willingness of the right to outright prevaricate increases every cycle, it seems).

Next week will be more of the same. More adult and fact-based, I predict, but essentially the same.

The debates are where the shit will get real. If the moderators are willing to hold the line and demand that the candidates answer the questions forthrightly, then there's no reason Obama shouldn't wipe the floor with Romney.

Now, if only facts mattered ....
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:34 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


You guys are all so sure.

"Are they trying to lose?" "This is a joke!" "This is pathetic!" "Hahaha!"

And reading your comments, I am bolstered and happy, but then I step back and I look - I look at the numbers, I look at the last, you know, 8, 12 years - and I think, seriously? You're under-estimating this stupid bullshit again, you guys?

Do not take this shit as a sad, pathetic joke with not a chance in hell, because it could seriously, seriously, seriously, SERIOUSLY, happen.


Absolutely. Take no vote for granted. If you care about the outcome, vote. There is no such thing as a "guaranteed state" if people don't vote.
posted by gjc at 7:35 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Why? We all knew he was the Republican and he's free to speak his mind.

For the same reason I'd be upset if someone who's work I admired spoke at the DNC after that party had adopted totalitarian communism. The platform of the GOP is drifting so far from the center that the actual party platform has little support among voters. That's why they are saying America and Americans 100 times in their speeches instead of talking about real policy. If the GOP voters knew the platform, they wouldn't support the GOP.

The GOP, instead of moderating their views to gather more votes, has instead been waging a propaganda war, poisoning words like welfare, liberal, democrat, equality, and even the word government itself. Notice how their declarations of fealty to the military industry never mention the word government, but in the same speech, they will talk about how government is wasteful and can't handle healthcare because despite the government's record on traveling regularly to space, the Moon, and now to Mars; despite maintaining a worldwide network of unmanned patrol vehicles, nuclear powered submarines, and stealth bombers and drones; despite already running successful government healthcare systems; they have the impudence to claim that no healthcare is better than government healthcare for those who need it the most.

Instead of addressing those seemingly self-contradictory positions with arguments and policy details, they're waving flags, blaming Obama, singing America the Beautiful, and promising that they can do better without bothering to tell us how. Behind the scenes, they passing voting laws to repress the democratic will of minorities, and in front of the cameras, they are promoting the destruction of gay rights and promising to use the power of the government to invade women's privacy to satisfy narrow religious doctrines. They are promoting those values not because they are democratic, or egalitarian, or supported in any measure by the Constitution, but because it gets them votes. It's yet another legacy of Richard Nixon:
There is ambition of the kind our society trains us to display, and there is the kind that is fired by an inner compulsion. The former allows us to accept disappointment as part of the game; the latter drives us to almost any lengths to win. Mr. Nixon's career seems impelled not by a mere desire, but by a powerful necessity, to succeed. The vicious campaign he ran for Congress in 1946, which Mr. Ambrose describes as "McCarthyism" before the term existed, revealed his ruthless single-mindedness. "Of course I knew Jerry Voorhis wasn't a Communist," Mr. Nixon later replied to accusations that he had lied during the campaign. "But . . . I had to win. . . . The important thing is to win."
Perhaps the Republicans do have reasons to make a run at the White House with "facts that aren't exactly accurate," as Newt said the other night. Perhaps those are the noble lies necessary to save America from whoever has it, and "take it back" from whoever those people are, but there's no way to tell what they intend to save America from because instead they have Clint Eastwood on stage talking to a chair.

The Republican Party is now opposed not only to individuals making informed decisions based on clear policy declarations from their candidates, but they are also opposed to making sure that everyone has an opportunity to vote. It's a startling throwback to the politics of the 1870s. I think 20 years from now anyone associated with the current GOP establishment will be particularly embarrassed for carrying such backwards viewpoints kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

So the reason I'm upset with Clint Eastwood isn't because he identifies as a Republican. I'm upset with him because he is supporting the blatantly anti-democratic aims of a party that has long lost touch with what I would call conservatism or American values. Even Frum and Governor Huntsman have made the observation that the GOP has a hard time selling their party because they are so far outside of mainstream political thought.

And I'm someone who probably would have voted McCain in 2000, if he had made it past the establishment with his moderate political views intact. I remember being upset about the Lewinsky scandal and desiring a President with more principled values. But after watching the GOP establishment erode McCain's reasonable, mostly thoughtful positions into a short pile of pure partisan hackery, I had come to the conclusion that the party is broken, and possibly beyond repair.

And now the Romney/Ryan ticket has pretty much convinced me that the hope of having an honest, open, detailed debate about the issues will never be on the table again. For 12 years the GOP has increasingly resorted to the politics of fear, doubt, and the back room strategy of suppressing democratic will through legislation. When they aren't blatantly outlawing democratic will, they are resorting to ceaselessly hammering on wedge issues to obscure the broad goals shared by most Americans.

Their goal is to win at any cost, but not to save us from anything. The GOP is desperate to save their party from having to return to a sense of shared accountability for the future of our country, because that platform might involve a tax policy that isn't a free ride for corporations, secretive political organizations, and the wealthy. It might mean they have to make some sacrifices and compromises for their country in order to provide for a better future for everyone.

Or, as they call it, class warfare and socialism.
posted by deanklear at 7:35 AM on August 31, 2012 [67 favorites]


It was red meat y'all, beautifully aged and exquisitely prepared at the finest restaurant in town that night. The only rational thought behind it was "Make'em feel good, really good" and it accomplished that to a magnificent degree.

And now they're all OUTRAGED!!! that "the media" is making fun of Clint. The internet and "the media" being all the same thing, and even if they can make the distinction, the media shouldn't cover the emerging meme because that would be "bias."

All so predictable.

Having watched Clint, it wasn't just the chair. He rambled extensively. Came out against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars! My wife, who actively tries to tune out politics, put down her book and said, "What in the world is he talking about?"

I think this convention was a wash. Didn't convert anyone who wasn't always converted. Obama/Dems now have to make the case that Romney's/the GOP's policies will actively decimate the middle classes, which they will.

And they've got to reference the chair, but I hope they do it subtly.
posted by kgasmart at 7:39 AM on August 31, 2012


Whoever dug up the Simpsons screen grab of a newspaper with a picture of Abe Simpson shaking his fist under the headline "Old Man Yells at Chair" has got to win all the points tonight, right?

Lisa: Grandpa, you've led a long and interesting life, why don't you tell us a story.
Abe: That's a lie and you know it! But I have seen been in a lot of movies....
posted by 445supermag at 7:40 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whose! Please mods... please.
posted by deanklear at 7:43 AM on August 31, 2012


You guys are all so sure.

I'm not sure. The election isn't sewn up by a long shot and anyone who believes it is must be high. It is possible that Clint and his chair are exactly the endorsement Romney needs. OTOH, I gotta laugh when something's funny, even if it's a gallows laugh.

they've got to reference the chair

In general, I'd think maybe not. Never get in the way of your opponent's mistakes.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:43 AM on August 31, 2012


And while I'm still a Letterman fan, I've given up on his monologues.

He aims the monologue at the live audience rather than at the television audience.
posted by gjc at 7:44 AM on August 31, 2012


At this of a derail, since I have no idea which US election post to put this in, and its not worth a new one, but apparently the GOP wants the FCC to crack down on cable TV: Republicans Want To Take Away Your Internet Porn and ‘Game of Thrones’ Sexposition
posted by Mezentian at 7:47 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've watched bits of the various RNC speeches, and Romney's speeches look more like he's desperately trying to pass the Turing Test (with his wife helping on his behalf), rather than audition for the role of President.
posted by schmod at 7:50 AM on August 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


So did Mitt Romney speak last night too? I mean, I know he did but did anyone notice? Every news article and blog seems to be talking about Eastwood and not Mitt.
posted by octothorpe at 7:50 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


All lefties should seriously take a leaf out of the Irish president's page and start talking loudly and clearly about the shit that's being espoused by the right and exactly why it isn't true. Talk right over the top of them, just like they've been doing. Sometimes it is necessary to raise your voice.
posted by h00py at 7:51 AM on August 31, 2012 [23 favorites]


I heard part of it (an overflow event?) where some woman was talking about Obama's War on Women.

I had to stop listening.
posted by Mezentian at 7:52 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure.

I'm pretty sure Obama's gonna win and that it'll be decided on Election. Then for a two weeks after the election, there will be report, blog posts and commentaries galore about how Romney had so much cash and still blew it. Along with the occasional look at the paranoid right and how Obama will usher in a new facets state, backed by the UN, while appointing welfare recipients as Senators.

My gut tells me that Mit, along with Ryan, are the wrong people to running again Obama. If Christie or Jeb Bush were running, then they'd probably win. But Mitt? He walks, talks and acts like tin eared boss everyone has had and loathes. The GOP base will vote, but the independents will swing for Obama.

Yes, I'll bet on it.

So did Mitt Romney speak last night too? I mean, I know he did but did anyone notice? Every news article and blog seems to be talking about Eastwood and not Mitt.

Every news media outlet I've looked at this morning has Romney's speech as the main news, with Eastwood as a side bar.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:52 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the night before: RNC Attendees Tossed After Reportedly Heckling Black Camerawoman
"Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, 'This is how we feed animals.'
"Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and RNC security and police immediately removed the two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum."
And I'm still trying to find a source for this, but my wife said that when Ann Romney was asked about how she felt about the GOP's stance on abortion/women's rights, Ann said "think of the economy and families," or something to that effect. I'd like to re-paraphrase that as "close your eyes and think of the economy."

Oh, and "the first Hispanic female Governor in the history of the United States" was cut from television coverage of the RNC, not because of any decisions of the RNC, but of television priorities.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:55 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


kbanas: "Do not take this shit as a sad, pathetic joke with not a chance in hell, because it could seriously, seriously, seriously, SERIOUSLY, happen."

Of course it can happen, but this failed publicity stunt is worthy of ridicule, so I don't know why you insist on being a wet blanket.

I agree that Romney has a serious shot at the presidency, but he's never had a lead, and though he may get one from the convention bounce, the Democrats head to Charlotte next week and will erase that bounce (and then some.) Meanwhile, Mitt delivered a very good speech (by his standards) because he was in front of a friendly audience, but now he's got to hit the campaign trail to woo swing state voters, answer questions from the media, etc. None of those are his strong suits.

We've seen how he gets flustered in debates. Maddow had a great observation last night -- she said that when Romney's speaking positively about his plans, his values, his policies, he comes across as pretty warm, engaging, etc. but when he's on the attack, he really can't pull it off, because he looks petty and angry. Obama's got a lot of skills as a politician, but one of the ones that I think will be vital in the next few weeks will be the ability to deliver an attack with a smile, because he really doesn't hate the guy he's attacking, he just wants to win the political argument.

I do expect some Democrats to have some fun with this, but I think they realize that, in spite of all of the untruths and half-truths, the GOP convention was a success, because it was slickly produced, showed more diversity than there really is on the GOP side, and papered over some of the GOP's more problematic policies (e.g. "forcible rape.") I don't think team Obama is going to spend a lot of time punching down at Clint Eastwood or even Mitt Romney next week. They'll lay out their case, they'll throw some read meet out for the delegates, and they'll drop the balloons.

In the mean time, come on, man, that shit was fucking hilarious.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:56 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Obama's gonna win and that it'll be decided on Election. Then for a two weeks after the election, there will be report, blog posts and commentaries galore about how Romney had so much cash and still blew it. Along with the occasional look at the paranoid right and how Obama will usher in a new facets state, backed by the UN, while appointing welfare recipients as Senators.

I am not so convinced. I anticipate electoral "irregularities" in swing states. Combined with the "how can we lose" attitude of a lot of voters, this could very well tip the balance. Everyone, please vote!!!
posted by gjc at 7:58 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


The debates are where the shit will get real. If the moderators are willing to hold the line and demand that the candidates answer the questions forthrightly, then there's no reason Obama shouldn't wipe the floor with Romney.


I wish this were the case. Our democracy would be better served if journalists were assholes.

Presidential debates are quite scripted and polite. Who on earth would be allowed to moderate a debate with a true cross-examination? We Americans like to maintain a veneer of "decorum" in formal political discourse--debates, the House and Senate floors, major speeches like the State of the Union--to the point where a pugnacious cross-examination would be seen as quite rude. Even when candidates are allowed to ask each other questions, it is tightly controlled and negotiated, and there's usually only one.

(Obviously no such decorum is expected in paid communications, or anywhere else)

A presidential "debate" is not a debate, it is a joint TV appearance. Voters at home don't have their flow paper ready so they can judge them on clash.

Obama is in a somewhat risky placed debate-wise. Expectations for him are very high...after all, even Republicans concede he's a great orator. Team Obama will need to try to pump up the perception of Romney's debate skills in advance of the event to prevent this trap from happening. You don't want your candidate compared to the Platonic ideal of rhetoric, he will lose.

Romney will look good just standing next to him. Is there another context in which POTUS stands right next to one person, the most powerful man in the free world sharing the stage with equal time?

Romney is stiff and wooden. If he can escape with a "he did better than expected" story the next morning, the flow debate would be a rather Pyrrhic one for Obama. Obama doesn't need to just win, he needs to blast Romney to pieces like the Death Star for it to count, and look warm doing it.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 8:00 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


>I think the Clint thing overshadowing Romney's speech is not great for the candidate; that's what people are going to remember in 2 months–but there's plenty of time for other things to happen as well.

>The election isn't sewn up by a long shot and anyone who believes it is must be high.


I wouldn't say it's sewn up. But a convention is the best it gets for any candidate. Ryan didn't capture even the whole room when he spoke. Mitt did better, but even then, the cameras had to go to the same people to get the super-excited reaction shots, because no-one else was supplying them.

The end was especially telling, with Mitt and his family standing around during the balloon drop. Some of the kids were clearly interested in other things. Ann was wondering when it would all be over. Mitt had to remind himself to keep smiling.

I found it so representative of his entire campaign so far. He's not someone who motivates people -- not even his own family, it seemed. So no, the election isn't sewn up, and to borrow Cuomo Sr's phrase, between now and then a Pope is born, but if last night was as good as it gets for Romney, he has fallen well short of the mark.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:01 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


the GOP convention was a success, because it was slickly produced, showed more diversity than there really is on the GOP side, and papered over some of the GOP's more problematic policies (e.g. "forcible rape.")

For whom, though?

Viewership was down the first night compared to 2008, and actually dropped the second night of the convention, for Ryan's big speech.

The Republicans have been all, "IN YOUR FACE," Democrats all, "Obama will respond," but the truth of the matter is a very, very thin slice of the electorate watches these campaign commercials, and they are the ones who are already predisposed to vote.

I'll say it again: the GOP convention didn't convince anyone who wasn't already convinced; the Democratic convention won't win many/any converts either. What COULD have an enormous amount of influence on the remaining undecideds is what happens, economically, between now and election day.
posted by kgasmart at 8:02 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Inside Karl Rove's Billionaire Fundraiser

What had emerged from that data is an “acute understanding of the nature of those undecided, persuadable” voters. “If you say he’s a socialist, they’ll go to defend him. If you call him a ‘far out left-winger,’ they’ll say, ‘no, no, he’s not.’” The proper strategy, Rove declared, was criticizing Obama without really criticizing him—by reminding voters of what the president said that he was going to do and comparing it to what he’s actually done. “If you keep it focused on the facts and adopt a respectful tone, then they’re gonna agree with you.”
posted by madamjujujive at 8:02 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Republicans Want To Take Away Your Internet Porn and ‘Game of Thrones’ Sexposition

Shit just got serious.
posted by Artw at 8:02 AM on August 31, 2012 [14 favorites]


It's worth pointing out that this weekend is Labor Day weekend in America. Mitt's speech was last night. The biggest thought on most American's mind today is getting out the office/work early so they can start traveling, partying or BBQing.

I don't know who the hell scheduled this convention, but they should be fired. Tampa in hurricane season? Right before Labor Day Weekend?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:05 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I despise the GOP platform but Jesus Mary and Joseph, I feel for the people putting that on last night. He was only supposed to speak for 3 mins. He spoke for 15min. I mean what the fuck. You just know they were debating furiously what would happen if they went out there to try to drag him off.
posted by angrycat at 8:06 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm sure they did that on purpose...few people are paying attention, good or bad, on Labor Day weekend.
posted by agregoli at 8:07 AM on August 31, 2012


Holy crap, madamjujujive - if I read that right, turd blossom is advocating criticism of the President based on HIS RECORD IN OFFICE!!!!! Which is KIND OF WHAT YOU SHOULD DO PRETTY MUCH?!?!??

This is a topsy-turvy world.
posted by Mister_A at 8:07 AM on August 31, 2012


Presidential debates are quite scripted and polite. Who on earth would be allowed to moderate a debate with a true cross-examination? We Americans like to maintain a veneer of "decorum" in formal political discourse--debates, the House and Senate floors, major speeches like the State of the Union--to the point where a pugnacious cross-examination would be seen as quite rude.

Normally, I'd agree with this. I've seen a glimmer of hope lately, though. It seems that there is a crossable line out there. The media has been willing, by and large, to point out that Ryan and Romney have been, at least, stretching the truth in numerous areas. Maybe this will continue, maybe it won't. One can hope.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:08 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


He was only supposed to speak for 3 mins. He spoke for 15min.

Does he not know the average person (American or not) won't listen?
posted by Mezentian at 8:08 AM on August 31, 2012


Rove has tried every strategy in the book and then landed on HONEST RESPECTFUL DEBATE????!?!?!
posted by Mister_A at 8:08 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Over at Digby's place, David Atkins takes the pulse of the Freepers on the Eastwood schtick and found that it played well...

Freeper: "I wept. “We” own this country. Anglo saxon Patriots OWN this country. If you disagree, I hope you like the taste of steel."

Another Freeper: "I liked it too.
I flipped over to PMSNBC and Rachel Madcow looked like she had been kicked in her testicles.
She was gagging and frothing at the mouth. Hehe.."

posted by madamjujujive at 8:09 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


We don't have to be -- what I am saying is, we don't have to be mental masochists and vote for somebody that we don't even really want in office, just because they seem to be nice guys or maybe not-so-nice guys, if you look at some of the recent ads going out there. I don't know.

Clint is talking to the RNC there, after their party spent many months running away as fast as they could from nominating Romney.
posted by rdr at 8:10 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Compare the usually sleepy affairs that Presidential debates are (with tightly controlled audiences and heavy moderation) to the debates in Hong Kong's Legislative Council election this year, which appear to use the format of "stand in a circle with 20 of your fanatics and yell at each other deathmatch." See clip of pro-democracy Civic Party candidate Alan Leong hacking into pro-Beijing independent Paul Tse.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 8:10 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not voting for one is the same as voting for the other. Please remember this.

So not voting for Romney is the same as voting for Obama? Everyone can stay home then, I guess.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:11 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


crunchland, that Brooks piece is hilarious.
posted by Mister_A at 8:15 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't know who the hell scheduled this convention, but they should be fired.

Hurricanes, Labor Day, cancellations, angry Paulites, racist peanut throwers, conversations with imaginary guests, and a candidate no one really likes to start with. Tough convention. At least no one tried to put this guy on the stage.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:15 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


The idea that you should refuse to vote for anyone less than someone who represents all of your ideals is the best way to make sure that nothing you want ever comes to pass.

Punkey is so right.

Real change is hard. The world is populated by assholes. Many of them will be in your way. Your mission is to build the world you want despite their presence. It's fine to run off and play in your own carefully curated happy place for recreational purposes - but don't confuse recreation with what matters.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 8:20 AM on August 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


There is definitely a chance Romney wins, especially if there's a terrorist attack or the economy does a repeat of Sept.-Oct. 2008. The thing is, you can either let these fears bring you down, or you can laugh at them.
posted by drezdn at 8:23 AM on August 31, 2012


Here's my beef with Romney:
  1. The republicans are completely and utterly bonkers.
  2. As based on his term in office as Massachusetts governor, I can say that Romney is probably not bonkers.
  3. He's shown the will to be ideologically flexible. Personally, I'm willing to be charitable, and call that pragmatism. As a rule, I don't fault politicians for changing their minds -- only the substance and rationale of that decision. I don't think that he's going to cow to (most of) the demands of the insane wing of the GOP.
  4. However (and this is the problem): He hasn't put forth an alternate platform of his own. Romney's (understandably) afraid to stand up about his demonstrably moderate political beliefs (and, really, he's delivered almost nothing of substance himself throughout the entire campaign). Instead he's letting others write his platform for him.
I mean... he's casually hinted that he disagrees with Paul Ryan on just about everything, and shrugs it off whenever he gets asked about it. What the hell? Was Mitt even involved in Ryan's selection process?

This should be the giant red flag -- the elephant in the room. I continue to believe that George W. Bush was a decent guy who wanted the best for his country. Unfortunately, he lacked any sort of vision, and let some of the most deviously evil people on the planet do his job for him. Given the trajectory of Romney's campaign, I think that there's a significant risk of something similar happening again under a Romney presidency. Mitt loves firing his underlings, but I genuinely can't see him engaging in any sort of confrontational situation with a cabinet member who's gone out-of-line, or even the leader of a defiant foreign nation.
posted by schmod at 8:26 AM on August 31, 2012 [17 favorites]


re: Clint's speech - The Onion is on it.
posted by kgasmart at 8:28 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


You’re crazy, you’re absolutely crazy. You’re getting as bad as Biden. Of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party. Kind of a grin with a body behind it.

I watched as much as I could of the video, but I don't think I got to this part. This is truly some fucked-up Dada shit here.
posted by angrycat at 8:29 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now we all get to white-knuckle it for the next 10 weeks as we hope there's not terrible economic news from Europe.
posted by MoonOrb at 8:34 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Borowitz Report is on it too.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:35 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]




Michael Steele was on the Daily Show last night and in the extended interview web-only part came off as incredibly bitter at the RNC. He spent a good amount of time shittalking how the convention was run.
posted by amuseDetachment at 8:36 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like Steele, even though he chaired the RNC.
posted by Mister_A at 8:42 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like Steele, even though he chaired the RNC.

He's actually somewhat human. My daughter is a budding high school journalist and was working on a project "as if she was covering the RNC". I watched more than I'd like with her and that Priebus dude is creepy as hell.

Trying to give her the unbiased background she wanted on the players was very difficult. I had to ask her to resort to Wikipedia to avoid my spin.
posted by readery at 8:50 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing I really don't get about the Republicans lately, is making claims that are clearly not true, but don't even do much for them anyways.

For example, Scott Walker claimed that Paul Ryan didn't use a teleprompter for his speech, when people in the convention center could see the teleprompter (and there are pictures of it).

Sure, he's trying play up the right's "Obama needs a teleprompter" thing that no one who doesn't already hate Obama cares about, but WTF? We can see the teleprompter.
posted by drezdn at 8:52 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


They don't care if what they say is truth, because their rhetoric is not about imparting information or joining an ideological debate. It's about group dynamics. It's about identifying who is in the tribe and who is out of the tribe, and creating pressure on those perceived to be out to come in. They're mobilizing the base, and lies are actually better than truth for that purpose, and the more blatant the lie the better. Orwell said it best: If the party says 2+2=5, party members believe it. You can tell those who are still in the reality based community if they say no, 2+2=4. Those people are the enemy. It feels better to agree with the authority figure who says 2+2=5 than it does to point out he is wrong.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:01 AM on August 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


Clint Eastwood has many credits on imdb, but critically, none of them is as "Writer."
posted by GameDesignerBen at 9:01 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]



Well this explains why I woke up this morning to a Facebook feed full of pictures of people pointing at empty chairs.
posted by Jalliah at 9:03 AM on August 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


InvisibleObama tweet:

The irony is that you are all talking to me too.
posted by ArkhanJG at 9:08 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's my reaction to the Romney (and earlier Ryan) speeches: You Just Can't Get Good (Technical/CSR) Help for $10 an Hour Anymore. Romney and Ryan understand what being a job creator means and the struggles it entails. They've got my vote.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 9:08 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


It was a classic example of the aging paternal figure mouthing off with his downhome "wisdom".

No, the part of the brilliance is that it's a non-politician saying it, one who fits the cowboy image that the GOP loves. It told a great story, but made not a lick of sense and got the base fired up about Clint stickin' it to the Obama. Lovely theatre.


Exactly. Meta-message: We -- the traditional, cowboy-up, shoot from the hip, action-not-words folk -- own this country, and *we* can talk to *you people* any way we damn well please. Including and especially, *you,* you not-a-real-American-President-guy.

Alpha male brings red meat for the group, talks trash about opponent, encourages others to see him (oh yeah, and his policies, too) as lesser. Nothing new here, but, as Brandon Blatcher says, straight-to-the-Republican-gut theater.

[Does anyone else remember when Republicans considered it rude to be disrespectful of the office of the President?]
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:09 AM on August 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


It's about identifying who is in the tribe and who is out of the tribe, and creating pressure on those perceived to be out to come in.

My mother is a mormon who spends her days watching Fox News and has called me every day this week, asking, "Well, what did you think of [the previous evening's speaker]" in a smarmy voice. Because OBVIOUSLY one of these days I'm going to see the light and return to the tribe.

The hell of it is, and I love her dearly, but she's the classic low-information voter; since my parents don't even take the local daily paper anymore, literally Fox News and the local news (and the Weather Channel) are their only sources of information.

Dependent upon Medicare and Social Security, still getting some health care paid for by the state because my Dad worked there for 15 years before being laid off more than a decade ago - they're against Obama's "socialism." It makes --zero--- sense in a cognitive way, but tribally - old, white, Mormon - they're the demographic. The approach works.
posted by kgasmart at 9:09 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Eastwood is the new Cobert?
posted by edgeways at 9:11 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well this explains why I woke up this morning to a Facebook feed full of pictures of people pointing at empty chairs.

I'd just figured Lovely Listing had gone viral.
posted by Mezentian at 9:11 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


@gjc

haha yeah people who dont internet are so fuckin worthless

its a good thing they dont vote, also that they know how we feel about them so they can act accordingly
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:21 AM on August 31, 2012


drezdn: "WTF? We can see the teleprompter."

This is what all the "post-truth era of politics" talk is about. Walker and the GOP messaging team all know that you and I will see the picture of the prompter, but their base voters won't, and independents (all six of them) probably aren't paying enough attention to notice the bald-faced lie.

Politicians are no longer embarrassed to be caught in lies, and they're okay with admitting that to the media -- hence the "we're not going to allow ourselves to be boxed in by the fact-checkers" statement from the GOP when confronted with Paul Ryan's virtually fact-free acceptance speech. They just don't give a fuck anymore, because they've decided that the voters they care about reaching either (a) don't give a fuck, or (b) won't pay close enough attention to notice.

This is the way the world ends, etc.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:23 AM on August 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


angrycat: regatding the excessive length, I heard Rubios's speech had to be trimmed on the fly to keep Romney's speech from pushing intoserious late time tv. Also that they prempted a rather slick bio-pic of Mittens so Clint could do his sctick, win win
posted by edgeways at 9:23 AM on August 31, 2012


Clint is still backstage waiting for Godot.
posted by ericb at 9:23 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Does anyone else remember when Republicans considered it rude to be disrespectful of the office of the President?]

That's only when the cosmic cycle is reversed and deficits DON'T matter. The Republican universe operates according to complex celestial mechanisms that way.
posted by Artw at 9:25 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does anyone else remember when Republicans considered it rude to be disrespectful of the office of the President?

Yeah, but to be fair we're all equally hypocritical on that one. Anytime you hear anyone say anything about "respecting the office of the President" you can be pretty sure that they're in the same party as whoever's holding the office currently.
posted by yoink at 9:25 AM on August 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


The funny thing is, that when I first read this FPP I clicked on the "meme" link and saw the photos of Clint addressing the empty chair and my brain just could not believe what it was seeing. I thought "oh, they just happened to leave an empty chair in the background of the podium and someone took this awkward photo that makes it look--through forced perspective--as if Clint is addressing an empty chair. That seems a bit forced." I just couldn't believe that he would actually do something quite so bizarre. But...here we are.
posted by yoink at 9:40 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of all the lies the Republicans are telling these days, I think this is the one that tells you the most about how the modern Republican party thinks. Somehow, we're supposed to simultaneously believe that (a) stay-at-home moms are our true heroes, and (b) welfare programs should force mothers to get a damn job and quit freeloading. Raising kids is important if and only if you're married to Mitt Romney.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:41 AM on August 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


Anytime you hear anyone say anything about "respecting the office of the President" you can be pretty sure that they're in the same party as whoever's holding the office currently.

Wrong. My grandmother said this repeatedly during the Bush years. She's a dyed in the wool Democrat, but she was raised to have respect for the office even if she can't respect the individual holding the office.

She raised me that way, as well.

Please don't call everyone a hypocrite just because you happen to be one.
posted by palomar at 9:42 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, but to be fair we're all equally hypocritical on that one.

Britney Spears: "Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens."
Republican cheering.

Dixie Chicks: "...we don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States [George W. Bush] is from Texas."
Republican jeering.

Clint Eastwood: "Oh, What do you mean shut up?... You're crazy. You're absolutely crazy. You're getting as bad as Biden. ... What? What do you want me to tell Romney? I can't tell him to do that. That. He can't do that to himself.... You want to make my day, huh? All right. Go ahead..." All that's missing is the prop gun that goes with the original line.
Republican cheering.

I still see a difference, thanks.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:42 AM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


Needs a "don't let the sun set on you here. "
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on August 31, 2012


Can we get a photoshop of George W. Eastwooding an electric chair?
posted by EJXD2 at 9:47 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Saturday Night Live" cast member Seth Myers had an entirely different idea: "(Vice President Joe) Biden has to go shirtless for DNC to top it."

It's been done already.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:51 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dependent upon Medicare and Social Security, still getting some health care paid for by the state because my Dad worked there for 15 years before being laid off more than a decade ago - they're against Obama's "socialism." It makes --zero--- sense in a cognitive way, but tribally - old, white, Mormon - they're the demographic. The approach works.

My mother was vociferously opposed to any sort of insurance reform until she lost her job and suddenly realized that, holy shit, insurance is unaffordable. I took glee in repeating to her, word for word, her previous assertions that people who couldn't afford insurance were just lazy and needed to just get out there and get a job and stop whining. Of course she is still voting for Romney because black people.
posted by winna at 9:57 AM on August 31, 2012 [19 favorites]


Obama should invite Eastwood to the Democrats Convention and allow him to ask questions with Obama in the chair.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:01 AM on August 31, 2012 [20 favorites]


Maybe the Secret Service can have a chat with Eastwood about that crowd pleasing closing line that intimates shooting the President.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:09 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's been a busy few years for them... Of course, it's all nothing compared to the thinly veiled death threats of the Dixie Chicks.
posted by Artw at 10:11 AM on August 31, 2012


Regarding Donald Trump's 'big surprise' for the RNC: he filmed an 'APRENTICE' video in which he fired an Obama impersonator (played by Kevin Michel).

Trump's schtick was canceled due to the shortened convention.
posted by ericb at 10:12 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Romney:
I can still hear [my mom] saying in her beautiful voice, "Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?"
Then why should women have any less say than men about decisions about their own bodies?
posted by kirkaracha at 10:15 AM on August 31, 2012 [12 favorites]


Mister_A: "I like Steele, even though he chaired the RNC."

I read three times before I realized that "chaired the RNC" is not what Eastwood did last night. Funny memes can really overtake your brains I guess.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:19 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


If this isn't a sad commentary, I don't know what is. "The fourth episode of TLC’s Honey Boo Boo draws more viewers than the Republican National Convention."
posted by crunchland at 10:33 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can still hear [my mom] saying in her beautiful voice, "Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?"

Her voice was "beautiful", an adjective I can't see being applied to a male voice outside the realm of music. Personally, I liked how it was implied that the sound/presentation of woman's voice is an important factor to take note of when they express a desire to have their say.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:33 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]




Then why should women have any less say than men about decisions about their own bodies?

Romney agreed with you on that point until he changed his position in order to get the Republican nomination. Based on what I know about him and his family (as well as his religious beliefs on the matter), I'd be surprised if he pushed a pro-life agenda as President. Then again, I hope we don't get the chance to find out.
posted by The World Famous at 10:36 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


> if a President Romney will be more like Governor Romney and less like candidate Romney, I could imagine voting for him

Really? Do you even know his approval ratings as governor?
posted by floatboth at 10:44 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney agreed with you on that point until he changed his position in order to get the Republican nomination.

I'd probably say "Romney agreed with you on that point while it was politically convenient for him to do so - that is, when he was seeking the approval of Massachusetts, not the Republicans passim". If you can change your principles on a dime like that, they aren't really principles.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:45 AM on August 31, 2012


I still see a difference, thanks.

Yes. The Dixie Chicks comment was the sole critical comment made about Bush during his entire term.

Or, you know, you could Google, say, "Chimpy McFlightsuit" and ask yourself if that term (which I admit to finding hilarious--along with all the associated photoshops et al.) was largely propagated by supporters of President Bush.

It's all very well to point out the speck of dust in your opponent's eye, but try to have at least SOME awareness of the plank in your own.

(P.S., just had a look through past instances of people using "Chimpy McFlightsuit" on Metafilter--in no case was the user reproved for failing to "respect the office of the President.")
posted by yoink at 10:48 AM on August 31, 2012


Somehow, we're supposed to simultaneously believe that (a) stay-at-home moms are our true heroes, and (b) welfare programs should force mothers to get a damn job and quit freeloading. Raising kids is important if and only if you're married to Mitt Romney.

It's not a contradiction at all. Stay-at-home moms are great, as long as you have a Standard Family Unit of Working Father and Loving Mother. And single parents are OK, I guess, if they can pay for child care without relying on hand-outs. But still, the Best Thing is for One Father and One Mother to be The Parents in A Family.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:49 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]




I'm surprised there's not more talk about one of the other storylines of the RNC, which is the completion of the project to co-opt the Tea Party/libertarian wing into the Republican establishment.

Yeah, it was pretty much a done deal a few months after the 2010 mid-terms, but a couple final nails were driven into the coffin this week. First, RONPAUL traded all the chips he'd earned over a decade of campaigning for President in for, not a series of platform planks, not a speaking slot at the convention, but for a speaking slot for his son. I guess the idea is that RANDPAUL will carry on RONPAUL's legacy, but for a voting bloc that purports to believe in liberty!!! and small government, it's funny that their movement apparently believes in primogeniture.

Then there's David Koch, who now considers himself a Republican first and a Libertarian second, and had some unkind words to say about the great unwashed in the libertarian tent:
"The Libertarian Party is a great concept. I love the ideals, but it got too far off the deep end, and so I dropped out," Koch said. "I think the Republican Party has a great chance of being successful and that's why I support it," he said, adding "but I believe in the libertarian principles."
Of course Koch was always establishment, and he probably self-identified as Republican privately the whole time, but it's certainly interesting to see him put a hose in the mouth of the libertarian movement while it's already drowning. I'm sure we'll see the "Tea Party" label used from time to time, but it certainly looks to me like the GOP has finally beaten down and absorbed the insurgency, and that the party bosses are back in control, regardless of how many Rand Pauls or Ted Cruzes are elected.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:51 AM on August 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'd probably say "Romney agreed with you on that point while it was politically convenient for him to do so - that is, when he was seeking the approval of Massachusetts, not the Republicans passim". If you can change your principles on a dime like that, they aren't really principles.

I'd agree with you on that except that I'm pretty familiar with what his parents believed and what his church teaches on the subject, and I'm assuming (perhaps foolishly) that Romney does have some principles underneath his willingness to lie about basically anything, and that they are somewhat aligned with his upbringing.
posted by The World Famous at 10:51 AM on August 31, 2012


yoink: "Or, you know, you could Google, say, "Chimpy McFlightsuit" and ask yourself if that term (which I admit to finding hilarious--along with all the associated photoshops et al.) was largely propagated by supporters of President Bush."

So you're saying a mean-spirited moniker that some commenters on Daily Kos and Eschaton are using is equivalent to something the Republicans did during prime time right before their nominee's acceptance speech?

Sure you don't have anything better than that?
posted by tonycpsu at 10:53 AM on August 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


He's a spineless liar who stands for nothing and expects everything to be easy, and he's exceedingly bad company. A Romney presidency is not going to go well. That's before we get to his previous experience as a tax dodger and heartless asset-stripper.
posted by Artw at 10:54 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Respecting the President, in my uneducated opinion, came from the Clinton administration, with the overblown Monica Lewinsky scandal. Private, extra-marital relations became a media circus, and lead to an attempt to impeach him. I'm not condoning extramarital affairs, but the whole mess was nothing more than political games that took away from actually governing the nation.

And then there was Chimpy McFlightsuit, stories of stolen elections, etc. It's hard to put aside bad feelings from prior administrations. It's easy to say "remember that bullshit, well your guy is even shittier." It's a lot harder to say "I didn't elect him, but I'll stand behind him."
posted by filthy light thief at 10:54 AM on August 31, 2012


""I am," I said / To no one there / An no one heard at all / Not even the chair
posted by kgasmart at 10:55 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Romney aides scramble to deny responsibility for scheduling Clint Eastwood:
“Not me,” said an exasperated-looking senior adviser, when asked who was responsible for Mr. Eastwood’s speech. In late-night interviews, aides variously called the speech “strange” and “weird.” One described it as “theater of the absurd.” NYT
posted by msalt at 10:57 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's before we get to his previous experience as a tax dodger and heartless asset-stripper.

On the other hand, maybe what America needs right about now is a guy who can figure out how to help it legally dodge its financial obligations and screw over all the companies it enters into contracts with.
posted by The World Famous at 10:58 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Politicians are no longer embarrassed to be caught in lies, and they're okay with admitting that to the media -- hence the "we're not going to allow ourselves to be boxed in by the fact-checkers" statement from the GOP when confronted with Paul Ryan's virtually fact-free acceptance speech. They just don't give a fuck anymore, because they've decided that the voters they care about reaching either (a) don't give a fuck, or (b) won't pay close enough attention to notice.

Speech, Lies, and Apathy, an article on this topic in the philosophy section of the Times.
posted by painquale at 11:01 AM on August 31, 2012


Romney aides scramble to deny responsibility for scheduling Clint Eastwood: NYT

I'm glad you said NYT because I assumed it was an Onion link and wasn't going to click it.
posted by tilde at 11:01 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is how extreme the Republican party of today is:

* to the right of Ronald no loopholes for millionaires Reagan

* to the right of John Birchite David Koch, who disagrees with them on gay marriage, the need to raise taxes and defense cuts.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:01 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]






crunchland: "If this isn't a sad commentary, I don't know what is. "The fourth episode of TLC’s Honey Boo Boo draws more viewers than the Republican National Convention.""

I'm only dimly aware of what Honey Boo Boo is, but that actually makes me a bit optimistic.
posted by brundlefly at 11:07 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's turning into the Republican Family Circus.

"Who let Clint Eastwood up on that stage with that chair?"

"Not Me"
"Ida Know"
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:09 AM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'd agree with you on that except that I'm pretty familiar with what his parents believed and what his church teaches on the subject, and I'm assuming (perhaps foolishly) that Romney does have some principles underneath his willingness to lie about basically anything, and that they are somewhat aligned with his upbringing. - The World Famous

Whatever the other credos of the Mormon church, haven't they taught by example that changing your principles for political gain requires no apology? Polygamy and the ineligibility of blacks to the priesthood were both shed like snakeskin when they because awkward...
posted by nicwolff at 11:14 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


In response to the RNC being built around "You Didn't Build That", maybe the Democrats ought to build theirs around "America's Not a Company". I mean, he actually said that, so it's fair game, amirite?
posted by tonycpsu at 11:17 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


... if a President Romney will be more like Governor Romney and less like candidate Romney, I could imagine voting for him.

Romney was such a failure as a governor. He's running away from his signature achievement: Universal Health Care for residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It's called 'Commonwealth' for a reason!

Many were/are upset that Romney went around the country dissing Massachusetts during his last year of Governor. He only ran for 1 term, so as to put it on his résumé and then could say that he successfully ran for public office. Transparent opportunism.

His performance was lackluster. In his previous run for President Flip Romney tried to downplay his poor performance as governor ... and made many disparaging comments about Massachusetts in the process.

As well, "[i]n 2006, his last year as governor, Romney spent all or part of 212 days [58%] out of state, laying the foundation for his anticipated presidential campaign."* "[He] [v]isited 35 states; built a national network [for his run for President].*

HE HAD NO INTEREST in running the State. He was using his governorship as a springboard for his Presidential ambitions. The guy has no 'core.' No 'center.'

Oh, and another tidbit: "The cost of the Governor's security detail for out-of-state trips increased from $63,874 in fiscal year 2005 to a cost of $103,365 in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2006."
posted by ericb at 11:17 AM on August 31, 2012 [16 favorites]








three blind mice: So by my way of thinking, Obama is by no means a shoe-in in November and I am not so certain that seeing him go would not be the better option.

Maybe take a quick peek at their respective stances on women's rights?
posted by troika at 11:28 AM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


I passed a newspaper box (USA Today, I think) this morning with a photo of Romney & Ryan over a headline reading 'We Deserve Better' and chucked to myself before realizing that it was a quote, not a comment.
posted by troika at 11:29 AM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]




Said a campaign spokesperson: "Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn’t work. His ad libbing was a break from all the political speeches, and the crowd enjoyed it."
Maybe Republicans should think a bit about what this implies about the crowd.
posted by Flunkie at 11:31 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Slade: "I will bet you $100 right now that, when it finally comes down to it, the Republicans will hold their noses and nominate Romney.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:05 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite +] [!]"
(Source)

You all owe me a hundred bucks. Each.
Not those of us who believed you.

BTW, got any hot stock tips? Favorite numbers?
posted by IAmBroom at 11:33 AM on August 31, 2012


Ursula Hitler: You know, if I could turn invisible, the Republican National Convention would be at the absolute bottom of places I'd go to hang out.

Really? Because I can see how it'd be lots of fun. Goosing people during their horrible lying speeches, pulling off toupees and making them dance around while I made scary ghost noises, whispering in Santorum's ear that I am the voice of God, and I command him to grab the mic and finally admit to the world that he's a homo...

And of course I'd crouch down behind Mitt during his entire speech and make constant farting sounds with my mouth. Loud enough for the mic to pick up, and with each fart lasting for like 20 seconds.
If I ever become a genii, I'm sending you the address of the lamp shop, AND granting you an extra wish.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:34 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]




Yeah? Well invisible PAUL MCCARTNEY's sitting next to me right now, bud
posted by kgasmart at 11:42 AM on August 31, 2012


This of course means we now know Obama can't fly.
posted by Artw at 11:42 AM on August 31, 2012


So here's the scene that the whole convention quoted in unison

I guess they were probably thinking of Reagan quoting the movie and don't actually remember the details of a late-era Dirty Harry sequel, but still...eew.
posted by mike_bling at 11:44 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]






if a President Romney will be more like Governor Romney and less like candidate Romney, I could imagine voting for him

It doesn't matter whether or not there's a difference between Governor Romney and Candidate/President Romney. As I said above, if he wins, then there will have been enough support for the GOP to tie or win the Senate, therefore giving them control of both houses (whenever reconciliation is used). At that point, he is (as Grover Norquist put it) a rubber stamp for whatever the crazily right-wing Congress wants to pass.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:52 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Handouts for rich people, dismantling everything else, basically. Plus the odd bit of socially regressive legislation for the base, but not enough do there won't be anything for them to chase next time.
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on August 31, 2012


Mr. Romney Reinvents History (NYT editorial):
The truth, rarely heard this week in Tampa, Fla., is that the Republicans charted a course of denial and obstruction from the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated, determined to deny him a second term by denying him any achievement, no matter the cost to the economy or American security — even if it meant holding the nation’s credit rating hostage to a narrow partisan agenda.
Except the Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995, before it returned to GOP control. After that, the GOP didn't set aside Partisan Politics as so many said they would.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:56 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and maybe some neocon foreign policy bullshit for the Bush era advisers he's towing along. I doubt that holds much personal interest for him though.
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on August 31, 2012


Busted Tees is on the case with "a chair we can believe in" shirts.
posted by tilde at 11:59 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


the Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995

Not really -- with an opposition willing to use the filibuster at every opportunity, the majority in the Senate becomes 60 votes. And Republicans took every advantage of that fact.
posted by msalt at 12:17 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I know a lot of folks hate David Brooks, but you should really check out his latest column: (NYT)

Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and several other swing states. He emerged, hair first, believing in America, and especially its national parks. He was given the name Mitt, after the Roman god of mutual funds, and launched into the world with the lofty expectation that he would someday become the Arrow shirt man.
posted by msalt at 12:24 PM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


Smithsonian Magazine puts it all in historical context: The Long History of Americans Debating Empty Chairs
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:25 PM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


Do you just - you know - I know - people were wondering - you don’t - handle that OK.
posted by nostrada at 12:29 PM on August 31, 2012


the Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995

And the idea that they weren't productive during that time is a complete myth, aided and abetted by the zeal with which people jumped on the "disappointed with Obama" bandwagon.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:34 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sue Storm for President.
posted by The Whelk at 12:34 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I see what you did there!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:41 PM on August 31, 2012




It really doesn't look like a very comfortable chair.
posted by Artw at 12:48 PM on August 31, 2012




I can only imagine what this looks like from outside the US, we're all kind of used to it thanks to the steady drumbeat of crazy, what must it be like to get these sudden nuggets of WTFery from the states on a regular basis...
posted by The Whelk at 12:51 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Three reasons Clint Eastwood worked for Republicans.

Nah. Had a right-wing friend e-mail this morning to say: "Clint.......What the fu(k was that? That was somewhat uncomfortable. It reminded me of a line from "The Godfather"......"The old man had to much to drink."
posted by kgasmart at 12:51 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I did see a repub acquaintance (not a particularly rabid one) say "well, it's over" on FB - -so not all republicans are stoked about that bizarre and disgraceful soliloquy.
posted by Mister_A at 12:55 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brings new meaning to the phrase "armchair critic."
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:59 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


" ... the gimmick he used, which was halfway between Beckett (Waiting for Barack) and Ionesco (The Chairs) hardly worked for him. Unless all this is nothing but a sham—something along the lines of Brechtian distancing." — (GQ Magazine-France)"
I'm flattered by the credit they give us.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:00 PM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well, they are French, they make assumptions.
posted by Artw at 1:03 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I figured all the photos of pointing at empty chairs was about the Rapture.

known locally to San Francisco as "Burning Man"
posted by zippy at 1:03 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I like Eastwood. I don't know if I'm going to be able to watch this.
posted by brundlefly at 1:07 PM on August 31, 2012


what must it be like to get these sudden nuggets of WTFery from the states on a regular basis...

They (all the people of the other countries) must be used to the fact that we lost our collective mind on 9/11 and although we exhibit a few glimmers of sanity, we are still totally unhinged.

And given our size, this insanity must be very discomforting.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:07 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Eastwood last night: But I'd just like to say something ladies and gentlemen, something that I think is very important. It is that you - we - we own this country.

I don't think I've ever had a crystal-clear and finally truly articulated sense of what the modern Republican Party is about, as I do know, that I've finally heard it put that way.

It's like one of those things were you suspect someone feels a certain way and they finally come out with whats in their mind and their heart and it sorta rocks you on your heels a bit...

If the Republicans are the "owners" or the wanna-be "owners: in training?

What does that make everybody else in their eyes??


It's astonishing actually what that statement fully says about the way the Right sees the Founders, and things like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and all that EQUALITY and FREEDOM hooey...the Right throws around so carelessly.

They don't believe any of that stuff. Not really.

Clint Eastwood, by talking to a chair, inadvertently managed to give the most surreal and the most REAL, sobering "bitch-slap" of a political speech anyone's ever given at a modern Republican National Convention...

This is what they say to themselves in the darkness when they're alone, talking amongst themselves or to someone they imagine is in the room...

Clint somehow forgot he wasn't alone. I wonder if that's the way he comes up with dialogue.


We need to see the rest of that film going on in his head.

But in the meanwhile, that was an incredible spectacle and bit of theater he put on up there, because I definitely took an artist to make the scales form my eyes and make me realize certain very harsh truths about power in this country.
posted by Skygazer at 1:11 PM on August 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


I would give Mitt a dollar if, the next time he's asked about the Eastwood spectacle, he described it as "Brechtian distancing."
posted by octobersurprise at 1:11 PM on August 31, 2012 [9 favorites]




octobersurprise: Mitt likes it in $10 000 increments
posted by nostrada at 1:14 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


As for TV ratings. Romney had 25 million last night. McCain had 40 million.
posted by drezdn at 1:14 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Heh heh. David Brooks sounds depressed. Sweet.
posted by angrycat at 1:15 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


" ... the gimmick he used, which was halfway between Beckett (Waiting for Barack) and Ionesco (The Chairs) hardly worked for him. Unless all this is nothing but a sham—something along the lines of Brechtian distancing." — (GQ Magazine-France)"

I think they're going to give him one of those awards the French like to give "great" actors.

I mean, I hate and love what Eastwood did there. Love the performance, hate the truth of what he said about "we own this country." Love the truth of that....


This Brecht, guy. Is he good??
posted by Skygazer at 1:15 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the record, Twitter.com says InvisibleObama only has 19 followers.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:15 PM on August 31, 2012


Brooks is going to cry right into the lap of a man in a teddy bear outfit
posted by The Whelk at 1:16 PM on August 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


There are two kinds of people in this world my friend. Those with occupied chairs and those who dig.

posted by mmrtnt at 1:18 PM on August 31, 2012


This is what they say to themselves in the darkness when they're alone, talking amongst themselves or to someone they imagine is in the room...

Well no, they say it on the blogs and in the comments sections and when they're talking to one another at family dinners, etc.

Yes, it's what they believe, and (in their view) the overeducated black guy in the White House is definitely NOT one of them, he's one of the usurpers. He and people like him are the people who ruined this country - that's what they think.
posted by kgasmart at 1:19 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Three reasons Clint Eastwood worked for Republicans. -- When life gives you lemons...
posted by crunchland at 1:20 PM on August 31, 2012


Skygazer, to summarize: When Paul Ryan says "we", it includes a lot fewer people than you might have assumed.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:21 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: "For the record, Twitter.com says InvisibleObama only has 19 followers."

Every time I reload that profile the follower count changes. Something's up with Twitter, I guess.
posted by brundlefly at 1:21 PM on August 31, 2012


David Brooks, NY Times : The Real Romney
posted by crunchland at 5:26 AM on August 31 [3 favorites +] [!]

The piece is funny, and obviously sarcastic, but I don't think it's the fodder that some believe it to be. He seems to be complaining about Romney's constant makeovers and the sometimes outlandish characterizations from the blue's favorite watering holes (Stewart, Colbert, parts of MSNBC). He isn't throwing up his hands or Romney under the bus. What he really things of Romney is at the end: "... his real-life record: successful business leader, superb family man, effective governer, devoted community leader and prudent decision-maker."

Brooks leans right, but it's frankly center right and often very reasonable. Center right is practically left these days.
posted by IndpMed at 1:24 PM on August 31, 2012


I think they're going to give him one of those awards the French like to give "great" actors.

"Ze Clint, he is as irremplaçable as Monsieur Lewis, no?"

Tbh, what I find most remarkable about the whole thing is how someone let a celebrity with little experience speaking to large crowds and little political experience get on the stage on the most important night of the convention and free associate for 20 minutes before the candidate arrives.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:28 PM on August 31, 2012


> And given our size, this insanity must be very discomforting
No, not at all! We're just happy you guys are armed.

I've been thinking maybe 4 years of Romney (2012-2016) would prevent 8 years of Ryan (2016-2024). It's not like Obama couldn't find work on the speaking circuit.
posted by de at 1:29 PM on August 31, 2012


kgasmart: Well no, they say it on the blogs and in the comments sections and when they're talking to one another at family dinners, etc.

Of course it is, but not in a forum as important to them as a Republican National Convention.

Clint's an icon, the republican standard bearer, that could be said to be carrying the torch from John Wayne or more importantly the sainted Ronald Reagan, and that bit of surreal "reality" theater he enacted was way more important and more powerful, than any blog, or any dinner of Republicans bitching about Obama.

That had the weight of something much more profound and significant. It was one of those huge cultural moments that mark either a beginning or an end.
posted by Skygazer at 1:31 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


So a guy who eliminated hundreds of $22 an hour jobs and slashed hundreds more jobs to below $9 an hour blasts Barack Obama for not giving you the better life you deserved, after you lost your $22/hour job and had to take two $9/hour jobs. Are we all high or something? Did that really just happen?
posted by tilde at 1:32 PM on August 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


I've been thinking maybe 4 years of Romney (2012-2016) would prevent 8 years of Ryan (2016-2024).

A Romney presidency (judging from modern history) is far more likely to lead to a Ryan presidency than a loss this year would.
posted by drezdn at 1:34 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


8 years of Ryan? The GOP nominee has, for the past few cycles, been whoever came in second the last time around. Which means we're looking at eight years of.....SANTORUM.
posted by troika at 1:34 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I took Brooks's piece as a swipe at all those who delight in caricaturing Romney.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:36 PM on August 31, 2012


troika, you're forgetting that Mike Huckabee sat this one out on purpose, and would have been Santorum's place, if not Mr. Romney's.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:39 PM on August 31, 2012


That had the weight of something much more profound and significant. It was one of those huge cultural moments that mark either a beginning or an end.

I don't know, again, something like this is being said on Fox News probably right about now, and hell, Limbaugh prattles on about it regularly.

What might be different here is that the Republicans/Clint aired it out for the non-ideological to hear. We own this f*cking country so if you aren't one of us, f*ck you. I don't know that this is going to appeal to anyone other than those who already feel part of the tribe.

And the proper response to this is: No you f*cking don't. Which will enrage them even further. But you don't compromise with this mindset, or try to change it; it's set in granite.

I always thought that if you had a neighbor as personally obnoxious as the GOP is institutionally obnoxious ("Hey, I own this place... and I'm exceptional, I rock so much harder than you") you'd brick up the window so you didn't even have to look at him.
posted by kgasmart at 1:41 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ryan's definitely in play if he doesn't get caught in some scandal and I think he really deserves to be caught in one.

Condi clearly put it out there that not only is she one of the faithful who will do anything those folks want of her, she made it clear she's got the balls and the presence to be president or Vice President.

I thought Ryan was going to be the actual Pres. Nom for the GOtP this time around, so I'm feeling pretty good about my instincts on this, and what I see in play here is some sort of Ryan/Condi/Rubio combination for 2016 vs. Hillary. Which still won't mean jack in terms of efficacy unless the GOP has a true true "come to Jesus" moment and drops all the hate-talk against all the groups they marginalize and drops a big chunk of it's antediluvian and ridiculous social issues agenda..
posted by Skygazer at 1:41 PM on August 31, 2012


troika, you're forgetting that Mike Huckabee sat this one out on purpose,

While it's possible the public may forget, any Republican Huckabee opponent would keep hitting him over the head with Maurice Clemmons.
posted by drezdn at 1:45 PM on August 31, 2012


Romney, an effective job creator? A person who actually has empathy for others not like himself?
Given his record as Governor of Massachusetts -- 47th among the 50 states in job creation -- and his history at Bain Capital, Romney can't really make the case he has any experience creating jobs.

But the thing that really stands between Romney and swing voters is the perception that he has zero empathy -- no comprehension of what life is like for everyday Americans.

So the Republicans tried very hard to tell stories that humanized the otherwise robot-like Romney. But here is the bottom line: when multiple speakers have to testify how authentic you are -- you're not.*
posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Republicans: Angry old white people desperately clinging to their declining power.
posted by msalt at 1:50 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ryan has negatives that aren't being heavily attacked now (partially because some could have been used against Obama in 2008) that I think would be pretty big in 2016.

He's never run a state-wide election.
He's only ever passed two pieces of legislation.

Plus, Scott Walker will probably be running.
posted by drezdn at 1:50 PM on August 31, 2012




They (all the people of the other countries) must be used to the fact that we lost our collective mind on 9/11 and although we exhibit a few glimmers of sanity, we are still totally unhinged.

For me as a Canadian, 9/11 was tragic, the invasion and occupation of Iraq was horrifying, the subprime meltdown was terrifying, and the rise of the Tea Party has been equally unsettling. In Canada for the most part we have it good, and it is saddening and concerning that so many of my American friends are experiencing tough times.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:02 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am thinking that the all the outrage about the "We own this country" line won't have much traction with independents, who are more likely to interpret it in the way it was intended--as in that our political leaders are responsible to all of us, all Americans--rather than in the less charitable "I'm rich and I own this country and you don't" way that is popular here.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:03 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yet the crowd cheered and no doubt thought "That damn Obama, using the Presidential plane, how dare he?!"

That line bugged me too, but apparently Romney tried to make hay over Obama using Air Force One for campaigning while he had a cessna.

Romney just bought a big new plane and one for Ryan, so I don't think gas-guzzling is a talking point they are going to pursue.
posted by Gary at 2:17 PM on August 31, 2012


That line bugged me too, but apparently Romney tried to make hay over Obama using Air Force One for campaigning while he had a cessna.

As long as Obama's sitting in the chair, he gets to use Air Force One.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:20 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course he does. Not to mention that most of the people cheering were chanting "drill baby drill" four years ago.
posted by Gary at 2:23 PM on August 31, 2012


"If Ryan has broken 3:00, he'd be the fastest marathoner to be on a national ticket. John Edwards has run 3:30; George W. Bush has run 3:44; Sarah Palin has run 3:59; and Al Gore has run 4:58."

There's no way all those numbers are real. I look forward to reading a really amazing piece of investigative citizen journalism on the topic, probably on a running forum.
posted by box at 2:25 PM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Box, that shouldn't be too difficult if they're recent. All of the races I've run have a publicly searchable-by-name list of times. All you'd have to do is find out which race, right?

I've only done 5ks, marathons might be different.
posted by troika at 2:38 PM on August 31, 2012




Artw: "Romney visits NOLA, asks where the water came from. "

Wait until he hears how many atoms of Jesus he consumes each day.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:44 PM on August 31, 2012


moonorb: as in that our political leaders are responsible to all of us, all Americans--rather than in the less charitable "I'm rich and I own this country and you don't" way that is popular here

I don't know if it's so popular here...

But, if "we" all of us, own this country, than why would Republicans be so happy about declaring corporate money in elections a "freedom of speech" issue and selling all that influence to septuagenarian and octogenarian billionaires like to the Koch Bros., and why would "we" all of us, want a country that gives fabulous tax breaks to the ultra-rich and why would "we" all of us be so militant and indignant about an African-American president wanting to ensure national healthcare, even if it costs everyone a mandate contribution, since we're already paying for that care in emergency rooms??

I think you're being too generous. Clint got ahead of himself and needed to qualify it, once he's realized he was out of "talking alone in a room to a chair" mode to include Democracts, and Libertarians and what have you....

I don't believe for a second that the people he meant when he used the word "we" was simply, "we, the people in this room, at the RNC who're Republicans."

And the Right's attitude has been "us" (the one's who own the country. That is, the REAL AMERICANS) vs. "them" (the blacks, the hispanics, the illegals, all those people who want our money, and the 'fags," "the liberal socialists," "the freak kids" the drug addicts and alcoholics and those "white trash people in the Tea Parties" who vote for us because of religion, guns, racism and ignorance.)


Nah, no way is that genie going back in that bottle. Clint made it very very clear, in spite of trying to undo it and unsay it that his idea of America is very clearly "We" (The people in this room/arena and RNC and our families and those like us) own this country. And no one else. Especially "those people."

That genie is so incredibly out of the bottle.

And the reason I'm so sure of it is because if you use what Clint inadvertently admitted to last night in his performance, it's the key to understanding everything the modern Republican party does and everything it says... be it in their ranks in the Congress or their stars like Cheney, Bush, Rove, or in their Think Tanks like the AEI, Heritage Foundation, Federalists, John Birch or online at Red State, or Drudge or on old media RUSH or Fox News, or from the Tea Party Express, all the way through Wall Street, and old money corporations to what the Koch Bros. put their money into, to how people like Scalia, Thomas and Alito think...to what the R's in the House and the Senate say.

When McConnell said "Our priority must be to make Obama a one term president" bam! that's WE...

When they keep repeating we want our country back... and "Obama penalizes the successful and demonizes them/wants class warfare/is a socialist/wants to re-distribute wealth" it all makes so much sense to me know simple by understanding who the we, that Clint identified last night really is.

It's the plutocratic wealthy, who've always been wealthy, and had the power, who think America is there's and that's what it is and what it's going to remain forever...because that stuff in those finding documents may include everyone, but of course, not on their watch is it going to include everyone...and Obama is too much of a reminder of how much this country is yet meant to do based on the foundations and principles the founders envisioned....

And you want to make it in this country you go through slaving away for the plutocracy and making yourself loyal, NOT by hard work (another huge lie) or the power of your ideas (unless they compliment and sooth the uber-rich as Ayn Rand does, as Supply side economics does, and Crony Capitalsim does...), or the power of one's ingenuity...


It's very, almost painfully clear now who the "we" in Clint's speech performance really are, but even more importantly, who the people aren't in that "we."
posted by Skygazer at 2:48 PM on August 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


From Artw's link:

The comment brought to mind another observation about the natural wonders that Romney made during the primaries, when he returned home to Michigan and remarked, “I love this state. The trees are the right height.”


Ha ha poor robot
posted by angrycat at 2:49 PM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]



roomthreeseventeen: "For the record, Twitter.com says InvisibleObama only has 19 followers."

Every time I reload that profile the follower count changes. Something's up with Twitter, I guess.


Mine says over 58,000
posted by Jalliah at 2:50 PM on August 31, 2012


Crap. Bad writing, sorry:

I don't believe for a second that the people he meant when he used the word "we" was simply, anyone but instead ONLY the, "we, the people in this room, at the RNC who're Republicans."
posted by Skygazer at 2:52 PM on August 31, 2012


The Quarter Billionaire's $9 Jobs
And at the core of the passage are $9 jobs that don't pay enough to live on.

Which is funny, because just a few hours earlier, the Founder of Staples, Thomas Stemberg, bragged about Mitt's role in this:
The truth is Mitt was not a typical investor. He was a true partner. Where some saw an unproven new business, he saw a store that could save people money. He recognized that efficiency creates consumer value. He never looked at Staples as merely a financial investment. He saw the engine of prosperity it could become.

Today Staples employs nearly 90,000 people. It has over 2,000 stores. Over 50 distribution centers.
The average self-reported hourly wage of a Staples EasyTech Associate is $8.89. The average self-reported hourly wage of a Staples Sales Associate is $8.54.

Those jobs Mitt talked about as a symbol of America's failed promise, the ones that don't pay a living wage? That's what Mitt's campaign boasted about last night as his idea of an "engine of prosperity."

[...]

But to a large and increasing number of American people, Mitt's actually arguing that he should be President so he can solve the problem he got phenomenally rich by causing in the first place.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:55 PM on August 31, 2012 [12 favorites]


That last line should go into the comment I made before, when I hit Post instead of preview sorry about the shit editing folks...
posted by Skygazer at 2:55 PM on August 31, 2012


Hurricanes, Labor Day, cancellations, angry Paulites, racist peanut throwers ...

Thank God[ot] that Romney and the RNC cancelled an appearance by Mad Men actor John Slattery (aka Roger Sterling) serenading the crowd in 'black face.'
posted by ericb at 2:59 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


The average self-reported hourly wage of a Staples EasyTech Associate is $8.89. The average self-reported hourly wage of a Staples Sales Associate is $8.54.

It's the perfect example of what the wealthy want in this country. A pool of economically triangulated middle class people in debt to mortgages and college loans, desperate enough to work for those wages, so they can further enrich the super rich and those who have no probably being predatory and confrontational and feeling superior via reading too many Ayn Rand novels and listening to too many speeches at the RNC and believing everything they heard....
posted by Skygazer at 3:01 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


How do you figure they're middle-class? $9 is not anything like middle-class.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:05 PM on August 31, 2012


I've been thinking maybe 4 years of Romney (2012-2016) would prevent 8 years of Ryan (2016-2024). It's not like Obama couldn't find work on the speaking circuit.

I'd rather give Ryan 8 years as PotUS than one or more new conservative justices ~30 years on the Supreme Court.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 3:05 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rnc Touts Romney's Accomplishments, While Glossing Over His Health Care Plan --"One of Romney's foremost achievements as governor – enacting sweeping health reform – is noticeably absent."
posted by ericb at 3:09 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


How do you figure they're middle-class? $9 is not anything like middle-class.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:05 PM on August 31 [+] [!]


How's this instead?
A pool of economically triangulated formerly middle class people, reduced to being the working poor due to being in debt to mortgages and college loans and health insurance costs, and unable to find substantive jobs that pay better, desperate enough to work for those wages

That's what I meant truly...
posted by Skygazer at 3:13 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd rather give Ryan 8 years as PotUS than one or more new conservative justices ~30 years on the Supreme Court.
To this point, here's the ages of the current justices:
  • 79, Ginsburg
  • 76, Scalia
  • 76, Kennedy
  • 74, Breyer
  • 64, Thomas
  • 62, Alito
  • 58, Sotomayor
  • 55, Roberts
  • 52, Kagan
If Romney wins, it's not terribly unlikely that the Supreme Court will soon be Sotomayor, Kagan, and seven conservatives.
posted by Flunkie at 3:17 PM on August 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


... and will remain that way for a decade or two.
posted by Flunkie at 3:22 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]




Very telling name on this women for Romney site.
posted by Artw at 3:41 PM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


five fresh fish: How do you figure they're middle-class? $9 is not anything like middle-class.
After the plug got pulled on the equity line-of-credit carousel that kept people in the middle class through the '00s, that is the middle class these days. Making their mortgage payments by the skin of their teeth on a combination of insultingly low wages, credit card debt, and title and other kinds of predatory loans.

The thing that I just can't understand is it's obvious on its face that the outcome of the entire enterprise literally robbed the middle class of trillions of dollars and it looks like the mofos are going to get away with it.

On preview, yeah, what Skygazer said.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:45 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


New York Magazine : Team Romney White-Vote Push: ‘This Is the Last Time Anyone Will Try to Do This’ : "Romney’s campaign has been floating word of late that it sees a potential presidency as following the mold of James K. Polk — fulfilling dramatic policy change, and leaving after a single term.... Blowing up the welfare state and affecting the largest upward redistribution of wealth in American history is a politically tricky project (hence Romney's belief that he may need to forego a second term)."
posted by crunchland at 3:52 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Godammit. I'm exhausted. Just had to walk away from my favorite chair/ottaman in which the three of us were arguing with the sofa/couch that he's not really considered a 'chair!'
posted by ericb at 3:55 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


(hence Romney's belief that he may need to forego a second term)

I don't see any mention of such a belief anywhere else in that article, or any cite or reference for any source to support the assertion. What is Chait referring to, specifically?
posted by The World Famous at 3:57 PM on August 31, 2012


Because that's what Polk did after he fulfilled all of his promises?
posted by King Bee at 3:59 PM on August 31, 2012


I don't see any mention of such a belief anywhere else in that article, or any cite or reference for any source to support the assertion. What is Chait referring to, specifically?
Here is what the article is referring to. It does mention it, by the way, in the paragraph before the one that was quoted here.
posted by Flunkie at 4:06 PM on August 31, 2012



Very telling name on this women for Romney site.


Seriously? That's not something from Colbert?
posted by peppermind at 4:17 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Very telling name on this women for Romney site.

The Kitchen Cabinet? Seriously?!

I must go and lie down. it-it- the f - it -flam - flames. Flames, on the side of my face, breathing-breathl- heaving breaths.
posted by winna at 4:33 PM on August 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


Artw's link: Very telling name on this women for Romney site.

These people are such freaking evil shits. "The Kitchen Cabinet" -- could they be more patronizing? Check out the "Talking Points for Leaders of Women"

Let’s be TRUTH TELLERS To Independent-Thinking Women:

CONTRACEPTIVES:

*If the government gives you free contraceptives…do you really think you’ll get to choose the kind you PREFER?”

*If I had a good job…I could BUY my own contraceptives.”

*I don’t think it’s EXTREME to want to make sure healthcare doesn’t disappear when my kids need it.”

*Women aren’t worried about birth control…what we want is SPENDING CONTROL.”
posted by madamjujujive at 4:40 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing that I just can't understand is it's obvious on its face that the outcome of the entire enterprise literally robbed the middle class of trillions of dollars and it looks like the mofos are going to get away with it.

WE OWN YOU
posted by Artw at 4:41 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


zombieflanders: "In the meantime, changing the method of voting (i.e. from FPTP to proportional) requires a bunch of structural changes, probably through constitutional amendments. Those require a supermajority of state legislatures to pass, which brings us back to voting and organizing locally rather than starting change on national/federal levels and working downwards."

I'm not sure how going to IRV or something and changing the districting laws in the several states to use the shortest split line algorithm would take a constitutional amendment, unless you're referring to state constitutions. What it would take is a state legislature and governor more concerned with fairness and accuracy than winning. I can buy that a governor might get on board with that (already filthy-rich Rockefellers com to mind), but I don't know how you're going to convince legislative majorities.

The Electoral College would still be an issue in Presidential elections, but there are state-level ways around that, too. States are free to allocate their delegates in whatever way they choose. That could even be "whoever wins the popular vote." Obviously, you wouldn't want to do that if no other states were joining you, but that's why you write the law such that it only takes effect when enough states are party to the agreement to respect the popular vote to get 270 electors pledged to the popular vote winner.

IMO, the best course of action at present is to limit the damage in national elections and do what we can to reform the system at the state level.
posted by wierdo at 4:45 PM on August 31, 2012


Of course, one thing that can only be accomplished at the federal level is increasing the size of the House of Representatives 5-10 fold.
posted by wierdo at 4:46 PM on August 31, 2012


I don't think that's an "official" site of any sort- aI did a little digging and these people are behind it.

As for Ryan's claim to a 2:50-ish marathon, I think that's a lie that he feels isn't really a lie since he probably believes that's what he *could* have run a marathon in. Wasn't he also saying he went into politics rather than continue his expected pro skier career?

Anyway, a 2:50 marathon isn't outrageously fast for a male runner of above average talent who properly trained for the distance, but there's no way I'd believe he doesn't remember the exact time (at least rounded off to the lowest minute), year, and location if it happened.

No way at all.

"I Could Have Ran That"
posted by stagewhisper at 4:53 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Update on marathongate:

Ryan's people say it was Grandma's Marathon in Duluth in 1991 when he was in college. He's not in the results for that, but he is for the year before:

oops
posted by stagewhisper at 5:10 PM on August 31, 2012 [13 favorites]


I'm kinda shocked that the Romney campaign is so hellbent on pursuing a base election strategy when the electoral math means that strategy is really risky. Basically they have to hope that voter turnout declines enough from 2012 totals to make up for the likely increase in minority voting percentage (80+%) that Obama is likely to enjoy.

Can Romney get 60%-61% of the white male vote? Probably but Romney is showing mediocre performance among white females particularly with a college education. I'm just not sure that his appeal to the 55+ crowd and white males with no college degree is going to be enough to put him over the top.

That's why they are so adamant about disenfranchising voters with various voter ID restrictions as well as removing registered voters from the rolls. Basically the idea being that they might be able to win a close election in one or two of the battleground states that Obama might otherwise win.

It's a very risky strategy but apparently the only one open to Romney as trying to triangulate the middle just seems like it would result in a base revolt and reduced Republican voter turnout.

I'm glad to see that strategists feel like this is the last time this sort of strategy is going to be viable for the Republican party. Changing demographics will probably force the Republicans to track to the left a little at least in national elections or let's face it even states as red as Texas are going to become increasingly problematic. Republicans can't hope to stay in their current form without prepetually becoming the regional opposition party.

I sincerely hope that Obama wins because the idea of Romney being able to replace one of the SCOTUS liberals with a conservative thus pretty much resulting in a 6-3 split is fairly terrifying.
posted by vuron at 5:20 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


If Romney wins I'm going to start screaming "Fuck!" and not stop, like, ever.
posted by angrycat at 5:20 PM on August 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


The comment brought to mind another observation about the natural wonders that Romney made during the primaries, when he returned home to Michigan and remarked, “I love this state. The trees are the right height.”

See, I think that's kind of funny. The question is whether Mitch meant it that way.
posted by gjc at 5:22 PM on August 31, 2012


Artw: "Very telling name on this women for Romney site."

That... that has to be a joke. Right?

It has to be.

Fucking hell.
posted by brundlefly at 5:30 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Clint Eastwood did Gran Torino.

He can do whatever the fuck he wants.
posted by falameufilho at 5:33 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you're not making a sandwich you don't have a legitimate uterus.
posted by Artw at 5:33 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]




Their mile times are extrapolated from their 100m dash times. Given a 90m head start, of course. Kind of like their performance in life, really. Golden spoon and all that.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:46 PM on August 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


Clint Eastwood
posted by caryatid at 5:46 PM on August 31, 2012 [11 favorites]


I've ran out of favorites on this thread. So much good stuff...

The Paul Ryan marathon bit is so interesting. I don't want to read too much into it yet.
posted by drezdn at 6:41 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Sonja Eddings Brown, president of The Kitchen Cabinet, appeared on "America Live" on October 27, 2010 to discuss the comments "The View" contributor Joy Behar made about Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle. Mrs. Brown also discusses the role of women in politics and how they are portrayed in today's media."

Video from Fox News
this is who is behind the site
posted by stagewhisper at 6:54 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


drezdn: " The Paul Ryan marathon bit is so interesting. I don't want to read too much into it yet."

The press went totally apeshit over Al Gore's Earth tones, Hillary Clinton's décolletage, and Obama's shitty bowling score. For them to not cover Paul Ryan's marathon time from the 1990s like it's the Cuban missile crisis would be a double standard of epic proportions. I want A-1 above-the-fold interviews with Paul Ryan's running partners. I want slick infographics showing Ryan's times from other races. I want eyewitnesses who insist that Ryan hopped on a motorcycle around mile six and reappeared on the course ten minutes later around mile twelve.

WHERE'S THE FINISHER'S CERTIFICATE, PAUL??? *

* The long form certificate, not that weak-ass shit you did in Print Shop.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:55 PM on August 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


"For them to not cover Paul Ryan's marathon time from the 1990s like it's the Cuban missile crisis would be a double standard of epic proportions.

That got an out loud chuckle from me.

What I find interesting about this, err, stretching of the truth is both the casualness and unnecessariness of it. It's also sort of delicious that it's in regards to a physical accomplishment that you can't fake your way through- people who run marathons in that time range know that the marathon is a particularly unique event in that way. There aren't any shortcuts save literal ones that will spare you from falling apart in the last 6 miles if you're not properly prepared.

I once had a lot of friends who were dedicated, focussed, serious runners who spent years trying to dip under that elusive three hour mark. Some were successful but many weren't (and not for lack of trying). Hell, when Lance Armstrong barely cracked 3 hours in his first marathon people were impressed with his ability to sneak past that barrier. I think it reflects an entitled and unrealistic attitude on Ryan's part and speaks to his inability to grasp just how hard most people have to work for their accomplishments.
posted by stagewhisper at 7:14 PM on August 31, 2012 [18 favorites]


Running a whole marathon is impressive, irregardless of your time. There's really no need to shave minutes (or hours) off your time when telling people your accomplishment.
posted by drezdn at 7:25 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clint Eastwood did Gran Torino.

He can do whatever the fuck he wants.


Man, I really hope he makes a movie where he invents a bunch of shit about you and how your family is a bunch of violent thugs next.

(Vietnamese immigrant who grew up outside Detroit and has no idea where that movie got its stupid stereotypes from).
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:27 PM on August 31, 2012 [12 favorites]


Gran Torino *was* "whatever the fuck he wanted.". It was nearly as incoherent and shambling as the chair bit.

By the way I have now seen photos of Clint addressing Pee Wee Herman's chairy out there.
posted by spitbull at 7:38 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Question for the distance running folk... How rare of a feat would it be for someone to run a marathon in four hours and change one year, then shave more than a full hour off for the same race a year later? Is Ryan's story plausible?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:46 PM on August 31, 2012


Do prom-kings exaggerate?
posted by de at 8:03 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have no idea if it's plausible, but it certainly isn't true that he ran in 1991 and we just aren't finding the record of it. He didn't show up in the 1991 standings at all, and he's now saying that gosh and oops, he just rounded the wrong way.
posted by maudlin at 8:09 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


My inner arithmetician is yelling at me to point out that rounding from 4:01 to 2:55 instead of from 4:01 to 4:00 is rounding the right way. Just too far that way. Way too far that way.
posted by Flunkie at 8:14 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, The New Yorker is reporting he's owned up, but to answer your question it depends on what the original time was. Someone who completed a marathon by combining and walking one year, in, say, 5 hours, and then improved their fitness over the next year to the point where they could run at a 9 minute pace for all 26.2 miles would end up with a 4 hour marathon the next year. As you get closer to the three hour mark though it's harder and harder to shave minutes off. A lot of neophyte marathoners see huge improvements between their first two marathons and mistakenly assume this improvement rate will hold steady. It doesn't, and taking off minutes and even seconds takes piling on lots more training miles and intense workouts even to make what seem like comparably tiny gains.

A somewhat embarrassing and related story: I was a hobby runner who got out the door for a 30-40 minute run without regard to pace (I actually did not know what the phrase "pace per mile meant" and what a "good" pace was even if I did) who decided to sign up for a marathon that was happening near my house on a whim having never run a race before. Realizing I should see if I could run for longer than 40 minutes before toeing the line, I got my hands on a the race's map and ran 12 miles (untimed) two weeks before the race. Then I got cold feet six days out, and to test myself I ran 16 miles (do not do this).

I felt great the whole race and I think pretty much everyone I ran up alongside wanted to kill me because I was twelve kinds of chatty and kept asking questions (first: "what is pace" and from then on: "what pace are we on?") Having never heard marathon horror stories, and completely unconcerned with anything other than finishing, I was having a great time. Other people seemed to be having a not so great time, made even less great by my constant pestering. In fact, in the final couple of miles I saw lots of people stopping and walking along the side of the road and I kept thinking that either they didn't realize how close they were to finishing and had given up, or that they'd already finished and were having a nice after run stroll.

Long story short(er) I finished comfortably in 3:21, which everyone told me was a fantastic time. I felt great until I tried to stand up after my first post-race pee and found I couldn't. In fact, I couldn't stand up on my own for a very, very long time. Days.

I realized that I had a natural aptitude for running long distances, so I hunted down a local running club filled with veteran marathoners. The first meeting I showed up at I announced to everyone who congratulated me on my 3:21 that I was planning to shave *at least* an hour off that time 6 months later in Boston because I hadn't, you know, trained or anything, dude. I must have told 20 people that, and they all politely tried to explain to me that running a marathon fast is actually pretty hard, but I kept telling them, no, it felt really easy and I could have run an hour faster.

Flash forward to 6 months later, after I'd bought a book on training and religiously been following the plans in it: A funeral march of a marathon in Boston, wanting to lay down and die from around 18 miles on. I finished in around 3:11 and I felt like I'd earned every second of it.

My times came down incrementally over the next 7-8 years, but only in small chunks. 3:05, 2:57, 2:48, and finally, years later, once my milage was up to 80 miles per week with two runs some days and intense track work, a 2:41. A far cry from that 2:21 I'd boasted about running "no problem". It's a humbling sport.

posted by stagewhisper at 8:25 PM on August 31, 2012 [23 favorites]


That should read: Someone who completed a marathon by combining running and walking one year
posted by stagewhisper at 8:30 PM on August 31, 2012


If you were seriously committed to improving your time, going from a ~4:00 marathon to a ~3:00 would be completely achievable in a year. It would take discipline and some good luck--like staying injury free and having favorable weather conditions on race day. And, someone who's shown themselves to be hardworking, ambitious, and in very physically fit would be a candidate for this type of big improvement. Someone like Ryan, in other words.

But, having said all that, it would be really uncommon, because running a sub-3:00 marathon is freaking hard (I didn't break 4:00 in the marathons I ran; the idea of breaking 3:00 sort of blows my mind). So when I heard he ran a sub 3:00, I was like, wha?

Which makes his misstatement about it so bizarre. I remember to the minute the times I ran, and I ran the races more than a decade ago. I don't know how I could ever misstate my time by a whole fucking hour. I think if I were to do that, I'd say, "Oh, my best time was 3:10. Oh shit--did I just say 3:10? Because I meant 4:10." There's no way to say that and not realize how badly you misstated your time.

So I think he either lied about, for reasons I cannot possibly fathom, or I think he misspoke and thought he could get away with not correcting it, which is nearly as bad (and, did he really claim it was a rounding error? The fuck? No wonder his plan for getting us out of debt doesn't work. He can't even do grade school math).
posted by MoonOrb at 8:31 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't see what's so doubtful about our political betters recording amazing feats of athleticism. Despotic politicos are just naturally good at sports and have no need to embellish. Everyone's heard the legends. The North Korean media once reported that Kim Jong-il got 11 hole-in-ones in a single golf game. It's nearly unbelievable! Ryan's feats aren't quite up there with Kim, but he might get there someday. I heard that Castro once pitched a no-hitter then wrestled a bear.

If the Olympics ever lifts that ban on heads of state participating, then look out, Usain. Stephen Harper's coming for you.
posted by painquale at 9:00 PM on August 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


Putin will crush them all!
posted by Artw at 9:22 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


By the way I have now seen photos of Clint addressing Pee Wee Herman's chairy out there.

From Pee-wee himself on Facebook.
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:18 PM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


One thing in Ryan's defense: his marathon time might not have been quite what he said it was, but during that marathon, he passed more runners than he's ever passed bills.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:19 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Note that Artw's link includes some nsfw Femen boobies.
posted by homunculus at 10:23 PM on August 31, 2012


Oops.
(possibly I should have used "shirtless")
posted by Artw at 10:31 PM on August 31, 2012


maudlin: "I have no idea if it's plausible, but it certainly isn't true that he ran in 1991 and we just aren't finding the record of it. He didn't show up in the 1991 standings at all, and he's now saying that gosh and oops, he just rounded the wrong way."

Ah, right, the trusty ol' "I'm the House GOP's 'budget wonky numbers guy' but I wasn't able to round 4:01 to the nearest hour" excuse.

Romney/Ryan 2014!
posted by tonycpsu at 10:52 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


So a guy who eliminated hundreds of $22 an hour jobs and slashed hundreds more jobs to below $9 an hour blasts Barack Obama for not giving you the better life you deserved, after you lost your $22/hour job and had to take two $9/hour jobs. Are we all high or something? Did that really just happen?

Portion of the increase in U.S. corporate profit margins since 2001 that has come from depressed wages: 3/4 [Oct. 2011 Harper's Index, citing JPMorgan]
posted by eddydamascene at 11:46 PM on August 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


This chair is an eyesore.
This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair...
posted by charred husk at 1:47 AM on September 1, 2012


Story on the marathon matter at Runner's World has some interesting commentary. I found these amusing:

Wheat Farmer says: Paul Ryan ran a sub 3 hour marathon?? He must be Kenyan. Check his birth certificate!

turtletime says: This means that a 41-year-old Sarah Palin (3:59:38, 2005 Humpy's Marathon) was faster than a 20-year-old Paul Ryan (4:01:25).
Dude, you just got chicked.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:20 AM on September 1, 2012 [6 favorites]




@KagroX : See, the first hour and two minutes of the marathon were run under the Bush administration, yes. But the other 2:59 is Obama's fault.
posted by crunchland at 5:51 AM on September 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


What a metaphor for what the Republican party has become; an angry old man yelling at an empty chair.
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:22 AM on August 31 [226 favorites +] [!]
Note: refrain from framing old people as seniles, they do vote and are many. Focus not on age, but on Clint having lost it entirely, detached from reality, like its party.
posted by elpapacito at 6:35 AM on September 1, 2012


Note: refrain from framing old people as seniles, they do vote and are many.

No one said that about old people, just the Republican party.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:55 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


The marathon thing is weird, 4 hours is perfectly respectable time for a non-elite runner. Why would you lie about that?
posted by octothorpe at 8:33 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because we own this country.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:36 AM on September 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Romney’s Climate Change Nihilism:
Nothing in Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech better encapsulated the spinelessness of his presidential candidacy than the following line: “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”

This was a sneering reference to Obama’s statement before a St. Paul, Minn. crowd, after he became the presumptive nominee in June 2008, that “if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when ... the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
The article goes on to note that Romney has previously acknowledged that "the world is getting warmer," and "I believe we contribute to it," but he has also back-pedaled (or flip-flopped, in modern NewsSpeak) and more recently said "We don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet," and we shouldn't spend "trillions" trying to fix it.

I am really sad that Energy Independance is something to cheer about, but the impacts of energy use are glossed over in a quick jab at Obama. Oh, Andrea Saul is the press secretary and chief spokesperson for Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, but she previously worked for a public affairs and lobbying firm to undermine climate change science.

Please, Mitt, tell me more about how you'll fix the economy. Because that's the only thing that matters now, and as President, you'll only be addressing the Problems of Today. The future is too far away to care about, right? Right?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:40 AM on September 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Fox News: Ryan's speech in three words -- Dazzling, Deceiving, and Distracting. Yes, Fox News took a moment to call Ryan on his bullshit. Fox News. But that's just one of their thousands of articles on Ryan and Romney, so it won't matter in the big picture.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:45 AM on September 1, 2012 [4 favorites]








The Dems could have an entire row of empty chairs on stage, and have Phyllis Diller scheduled to take the podium to read from Mark Owen's No Easy Day.
posted by de at 10:51 AM on September 1, 2012




An empty seat for an empty suit. But at least Obama can now claim that he kept his promise of transparency.
posted by republican at 11:01 AM on September 1, 2012




Actor and LGBT advocate George Takei: "Clint Eastwood's RNC speech was to imaginary Obama in an empty chair. I'm drafting a DNC speech to imaginary Romney in an empty factory."
posted by madamjujujive at 12:03 PM on September 1, 2012 [6 favorites]




You know if the DNC gave Takei a primetime speech, a la Eastwood, I would donate $100 for that alone.
posted by edgeways at 1:58 PM on September 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Getting buggy with the Romney boys.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:00 PM on September 1, 2012


George Takei might be awesome and all, but no way Lt. Sulu ranks compared to Dirty Harry.
posted by crunchland at 2:28 PM on September 1, 2012


Anyone can fire a gun, Sulu would kick your ass with a foil, and look great while doing it.
posted by edgeways at 2:35 PM on September 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Looking back on the RNC, it was all about d,enying what the reality is and making up an alternative reality that verges on schizophrenia.

And talking to shadows (an empty chair) and pretending people who no longer exist, are still THERE, OBL.

Again, I've said it before, but that CLint Eastwood stunt was an inadvertent, yet entirely necessary eulogy by him to the Republican party having any connection to reality or relevance to anyone but the wealthiest, whose status now, as such is entirely dependent on propaganda and lies and fantasy and who's stature is on borrowed time. And that's why they adore Romney / Ryan. Romney is the perfect unquestioning manager who'll do their every bidding by proxy, and Ryan is a pathological liar who spins a vast and unending bubble of plausible deniability / pure horseshit big enough to encompass the whole shit-show of insanity.
posted by Skygazer at 4:31 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Homunculus: Condoleezza Rice Has a Lot of Nerve: The former secretary of state presided over a failure. She has no business lecturing Obama on international politics.

Make no mistake about Condi Rice. IF there's another moment left for this collection of old white psychotic men to get back into power, she's going to be part of it either as a presidential hopeful or a VP to Jeb Bush.

Her performance at the RNC was despicable. She is in absolutely no place to lecture Obama after her pathetic and cower turn as Bush/Cheney's obedient and unquestioning Sec. of State..
posted by Skygazer at 4:36 PM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good going, Condi. You managed to lose the eensy woonsy shred of goodwill I had for you based solely on your 30 Rock cameo appearance.
posted by palomar at 4:54 PM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney's RNC Entrance (from Jay Leno Tonight Show)
posted by research monkey at 5:10 PM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Condoleezza Rice Has a Lot of Nerve: The former secretary of state presided over a failure. She has no business lecturing Obama on international politics.


Is it now impossible to lose all credibility? Seriously, has it always been this bad? I feel like so many people in the political world have been so wrong about so much, but they just keep plodding along. How wrong do you have to be before you have no credibility? If I break something at work, I'm canned, but these people break whole countries and then get speaking engagements. I think I've finally been alive long enough to really understand why my dad goes into a silent fury when anyone mentions McNamara.
posted by milarepa at 5:13 PM on September 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


Mr. Eastwood’s rambling and off-color appearance just moments before the biggest speech of Mr. Romney’s life instantly became a Twitter and cable-news sensation, which drowned out much of the usual postconvention analysis that his campaign had hoped to bask in.... It also startled and unsettled Mr. Romney’s top advisers and prompted a blame game among them. “Not me,” an exasperated-looking senior adviser said when asked who was responsible for Mr. Eastwood’s speech. In interviews, aides called the speech “strange” and “weird.” One described it as “theater of the absurd.” -- NYT : "Before Eastwood’s Talk With a Chair, Clearance From the Top"
posted by crunchland at 5:45 PM on September 1, 2012


Perhaps drowning out the post-convention analysis works in Romney's favor.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:08 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]




Oops.
posted by Artw at 12:10 PM on September 2, 2012




That's old news, but an actual investigation could be a big deal.
posted by Artw at 12:41 PM on September 2, 2012


Obama, a 'huge' Clint Eastwood fan, not offended by skit
"One thing about being president or running for president — if you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession." Obama said with a smile. He said there would be no effort to counter with a similar stunt at the Democratic National Convention, which opens in Charlotte Tuesday.

"I think we'll be playing this pretty straight," he said.
posted by cashman at 2:24 PM on September 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm relieved Obama at least will be taking the high road. I'm not sure If Biden will be able to resist though.

But you know if the tables were turned, the GOP would be falling over themselves with several retort attempts. Especially Tim "Oh Snap!" Pawlenty.

"President Obama is SO fat, when he sits around the White House, he sits AROUND the White House! "
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 2:34 PM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Political noise on the pop front: 'Modern Family' creator invites Ann Romney to officiate Mitch and Cam's wedding -- once it's legal. Ann mentioned her favorite TV show is Modern Family, which features a nice gay couple. But Ann, along with son Tagg and his wife Jennifer, all signed a petition supporting a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and domestic partner benefits in Massachusetts.

Governor Mitt Romney flipped positions to align with his family and the conservative norm: first said he'd follow the state Supreme Court's ruling supporting same-sex in Massachusetts, which made the state the sixth jurisdiction in the world (after the Netherlands, Belgium, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec) to legalize same-sex marriage. Then he tried to block the court decision, stop out-of-state couples from marrying, and even donated tens of thousands of dollars from his PAC and his personal family foundation to campaigns and conservative groups working against same-sex rights.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:35 PM on September 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Surely we are just one incident away from the word "Romney" coming to possess some sort of tragicomic meaning. Just a little way from "The Romney Touch" or "Don't pull a Romney" or somesuch. Like with Spoonerisms, Napolean complexes, or Don Quixote's delusions.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:05 PM on September 2, 2012


Ryan admits misstatement of marathon time.

It still boggles my mind that as soon as "sub 3" was out of his mouth, he wasn't like, "Uh, no, that can't be right." Even his admission is bizarre--that it was so long ago he just forgot, as if he could have run a sub-3:00 race, and just forgot that he didn't because it was so long ago.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:26 PM on September 2, 2012


Surely we are just one incident away from the word "Romney" coming to possess some sort of tragicomic meaning.

"To, at worst, fairly narrowly miss out on election as President of the United States, and to remain hugely wealthy and powerful?"
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:35 PM on September 2, 2012


"I don't want to say that this convention was a circus...but they actually ended it with an old lion growling at a chair."-Bill Maher.
posted by Chekhovian at 5:45 PM on September 2, 2012


Surely we are just one incident away from the word "Romney" coming to possess some sort of tragicomic meaning.

romney
(rom-ney) v.
1. To defecate in terror.

posted by homunculus at 5:54 PM on September 2, 2012


It still boggles my mind that as soon as "sub 3" was out of his mouth, he wasn't like, "Uh, no, that can't be right.

Well, during an RNC interview, he also referred to his running mate as "Ritt Nomney," without realizing it. But I guess that slip wasn't quite as prolific as "Barack America."
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 6:01 PM on September 2, 2012


Obama, a 'huge' Clint Eastwood fan, not offended by skit

It's interesting to see how different Democrats' reaction is to this than to the fact that Paul Ryan's a huge Rage Against The Machine fan and is, apparently, not offended by Tom Morello's comments about him. I assume it's because Tom Morello is right about Ryan and Eastwood is wrong about Obama.
posted by The World Famous at 6:19 PM on September 2, 2012


Mitt Romney tells 533 lies in 30 weeks : IIIIIIIVVVI,VIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIXXXXXIXXIIXXIII,XXIVXXVXXVIXXVIIXXVIIIXXIXXXX. (via)
posted by crunchland at 6:25 PM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


No. Not an invented definition like santorum. A natural definition. Like the Midas touch, or Judas. Mitts will be his own downfall. His name could substiture for waffling.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:03 PM on September 2, 2012


I'm still gobsmacked that the Republicans are pushing such a wistful "let's go back to the good old days" campaign, while they act like the Republicans running the show a mere 3-1/2 years ago never even existed. Not mentioned at, nor invited to, the Republican convention:

G.W. Bush
Dick Cheney
Donald Rumsfeld
Colin Powell
Tom Delay
Paul Wolfowitz
Sarah Palin
Rick Perry
Michelle Bachmann
Herman Cain

I'm sure I'm missing more.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:27 PM on September 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Their halcyon days go back to Reagan, not Bush. Dubya is still a toxic asset. But apparently the dems are going to force them remember the bad old days.
posted by crunchland at 7:54 PM on September 2, 2012


Herman Cain

I'm sure I'm missing more.


Once you get on, you never can really get off the Cain Train.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:02 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sure I'm missing more.

michael steele, who got "no invitation, no credentials," is what you might call a bit of a changed man after getting the boot. it's ok, he landed on his feet.
posted by twist my arm at 12:19 AM on September 3, 2012


Surely we are just one incident away from the word "Romney" coming to possess some sort of tragicomic meaning.

I don't know about that, but whenever someone starts to ramble incoherently about politics, we can now just dismiss him by asking bystanders to "Give the man a chair!"
posted by sour cream at 5:49 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"romney-ed" is the new "britta-ed it"?
posted by twist my arm at 6:48 AM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Y'know, an uncomfortable skit involving an old man yelling at a chair totally seems like something Pierce Hawthorne would do.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:17 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eric Cantor's Labor Day tweet:

Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.
posted by futz at 10:22 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


FORTUNE -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is promoting the Romney-Ryan ticket as a team offering a credible, detailed plan for turning the country around. But some of those details proved troublesome in a sit-down interview with Fortune on Thursday.

The Virginia Republican said his party is laying out a path to salvage the long-term solvency of Medicare. And he took on President Obama for engaging in "scare tactics" over those entitlement reforms in the Ryan-authored House GOP budget. "At the same time, he is the one who is taking massive amounts of cash out of very popular programs like Medicare Advantage and the prescription drug program," Cantor said. "This directly impacts seniors."

It's a point that Ryan himself made in his speech accepting the vice presidential nod on Wednesday night. Attacking Obama's health care reform law, Ryan said its "biggest, coldest power play of all" targeted seniors for $716 billion in cuts. But Ryan's own budget counted on those same savings, which in fact would be squeezed from reimbursement payments to hospitals and insurers. Asked about the inconsistency of Ryan attacking cuts his own plan embraced, Cantor begged off. "The assumption was that, um, the, the, ah, again — I probably can't speak to that in an exact way so I better just not," he said.

posted by futz at 10:33 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don't they ever get tired of tap dancing? Don't they ever get irritated by all the smoke they have to blow into the nation's eyes? Don't they ever get tired of having to memorize all these convoluted false facts? Think how exhausting it is to make up a whole new reality!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:39 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't they ever get tired of tap dancing? Don't they ever get irritated by all the smoke they have to blow into the nation's eyes? Don't they ever get tired of having to memorize all these convoluted false facts? Think how exhausting it is to make up a whole new reality!

Based on my experience working in Republican politics, yes, they do. I assume the Democrats do, too.
posted by The World Famous at 10:48 AM on September 3, 2012


WHAT BOUNCE? -- "Polls: GOP Convention Had 'Minimal Impact'... 'Lowest Ever' Effect On Voter Intentions."
posted by ericb at 11:13 AM on September 3, 2012


Jay Smooth on point, again. On Rick Ross & the G.O.P. convention. He talks about the lies the Republicans are telling, and how Rick Ross' career is a blueprint for being able to tell lies, double down on them and keep telling even more lies. And how you might not want to laugh it up at Eastwood because Mitt following the Rick Ross path just might work for the Republicans.
posted by cashman at 11:45 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


A video released this weekend by action movie hero Chuck Norris claims that America faces “1,000 years of darkness” if President Barack Obama is reelected.

“If we look to history, our great country and freedom are under attack,” Norris warns, standing next to his wife. “We’re at a tipping point and, quite possibly, our country as we know it may be lost forever if we don’t change the course in which our country is headed.”
...
Quoting President Ronald Reagan, Norris’s wife Gina adds that defeating Obama “will preserve for our children this last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into 1,000 years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
...

Norris has been an outspoken critic of Obama’s since even prior to the 2008 election. He’s claimed in recent years that the Christian savior character Jesus would have been aborted by his mother if “Obamacare” were available 2,000 years ago, claimed that American progressives want to enshrine Islamic moral codes into U.S. law, and accused the Obama administration of trying to force the Boy Scouts to adopt a “pro-gay” position.

He also warned in 2008 that if Mitt Romney won the Republican presidential nomination, he’d “buy the White House.” Norris hasn’t repeated that particular criticism this election cycle.


posted by futz at 12:06 PM on September 3, 2012


Oops. Link.
posted by futz at 12:07 PM on September 3, 2012




Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.

...and all the rest of you -- you doctors, nurses, teachers, firefighters, construction workers, police officers, plumbers, bookkeepers, graphic designers, secretaries, bus drivers, factory workers, tech workers, truck drivers, janitors, waiters, cooks, salespeople, writers, managers, and all the other millions of non-business-owning leeches out there -- you can all go fuck yourselves.
posted by scody at 2:29 PM on September 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


DNCC will live stream convention at www.demconvention.com/live, and through the Democratic National Convention Committee Mobile App. The entire program will be streamed in Spanish simultaneously.
posted by cashman at 2:34 PM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sarah Oleary from the Runner's World comments:

FUN GAME FOR MARATHON RUNNERS!

WHAT'S YOUR "PAUL RYAN MARATHON TIME?"

Paul ran a 4:01, but said he ran "2:50 something". Now you try it! Take your PR (mine's a 3:45). Knock off 1 hour and 10 minutes, and you'll have your PAUL RYAN MARATHON TIME!! Mine is 2:35! WHOA!!!!! AWESOME!!!

What about the rest of you? What's your Paul Ryan Marathon time???
posted by madamjujujive at 3:11 PM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Based on my experience working in Republican politics, yes, they do. I assume the Democrats do, too.

Just curious, WF, but do you see this current list of confabulations any more, er, burdensome than in previous years?
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:49 PM on September 3, 2012


What's your Paul Ryan Marathon time?

It's either -1:10 or ∞, depending on how you look at it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:00 PM on September 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Just curious, WF, but do you see this current list of confabulations any more, er, burdensome than in previous years?

I don't think the lies are any bigger this year (which is to say they're really big), but they're more difficult lies for the R's to tell because their candidate has not been making the same ones with any consistency during his career. I think they're pandering to the stupid people in the party because they figure they either have or don't have the smart vote at this point. I think they believe the vote they really have to go after is the Tea Party - that they can pull from the far right to make up for the appeal they lack in the center due to their candidate's having burned the bridges in the center. I know a lot of very, very smart, honest people in positions of relative power in the Republican system, and they've been awfully quiet for the last few months.
posted by The World Famous at 4:08 PM on September 3, 2012


The lies have been big for a long time - even the Swiftboat incident was not entirely unprecedented. What's remarkable is that what would previously be the realm of third-party ads and whisper campaigns is now openly owned by the RNC. They're just lying to our faces now, where before they at least feigned some sort of internal consistency. It's apparent that they believe that lying is without repercussion as long as the lies are loud enough, and post-CU money is sufficient amplification for their signal.
posted by mek at 4:47 PM on September 3, 2012


They're growing more and more cynical about the stupidity of the electorate, and the electorate is working harder and harder to prove their cynicism right.
posted by The World Famous at 5:04 PM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]




That's a clever way to get people on the DNC mailing list until the end of time. Or they move, whichever is first.
posted by winna at 7:04 PM on September 3, 2012


I like that they come in regular, gay rights, and Latino. I guess they already have "black people" covered when it comes to Enrage A Bigot Driver bingo.
posted by Artw at 7:16 PM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I must admit, I'm surprised there isn't a 'women' one.

And somewhat less surprised there isn't a homebrewer one.
posted by box at 7:30 PM on September 3, 2012


The "O" could be a Sheela Na Gig!
posted by Artw at 7:31 PM on September 3, 2012




You can tell this one is for women because it's in cursive.
posted by brundlefly at 9:58 PM on September 3, 2012


Where is my "cat lovers for Obama" bumper sticker?
posted by mek at 10:14 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dude... Wait, what?
posted by homunculus at 12:01 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ouch. Using a stoner movie icon to host your coverage while completely side stepping the subject of marijuana reform is making puke up some cognitive dissonance in my throat.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:14 AM on September 4, 2012


Kal Penn has worked in the White House Office of Public Engagement, off and on, for a few years now.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:15 AM on September 4, 2012


completely side stepping the subject of marijuana reform

So far, yeah. I wonder if this is on the second term agenda, or even planned for the convention. (Yeah, not). This only comes to mind because the shattered remnants of the Canadian Liberal party called for the legalization of grass at their post-election debacle convention. Of course, these are very different countries (so far) and the Liberals are out of power and willing to take some risks.
posted by maudlin at 4:51 AM on September 4, 2012


Obama is too pragmatic to even discuss the issue before the election, and I'm not so sure it'll be discussed afterward either. There's never been much sense in courting the stoner vote.
posted by crunchland at 5:45 AM on September 4, 2012


Marijuana reform is not a major issue and won't come up at all during the convention. Why people are focusing on just one of the characters Kal Penn has played as proof of something is odd.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:51 AM on September 4, 2012


Brandon Blatcher: Marijuana reform is not a major issue and won't come up at all during the convention. Why people are focusing on just one of the characters Kal Penn has played as proof of something is odd.
You're quite right about decriminalization absolutely not even being whispered about during the campaign, Brandon. However, in people's defense the linked promo did also feature John Cho, Penn's co-star in the Harold and Kumar series, and the two of them were sitting on the couch with sort of disaffected looks on their faces while they ate Cheesy Poofs and laughed at cartoons.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:27 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


> and the two of them were sitting on the couch with sort of disaffected looks on their faces while they ate Cheesy Poofs and laughed at cartoons

... clear indications of efficacious pain management.
posted by de at 6:41 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


TWF: The thing I find odd about the Republican strategy so far is not that there are lies, though they are unusually crass, but that I literally don't know what issues Romney/Ryan are running on. I'm a political junkie. I read this stuff constantly. I can tell you Democratic portrayals of what Romney would do if elected (big tax breaks for poor, military spending, etc.) but I don't remember hearing a single clear proposal from Romney, at any level of vagueness beyond "create jobs!" Am I forgetting any?
posted by msalt at 8:32 AM on September 4, 2012


That sort of disaffected look on my face is because neither party is interested in having a sincere discussion about drug policy.

If I was stoned, I'd be smiling.
posted by box at 8:41 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Asked about the inconsistency of Ryan attacking cuts his own plan embraced

Wait, a journalist/interviewer did their fraggin' job, and asked a serious (if obvious) question?

This is what kills me. Romney's "zero and 23 million" line goes unquestioned, making it seem like Romney had a real zinger there. No one comments that, while the unemployment number is large, it is between 12 and 15 million, not 23 million.

I get that Romney has lied A LOT, let's skip Ryan's marathon running times, and look at the claims about this administration. Otherwise, Romney's campaign is operating under the "Broken Window" theory: if no one fixes the first broken window, go ahead and vandalize the whole fucking building.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:27 AM on September 4, 2012


efficacious pain management

it's how i manage my existential pain
posted by twist my arm at 9:28 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


And maybe, just maybe, after Romney and crew are called enough on their lies, fans of Romney can no longer call it "gotcha reporting" (thanks, Sarah Palin!), and realize that Romney is not reliable. He'll say what sounds good at that moment, and keep saying it if no one stops him.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:28 AM on September 4, 2012


msalt, I don't think you're missing any. With both candidates, I think you have to just guess at what they'll actually do in office, since their campaign promises (if they can even be called promises) are always something other than what they'll actually do. But the Republicans have made this a genuine art - pandering only to people stupid enough to think the promises are real, while giving their smart constituents the benefit of the doubt in assuming they're smart enough to know that the rhetoric is just rhetoric. Democrats still seem to think that what a candidate says during a campaign has some relationship to what they will do in office (see, e.g., Obama), so they tend to be more disappointed than Republicans when the President bears little resemblance to the candidate he once was. Maybe part of that stems from the fact that what Democrats promise would actually be good things, whereas smart people listening to Republican rhetoric are hoping that it's just empty rhetoric.
posted by The World Famous at 10:03 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hank Williams Jr. lashed out at the president during a Labor Day weekend concert:

"We've got a Muslim for a president who hates cowboys, hates cowgirls, hates fishing, hates farming, loves gays, and we hate him!"

posted by Golden Eternity at 10:48 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


The New York Times is pretty desperate for a "both sides do it" story.
You can agree with everything that Rachel Maddow or Ed Schultz say on MSNBC and still oppose their right to say it.
That's not even a throwaway line buried in the piece. It's the first sentence. And the piece doesn't get any better after that.

I'm supposed to feel bad that the newspaper industry is dying?
posted by tonycpsu at 10:58 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Democrats still seem to think that what a candidate says during a campaign has some relationship to what they will do in office

That's ridiculous. Healthcare, auto bailout, stimulus, support for education, unemployment, welfare, foodstamps, immigration, removal of don't ask don't tell, etc., etc.

How the Party Platforms Differ
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:59 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


filthy light thief: And maybe, just maybe, after Romney and crew are called enough on their lies, fans of Romney can no longer call it "gotcha reporting" (thanks, Sarah Palin!), and realize that Romney is not reliable. He'll say what sounds good at that moment, and keep saying it if no one stops him.
Au contraire, mon frère!

In Lockstep: Conservative Media Turn To Attacking The Fact-Checkers, Hannah Groch-Begley, Media Matters for America, 31 August, 2012
In an attempt to shield Mitt Romney's campaign from criticism that many of its claims against the Obama administration are based on falsehoods, conservative media have resorted to attacking fact-checkers, accusing them of liberal bias or of "shilling" for the Obama campaign. This is in keeping with the position of the Romney campaign, which has said, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."
cf. On CNN, Wash. Post's Jennifer Rubin Plays Defense For Ryan Against Media Fact-Checkers
posted by ob1quixote at 11:02 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's ridiculous. Healthcare, auto bailout, stimulus, support for education, unemployment, welfare, foodstamps, immigration, removal of don't ask don't tell, etc., etc.

Hm. For you to come in and point out that you, presumably a Democrat, do think what a candidate says during the campaign has some relationship to what they will do in office sort of proves my point that Democrats seem to think that. Not only do you think it, but you think it enough to make the assertion here.
posted by The World Famous at 11:02 AM on September 4, 2012


As mentioned several times already, there's a number of reasons, the biggest of which is the makeup of Congress in the event of a Romney win, that essentially guarantees most of what the GOP platform and/or Romney have promised. Now, if you have any evidence that that's not the case, by all means provide it.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:49 AM on September 4, 2012


Does the inability of the Republican party to enact its platform as law when they have controlled congress in the past count as evidence? What would you consider as evidence? How about the fact that their promises are self-contradictory and, therefore, could not possibly be enacted as a whole? Does that count as evidence?
posted by The World Famous at 11:53 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does the inability of the Republican party to enact its platform as law when they have controlled congress in the past count as evidence?

The only time that it's happened in recent history was Bush and 107 through 109. That gave us multiple massive Bush tax cuts, two major wars, the PATRIOT Act, several cuts to Medicare and Medicaid benefits, at least one major anti-choice bill, military tribunals, and a fence between the US and Mexico.

How about the fact that their promises are self-contradictory and, therefore, could not possibly be enacted as a whole? Does that count as evidence?

I'm not sure what (if any) about their promises are self-contradictory, so no.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:41 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


The only time that it's happened in recent history was Bush and 107 through 109. That gave us multiple massive Bush tax cuts, two major wars, the PATRIOT Act, several cuts to Medicare and Medicaid benefits, at least one major anti-choice bill, military tribunals, and a fence between the US and Mexico.

Indeed. I think that pretty solidly debunks your prediction that a Romney win and Republican majority "essentially guarantees most of what the GOP platform and/or Romney have promised." It essentially guarantees a host of pernicious and terrible policies, but certainly not a "most of what the GOP platform and/or Romney have promised.

I'm not sure what (if any) about their promises are self-contradictory, so no.

Ah. If you are unwilling to consider evidence of which you are not personally sure, I'm not sure what the point is of discussing your demand for evidence.
posted by The World Famous at 12:51 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


On reflection, zombieflanders, I wonder whether my prior statement was a bit strong, given that I didn't really give you a chance to flesh out your assertion that the Bush tax cuts, two major wars, the PATRIOT Act, specific cuts to Medicare and Medicaid benefits, at least one major anti-choice bill, military tribunals, and a fence between the U.S. and Mexico (such as it is) were promises made by Bush during his 2000 or 2004 campaigns. I honestly don't remember him promising those things, but maybe you can point to where he did.
posted by The World Famous at 1:22 PM on September 4, 2012


I don't know why I missed this before, But Once again, The onion was way ahead of everyone....

Eastwood/Cressbeckler 2016!!
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:24 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]




A lot of what the GOP platform promises is absolute nonsense, and we should acknowledge that. They will not actually attempt to return to the gold standard, and they will not add a personhood amendment to the constitution. This is "shoring up the base" bullshit which simply cannot happen as long as the Senate exists. And we also know that there are real differences, but real agreements between the two candidates. We also know that both R and D candidates campaign very differently than they rule (Bush and Obama shared this, among other things). I'd break it down as follows.

Things that are likely to happen under Romney: Repeal of Obamacare; renewal of Bush tax cuts; elimination of capital gains and estate taxes; gutting of EPA and other troublesome anti-business government agencies; really shitty and oppressive immigration reform.

Things that are likely to happen under Obama: some sort of genuine attempt to raise revenue through tax increases on the rich; another attempt at an energy bill; repeal of DOMA; but mostly gridlock. (Pray for gridlock.)

Things that will happen regardless of who wins: "entitlement reform" (aka cuts to Medicare & SS); further drawdown in Iraq/Afghanistan; more sabre-rattling with Iran; no real action to fight unemployment; continued renewal of PATRIOT act and assault on basic civil liberties.
posted by mek at 2:12 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Things that are likely to happen under Romney: Repeal of Obamacare; renewal of Bush tax cuts; elimination of capital gains and estate taxes; gutting of EPA and other troublesome anti-business government agencies; really shitty and oppressive immigration reform.

I partially agree.

Repeal of Obamacare: I don't think it's likely. I think we'll see piecemeal revisions regardless of who is in the White House, but I don't think the entire bill has any chance of being repealed wholesale.

renewal of Bush tax cuts: Definitely. I'm not sure how strong Obama's chances are of stopping that, though.

elimination of capital gains and estate taxes: I think we'd see a reduction, but not an elimination. Republicans like to talk about those, but I don't see it actually happening, even if they're in control in both houses and the WH. They had a chance under Bush and didn't do it.

gutting of EPA and other troublesome anti-business government agencies: They like to talk about this, too, but I don't see it going beyond relaxing of regulations. They're not going to eliminate any agencies, and they're not going to do any gutting that will result in a job loss. Romney's not going to get into office and lay people off.

really shitty and oppressive immigration reform: I just don't see that actually happening, at all. I think talk about Obama on immigration issues is just smoke-blowing, and runs contrary to Republicans' actual policies when they have control of the White House.

Things that are likely to happen under Obama: some sort of genuine attempt to raise revenue through tax increases on the rich; another attempt at an energy bill; repeal of DOMA; but mostly gridlock. (Pray for gridlock.)

I agree with the first (the tax issue), and the energy bill, but I don't think Obama is going to devote any political energy to repealing DOMA, since it's going to fail a Constitutional challenge before too long anyway.

Things that will happen regardless of who wins: "entitlement reform" (aka cuts to Medicare & SS); further drawdown in Iraq/Afghanistan; more sabre-rattling with Iran; no real action to fight unemployment; continued renewal of PATRIOT act and assault on basic civil liberties.

Agreed. And I would point out that this is all stuff that nobody is actually promising.
posted by The World Famous at 2:32 PM on September 4, 2012


On reflection, zombieflanders, I wonder whether my prior statement was a bit strong, given that I didn't really give you a chance to flesh out your assertion that the Bush tax cuts, two major wars, the PATRIOT Act, specific cuts to Medicare and Medicaid benefits, at least one major anti-choice bill, military tribunals, and a fence between the U.S. and Mexico (such as it is) were promises made by Bush during his 2000 or 2004 campaigns. I honestly don't remember him promising those things, but maybe you can point to where he did.

Tax cuts:
http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa010201a.htm

War (or to be more accurate, expanding the military and making it more aggressive):
http://www.ontheissues.org/George_W__Bush_Defense.htm

Abortion (particularly partial-birth):
http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/George_W__Bush_Abortion.htm

Immigration:
http://www.4president.org/issues/bush2000/bush2000immigration.htm

Moving Medicare/Medicaid towards the "free market":
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=25849

Things that are likely to happen under Romney: Repeal of Obamacare; renewal of Bush tax cuts; elimination of capital gains and estate taxes; gutting of EPA and other troublesome anti-business government agencies; really shitty and oppressive immigration reform.

You're forgetting the proposal to voucherize Medicare and reduce Medicaid funding to the point where it's essentially worthless and a return to enforcing DOMA (don't forget, it's still law, just not being enforced by the DOJ).

Things that are likely to happen under Obama: some sort of genuine attempt to raise revenue through tax increases on the rich; another attempt at an energy bill; repeal of DOMA; but mostly gridlock. (Pray for gridlock.)

Things that will happen regardless of who wins: "entitlement reform" (aka cuts to Medicare & SS); further drawdown in Iraq/Afghanistan; more sabre-rattling with Iran; no real action to fight unemployment; continued renewal of PATRIOT act and assault on basic civil liberties.

Entitlement reform on the Democratic side amounts to cost-cutting, as opposed to the GOP which is calling for (and has already voted on via Ryan's plan) benefit cuts. The difference in Iran is likely more than mere sabre-rattling. And "gridlock" and "no real action to fight unemployment" aren't Presidential policies. The American Jobs Act and further stimulus have already been proposed, but they're not being held up by the President.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:34 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree that Bush made promises that were about the same general conservative subject matter as many of the things he did. But he did not promise what he ended up doing, with any specificity sufficient to claim that he kept those promises by such things as the PATRIOT Act or invading Iraq and Afghanistan. I mean come on.

You're forgetting the proposal to voucherize Medicare and reduce Medicaid funding to the point where it's essentially worthless and a return to enforcing DOMA (don't forget, it's still law, just not being enforced by the DOJ).

I don't think mek forgot those proposals. He/she is simply predicting that they're not likely to be carried out as promised. I tend to agree.

The difference in Iran is likely more than mere sabre-rattling.

What makes you think so? Have Romney's foreign policy advisers indicated as much?

And "gridlock" and "no real action to fight unemployment" aren't Presidential policies.

Sometimes they are, but I'd agree with you regarding the current situation.
posted by The World Famous at 2:39 PM on September 4, 2012


At least in 2008 we had McCain on record singing "bomb Iran," and Democrats could point to that. The disastrous invasion of Iraq required a confluence of factors to occur (terrorist attack while son of H.W. in the White House while surrounded by neocon ideologues), and call me naive but I don't think anything similar is likely to be repeated under Romney. Both Iran and the USA are benefiting directly from their ongoing confrontation, but neither would benefit from open war. At the very least, the illusion of some benefit would have to be constructed for US aggression to occur.

But Romney's business is business, and nobody thinks a war with Iran would be good for business. Iran has very close ties to China, and supplies a great deal of their oil and natural gas. And then there's the strategic importance of the Strait of Hormuz.... war with Iran is very nearly a doomsday scenario for the global economy, and everybody knows it. It's not a realistic possibility, it's an issue where the Democrats and Republicans are in near total agreement, and it's a distraction from the real differences between the parties.
posted by mek at 3:52 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


But Romney's business is business, and nobody thinks a war with Iran would be good for business

Was Iraq good for business? I can't see how, and yet it happened. Could it happen again? I don't know, but given that many of the people who are likely to influence Romney's foreign policy cut their teeth on Iraq, I'd think it would be very foolish to think it couldn't.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:39 PM on September 4, 2012


Attempting the hardest to be semi-objective here the D convention on day one is a lot more focused and interesting then the R convention was, even on day three. Admittedly the Ted Kennedy tribute/attack was a mite nasty but it certainly was partisan tasty and made Reince rev up his whine mobile.

and the Democrats actually seem to be supporting their nominee without reservation, I think they have already outstripped using Obama's name in the first day then the hoard of Republican 2016 contenders did Romney's throughout. (and quite possible the Dems have used Romney's name more then the Republicans have as well.)

Biggest chuckle so far is the undercurrent conspiracy hope that B. Clinton will use his speech to blast Obama, but you know, if that means more people tune in to watch Clinton all the better. Kinda ironic that Clinton haters are rooting for him to be on their side.

Michelle's speech should be good I expect.
posted by edgeways at 6:40 PM on September 4, 2012


Was Iraq good for business? I can't see how, and yet it happened.

Wars are often very good for business, Iraq included. It spawned a whole new private security industry, gave oil companies access to new reserves, and continued the expansion of the military-industrial complex. It was terrible for the government budget, but Republicans only barely pretend to care about that.
posted by mek at 6:45 PM on September 4, 2012


Wars are often very good for business, Iraq included.

This is true, which is why I think it's mistaken to say that no one thinks that a war with Iran would be bad for business. If it can happen in Iraq, it can happen in Iran and it's much more likely to happen in a Romney administration.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:26 PM on September 4, 2012


Hells bells you can debate Iran all you want, but Romney's advocacy for Jerusalem being the undivided capital of Israel is just fucking irresponsible.
posted by edgeways at 7:37 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hells bells you can debate Iran all you want, but Romney's advocacy for Jerusalem being the undivided capital of Israel is just fucking irresponsible.

Hells bells the 2008 Democratic Party Platform stated: "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. . . It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."

How did it go from being in the Democratic Party platform four years ago to "just fucking irresponsible" today?
posted by The World Famous at 7:50 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]




You might think I am parsing that too closely TWF, but your pull quote,
"Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. . . It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."

says nothing about Jerusalem being an undivided Capital, it says 1) Jerusalem should be the capitol of Israel and 2) and should be open to people of all faiths. For all I know there was five paragraphs between the first and second part. What do those ellipses contain? So, show me where it says the DNC platform said it would ONLY be the Capital of Israel. Perhaps it does, but I would counter there is a big difference between something stuck in a party document and what a nominee makes an overseas trip to explicitly endorse. I haven't been part of your previous conversation, and have actually been wondering what your dive is in being such an aggressive devil's advocate,
posted by edgeways at 8:09 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


it says 1) Jerusalem should be the capitol of Israel

You may think I'm parsing too closely, but it doesn't say "should be," it says "is and will remain."

2) and should be open to people of all faiths.

It says "should remain," not "should be."

What do those ellipses contain? So, show me where it says the DNC platform said it would ONLY be the Capital of Israel.

Here you go.

"The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."

I would counter there is a big difference between something stuck in a party document and what a nominee makes an overseas trip to explicitly endorse.

It's not "stuck in a party document." It's the 2008 Democratic Party Platform.

I haven't been part of your previous conversation, and have actually been wondering what your dive is in being such an aggressive devil's advocate,

I hate bullshit. That's my dive.
posted by The World Famous at 8:18 PM on September 4, 2012




Ok... well where does that say Jerusalem should be the undivided Capital of Israel?

I read it and it says:

1 - Palestinians should settle in Palestine.
2 - Complete return to 1949 levels is unrealistic.
3 - Jerusalem should continue to be the capital of Israel.
4 - Furthermore, Jerusalem is a matter for final stage negotiations.
5 - All faiths should have equal access to Jerusalem.

To me it seems to expressly say Jerusalem is not the sole property of Israel, and it's final status (outside of being the Capital of Israel) is undecided at this time.

And seriously, I hate bullshit. That's my dive? I don't really buy it as the fundamental motive.. but whatever, perhaps you are on that kick in which case you are going to need a bigger shovel, and the knowledge none of us are immune. It is truly a crazy-making endeavor as not everything you may think of as bullshit is necessarily bullshit.
posted by edgeways at 8:34 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ok... well where does that say Jerusalem should be the undivided Capital of Israel?

Where it says that Palestine should settle outside of Israel, and that Jerusalem is and should remain the capital of Israel, undivided.

To me it seems to expressly say Jerusalem is not the sole property of Israel, and it's final status (outside of being the Capital of Israel) is undecided at this time.

Right. Everything is up for negotiation except that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and is undivided.

you are going to need a bigger shovel, and the knowledge none of us are immune. It is truly a crazy-making endeavor as not everything you may think of as bullshit is necessarily bullshit.

I agree. But buying into the bullshit because there's too much to fight is even more crazymaking, in my experience. If we're going to discuss policy, politics, etc., I think we ought to have an honest discourse. If somebody's going to say that Romney taking virtually the identical position on Jerusalem that is found in Obama's 2008 Democratic Party Platform is "just fucking irresponsible," and nobody recognizes how ridiculous that position is, then it's not a discussion anymore.
posted by The World Famous at 8:41 PM on September 4, 2012


In case I wasn't clear on the Dem. platform bit:

The platform says:

1. A Palestinian state should be established.
2. Palestinian refugees should settle there, and not in Israel - i.e. the Palestinian State and Israel do not share any territory.
3. Israel's capital is Jerusalem - i.e. part of Israel's territory, which, as stated in the prior sentences, it does not share with Palestine.

It's the "there, rather than in Israel" part combined with the "is and will remain the capital of Israel" part that seals the deal. If the Palestinian state is "rather than in Israel" and Palestinians are not allowed to settle anywhere in Israel, and J is the capital of Israel, then J is not part of the Palestinian state in any way.
posted by The World Famous at 8:54 PM on September 4, 2012




I don't really agree with you that that platform says Jerusalem is the sole property of Israel. If it was there would be no further need to address the issue in final negotiations. I'm not trying to dig in and defend my position in the face of evidence to the contrary, rather that we both read that and come to different conclusions. "Undivided" and "Capital" are in two different sentences and in my opinion have little to do with one another. Undivided can reasonably (imo) mean that Israel should not divided the city and exclude people of different faiths from free and open access.

You are calling bullshit where I don't really see bullshit and then declaring that your read on the situation is the only reasonable position to have and we might as well not continue talking because it is too ridiculous.

I'm sorry TWF, I recognize you think I am being hypocritical and ridiculous, but I really think you are overplaying your hand here and irrespective of what you may think of me, which must be pretty crappy I realize, I honestly gotta say I've lost a measure of respect for your arguments.
posted by edgeways at 8:55 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


So I think we are arguing in circles and will disengage now. cheers.
posted by edgeways at 8:56 PM on September 4, 2012


You are calling bullshit where I don't really see bullshit and then declaring that your read on the situation is the only reasonable position to have and we might as well not continue talking because it is too ridiculous.

I'm not declaring that my read on the situation is the only reasonable one.

I'm sorry TWF, I recognize you think I am being hypocritical and ridiculous

I don't think that at all. I think you started arguing about Romney's position on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel without knowing that the 2008 Democratic Party Platform contained an almost identical position, and I think you're now arguing to defend your position, rather than looking at the situation objectively to determine whether your initial argument from ignorance was reasonable to begin with.

I agree with you that Romney's position on Jerusalem is a lousy one and probably irresponsible. But it was also Obama's position, and as far as I can tell, the only reason it's not still Obama's position is that Obama and the DNC want to beat Romney up over it and don't want to be called out as hypocrites.
posted by The World Famous at 9:00 PM on September 4, 2012


Jerusalem is a matter for final stage negotiations.

TWF, you can drive a truck through that qualification in the Dem platform, because it's unequivocally saying that the matter isn't settled, in other words TBD. In other words, we'll kick the can down the road a bit.

And Party platforms are a wishlist to begin with, it doesn't reflect point for point every single thing that the presidential nominee is going to adopt word for word as his agenda.

The fact that Romney made the statement that he made is profound, because although the U.S. has given Israel private assurances it's never made a public proclamation on Jerusalem in the way Romney did in his speech you have a bloody conflagration on your hands.

(My view is that sentence was what he needed to say to close the deal with a huge contribution from Adelson. That's Mitt all over. He will be a proxy for those billionaires who bought his presidency.)
posted by Skygazer at 9:06 PM on September 4, 2012


TWF, you can drive a truck through that qualification in the Dem platform, because it's unequivocally saying that the matter isn't settled, in other words TBD. In other words, we'll kick the can down the road a bit.

Granted. But it also says that what the Dems wanted to have happen was Palestine being a separate state and no palestinians settling anywhere in Israel.

And Party platforms are a wishlist to begin with, it doesn't reflect point for point every single thing that the presidential nominee is going to adopt word for word as his agenda.

I agree, strongly.

The fact that Romney made the statement that he made is profound, because although the U.S. has given Israel private assurances it's never made a public proclamation on Jerusalem in the way Romney did in his speech you have a bloody conflagration on your hands.

First, the Democrats made a public proclamation in writing in their 2008 platform, which is just as binding on the U.S. as Romney making a verbal statement before he was even the party's nominee. Second, neither Romney's statement nor the DNC's statement constitute the U.S. making a public proclamation. I think the likelihood of a President Romney (which will never be President, but whatever) making such a statement as President is approximately the same as President Obama transforming the 2008 DNC platform on that topic into a Presidential statement (zero).

(My view is that sentence was what he needed to say to close the deal with a huge contribution from Adelson. That's Mitt all over. He will be a proxy for those billionaires who bought his presidency.)

I think you're absolutely right.
posted by The World Famous at 9:11 PM on September 4, 2012


The World Famous: But it was also Obama's position, and as far as I can tell, the only reason it's not still Obama's position is that Obama and the DNC want to beat Romney up over it and don't want to be called out as hypocrites.

Wrong. It is not Obama's public position. It has NEVER been the public position of any American president. It was a party platform which is a wishlist by the convening delegates and used mostly for red meat for "the base."

Obama and the DNC, should beat Romney up over it because it's an irresponsible position that damages relations and puts the U.S. in an untenable position and it loses it's ability to broker a peace agreement.

I bet Wingers as stolid as Kissinger or H.W. Bush will think that was an irresponsible and selfish statement by Romney to make in that manner. And I will bet money on that. So there's no hypocrisy here on the OBama end, what there is is irresponsibility and ignorance and the extremism that comes from Romney playing proxy to his money man Sheldon Adelson.

Romney hasn't won jackshit yet, and he's messing with delicate foreign policies problems. Stupid. So so stupid.
posted by Skygazer at 9:15 PM on September 4, 2012


Wrong. It is not Obama's public position. It has NEVER been the public position of any American president.

I did not say that it is Obama's position, nor did I say it has ever been the public position of any American president. It was Obama's and the Democratic Party's public position in 2008, when Obama was in exactly the position that Romney is in now.

Obama and the DNC, should beat Romney up over it because it's an irresponsible position that damages relations and puts the U.S. in an untenable position and it loses it's ability to broker a peace agreement.

And Romney should then hold up a copy of the 2008 DNC platform and tell Obama and the DNC that they're a bunch of morons who are guilty of exactly what they're accusing Romney of.

I bet Wingers as stolid as Kissinger or H.W. Bush will think that was an irresponsible and selfish statement by Romney to make in that manner.

I bet you're right, and as I said above, I agree with you.

So there's no hypocrisy here on the OBama end

How so?

Romney hasn't won jackshit yet, and he's messing with delicate foreign policies problems. Stupid. So so stupid.

Right, just like Obama and the DNC hadn't won jackshit in 2008, and they were making virtually the same statement. Come on.
posted by The World Famous at 9:21 PM on September 4, 2012


This is true, which is why I think it's mistaken to say that no one thinks that a war with Iran would be bad for business.

Well, I already outlined a number of reasons why people would think exactly that, and why I believe a war with Iran would be particularly disastrous for the global economy. Iraq was a rogue state already effectively cut off from that economy, while Iran is an essential energy partner of China and in a position to seriously impact global access to oil via the Strait of Hormuz. But we don't need to argue about what would happen, we already saw what would happen in 1979-1981.
posted by mek at 9:24 PM on September 4, 2012


TWF: just like Obama and the DNC hadn't won jackshit in 2008, and they were making virtually the same statement. Come on.

I thought we'd established that the full party platform isn't necessarily the platform of the presidential nominee.

But Romney went the extra mile to spotlight this issue as very much his belief on this, and which he, should he become president will inform his administration and therefore the official policy of the country?
posted by Skygazer at 9:31 PM on September 4, 2012


I thought we'd established that the full party platform isn't necessarily the platform of the presidential nominee.

If one person asserting something constituted it being "established" by "we," these political discussions would be a lot shorter ;-)
posted by The World Famous at 9:35 PM on September 4, 2012


Okay let's back up here.


TWF: Right, just like Obama and the DNC hadn't won jackshit in 2008, and they were making virtually the same statement. Come on.

Nope. Not the same statement. You're incorrect.




/end
posted by Skygazer at 10:11 PM on September 4, 2012


I see what you did there.
posted by The World Famous at 11:27 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


But we don't need to argue about what would happen

On this I agree because neither of us has more than a clue about what will/might happen if President Romney decides/is forced to confront Iran. Feel free to bet on a peaceful resolution if it ever comes to that, they aren't odds I'm willing to take.

I hate bullshit. That's my dive.

You must be a busy man.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:20 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


You must be a busy man.

Interestingly enough, hating bullshit doesn't seem to make me any more busy than people who love bullshit.
posted by The World Famous at 8:49 AM on September 5, 2012






Philomena Lynott is pretty much an awesome person all round.
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:48 AM on September 5, 2012




Heh.
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on September 5, 2012 [4 favorites]




/wonders idly who the terrorist looking guy slinking away from Fort Hood whilst burning a bible (?) is since Obama had most of the guys it could be shot or blown up.
posted by Artw at 12:39 PM on September 5, 2012


Heh.

They should follow AntiSec's lead and demand pics of some right-wing pundit in a tutu.
posted by homunculus at 12:42 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the site Artw:

Radical Islamic Free Pass

In an effort to be politically correct and not offend Muslims in America, the Department of Justice under Obama and Eric Holder have turned a blind eye to illegal actions and hate crimes. Although an Islamic American citizen may have the right to burn Bibles, he does not have the right to threaten those who he finds offensive. No group of people, regardless of religion, race, color, or ideology should be treated different under the law. The government is here to protect our rights, not the right from being offended. Our own TSA imposes unlawful search and seizures on American citizens because we are too stupid to do profiling and background checks on likely terrorists. Grandmas and toddlers are checked, padded down and harassed needlessly to avoid offending suspects. Obama has refused to prosecute or identify Black hate groups or radical Islamic hate crimes on American citizens.

posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 12:42 PM on September 5, 2012


So we need drones that can lock on to people who are COMPLETLY FUCKING FICTIONAL?
posted by Artw at 12:48 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


"However, all these considerations did not deter me from the path of duty; the moment I understood the will of my Heavenly Father, I felt a determination to go at all hazards, believing that He would support me by His almighty power, and endow me with every qualification that I needed; and although my family was dear to me, and I should have to leave them almost destitute, I felt that the cause of truth, the Gospel of Christ, outweighed every other consideration. - Quote attributed to Elder Heber C. Kimball by Orson F. Whitney in The Life of Heber C. Kimball

I wonder about the context of this showing up in a tax return. I hope I find out! (without having to spend $1,000,000)
posted by achrise at 12:52 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoever's pulling that Romney tax return extortion scam sounds like someone with the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that was praised by Mitt Romney and the rest of the speakers at last week's GOP convention.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:01 PM on September 5, 2012


More like O'Keefe or another Breitbart wannabe trying to pull off a hoax a la the forged Bush National Guard memos.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:17 PM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Are bitcoin accounts that untraceable?

And what assurance can this party give that the docs will be truly secured. I highly doubt there was only one leak, if there was one, and that dozens of pdf copies aren't already cued up for auto-send.
posted by Skygazer at 1:56 PM on September 5, 2012


"We are aware of the allegations that have been made regarding improper access to our systems," a spokeswoman for Pricewaterhouse Coopers said in a statement. "We are working closely with the United States Secret Service, and at this time there is no evidence that our systems have been compromised or that there was any unauthorized access to the data in question."

A spokesman for the Secret Service confirmed that the agency was investigating the report, but could not offer any other details due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.*
posted by ericb at 2:03 PM on September 5, 2012


Using a stoner movie icon to host your coverage while completely side stepping the subject of marijuana reform is making puke up some cognitive dissonance in my throat.

Kumar Doesn’t Understand Obama’s Marijuana Policy
posted by homunculus at 2:14 PM on September 5, 2012




Secret Service probing theft of Romney tax records

/kind of hoping they do end up hauling in O'Keefe.
posted by Artw at 3:51 PM on September 5, 2012




So much for the argument made above that the fact that it was in the 2008 Democratic Party Platform didn't mean that it was Obama's position, or the argument that no sitting President had ever taken the position. What do you think, edgeways? Irresponsible?
posted by The World Famous at 5:52 PM on September 5, 2012


Dude, thanks for continuing to pick away at it eh? The platform says Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel, it does not say that Jerusalem can not also be part of Palestine, as determined in final stage negotiations.

We see it very differently TWF, but damn you really want me to be wrong and be painted as some damn pig headed idiot who won't just admit you are right and have the only correct way to read the situation.

Because I read it differently does not make me either a bullshit artist, nor someone who just won't admit he is wrong, it means I see it differently, and just honestly disagree with you. Why is that so hard to get through?

But, thanks for one thing. I'm done with the thread, removing it from recent activities. Fundamentally don't care to be lectured by folks with beams in their eyes. Must be a friggen high to be the holder of the truth.
posted by edgeways at 7:19 PM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


'Constant Conflict' would be a good name for a Tea Party mass-email service.
posted by box at 7:44 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's some interesting detective work on the allegedly stolen Romney tax returns.

Not necessarily an illegal computer access, either -- only the second, questionable post demanding ransom says anything about accessing the network. The first one describes a physical breach of security to copy the returns. It could have been as simple as someone catching a door before it closes.
posted by msalt at 7:50 PM on September 5, 2012






'Constant Conflict' would be a good name for a Tea Party mass-email service.


Or the first album of a new rap-rock crossover direction for K.D. Lang...
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:03 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


RUN DNC
posted by Skygazer at 1:22 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Eastwood says his convention appearance was 'mission accomplished' ... big news break for the Carmel Pine Cone.
posted by crunchland at 9:10 AM on September 7, 2012


Then, with the theme song from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” as a musical introduction, and a huge picture of him as Josey Wales as the backdrop, Eastwood walked out to tremendous applause.

The Outlaw Jose Wales (a revisionist anti civil war western) was written by Asa Earl Carter (aka or Forrest Carter)- a Ku Klux Klansman who also wrote the "I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" speech for Alabama Governer George Wallace. How nice of the RNC to use Josey Wales as a backdrop.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:38 AM on September 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


Wow. I did not know that Golden Eternity. This is why I love MeFi. Instead of TIL it's EDIL. Every Day I Learn.
posted by futz at 2:26 PM on September 7, 2012


I always wonder: do they embed that kind of messaging through sheer ignorance and incompetance ... Or is it done deliberately, as a purposeful design, with the intent of subliminal-style messaging, by masterful creative and alalytical minds?

Either case is alarming.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:54 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


'Mission Accomplished' appears in the title of that Carmel Pine Cone item, in quotes (presumably because it's intended as a reference to the Bush banner), but does not seem to appear in Eastwood's quoted remarks within the text of the article.

And, as it turns out a lot of other news outlets are using 'mission accomplished,' or variations on it, in their headlines.

Mission accomplished, anonymous copy editor. Mission accomplished.
posted by box at 3:05 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The scoop from TMZ:
Clint Eastwood was NOT put up to his painful Barack Obama schtick last night by the producers of his family's reality show -- in fact, sources close to the legend tell TMZ, Clint "acts that way all the time at home."
In fact, sources say he has a whole stage show based on yelling at various invisible characters on different chairs. He calls it "Twelve Invisible Men." His family laughs, but only because he cannot see them cry for the man they once knew.

And yes, there's a reality TV show about Clint's current wife and two daughters. AND their live-in a cappella group.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:43 PM on September 7, 2012


All of this is making me very sad.
posted by Artw at 11:17 PM on September 7, 2012


Larry Flynt Offers $1 Mil for Mitt Romney's Tax Returns

The offer will be featured in a full-page ad taken out in the Sunday edition of The Washington Post and the Tuesday edition of USA Today.
posted by futz at 7:50 AM on September 8, 2012 [5 favorites]






Eastwood says his convention appearance was 'mission accomplished' ... big news break for the Carmel Pine Cone.

That Clint is crazy like a fox, considering his new movie coming out in a week, CONSIDERING his reality TV show which seems to have informed the style of his words at the RNC and made him feel pretty righteous about his improvisational skills and the worthiness of his indignation, which is all that people like Rush and the clowns on Fox do, and that is to validate the worthiness of the indignation that old white men feel all across the country, playing down and indeed neutralizing the self-awareness of the ignorance and the other very ugly things at the root of their "indignation."

I really have to say Clint's a very talented person there is no doubt, as an actor, as writer, as director...most fully of all as an instinctual storyteller, but that doesn't mean he fully understands the story he told on that stage at the RNC with the empty chair. That wasn't a pro-Romney political message to anyone but complete morons. That was a satire, and as such told a darker and higher truth about the decrepit Republican party and it's ever-more apparent obsolescence.

Eastwood just doesn't have the honesty or will, or perhaps even the intelligence, or intellectual ability to parse that out.

Not to mention, he must have a fair amount of pressure on him at this point to spin this as hard as he can as a win for the Right. And a win for Romney, and double down on the "Obama tricked us" bullshit.

I do wonder who it would be though that would call Eastwood and basically tell him to "make this right," or more likely would beg him, to "make it right, clarify how much you like Romney etc..."
Would that be a call from Romney himself, his wife, his campaign manager??
posted by Skygazer at 2:16 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]




Romney didn't mention troops in speec because they aren't important

Man, this must have been how the R's felt in 04. What a fucked up campaign Romney is running. Is it just that people from massacusets are bad at running?
posted by Chekhovian at 5:35 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it just that people from massacusets are bad at running?

Actually, Kerry ran a pretty decent campaign, he was just in an election where the fundamentals were against him. He came relatively close to winning. And lest we forget, the last couple of guys from MA that were truly successful campaigners were assassinated.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:42 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mitt Romney tells 533 lies in 30 weeks : I, II, III, IV, V, VI,VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI, XXII, XXIII,XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX.

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXXI, Vol. XXXII, Vol. XXXIII
posted by homunculus at 9:52 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney: “Oh, I was laughing at Clint Eastwood. Look, to have him get up and speak on my behalf was … a great thrill.”
posted by ericb at 11:13 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXXI, Vol. XXXII, Vol. XXXIII -- That apparently makes the count now 616 lies in 33 weeks.
posted by crunchland at 11:23 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt is an idiot savant of lying. It's a preternatural skill honed through years of Bain training.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:46 PM on September 9, 2012


years of Bain training

You think you're joking fff, but from my buddy's experience at McKinsey...this is exactly what the higher ups have to do, constantly.
posted by Chekhovian at 1:04 PM on September 9, 2012






For the record, I was not joking in the least. Selling take-overs that ship most jobs to China must take an extraordinary amount of lying.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:52 PM on September 9, 2012




Mitt Romney Takes Credit For The Auto Bailout. Say, What?

It is still two months or so until the election. At the rate Romney has been back tracking to the left in the past few days, by November he will be standing outside of Goldman Sacks with Slavoj Zizek by his side in place of Sheldon Adelson and Grover Norquist holding an "Occupy" sign, proposing new New Deal legislation that would put FDR to shame, and suggesting the possibility that we abandon private property and the evil capitalist system altogether.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:51 AM on September 10, 2012


Golden Eternity: "Mitt Romney Takes Credit For The Auto Bailout. Say, What?"

That's from May.
posted by brundlefly at 10:56 AM on September 10, 2012


Many shakes of the etch-a-sketch since then.
posted by Artw at 10:59 AM on September 10, 2012 [5 favorites]






But, hmmmm … is it true? (Spoiler: It is not true.)

This is exactly what the voice in my head sounds like when I read a headline mentioning Fox News.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:33 PM on September 11, 2012








Romney is down to 35% chance on Intrade and Nate Silver gives him an 8% chance.
posted by drezdn at 10:44 AM on September 13, 2012






Romney is down to 35% chance on Intrade and Nate Silver gives him an 8% chance.

This is no time for the Obama campaign to relax.

Flashback: Dukakis Led Bush By 17 Points After 1988 DNC
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:10 PM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Comparing poll results from more than two decades ago to poll results now isn't really comparing apples to apples. Polling has gotten a lot more sophisticated since then, for one thing. For example, the 1988 Gallup Poll was a "registered voter" poll, which historically overstates Democratic support.

I also wonder if there is a smaller and smaller slice of undecided voters each election cycle as the media and information penetration becomes greater and greater. I further wonder whether there are more likely to be undecided voters in elections in which there is no incumbent than elections in which many voters have had four full years to form an opinion about one of the candidates.

I don't think there's any reason for the Obama campaign to relax, but that particular historical precedent doesn't seem to be cause for alarm.

I keep thinking of this race in terms of undecided voters, who I presume to be overwhelmingly politically middle of the road, and I keep wondering what on earth the Romney campaign can be doing to reach these people? (Or perhaps they've given up and are angling toward a strategy where they can turn out a greater percentage of their base?)
posted by MoonOrb at 1:19 PM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


What's brilliant about the GOP impression that the MSM is out to get them is that it's irrefutable. Your candidate misteps? Blame the media. You lose an election? It's the media's fault. Forget fact-checking. It's all part of the conspiracy. There's no rational way you can convince them otherwise.
posted by crunchland at 2:38 PM on September 13, 2012


I keep wondering what on earth the Romney campaign can be doing to reach these people

They're counting on voter suppression for the win.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:30 PM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]




Yes, Rush, because Al-Quaeda's endgame is to get universal healthcare in place in the United States. They thought 9/11 would convince us that we need healthcare reform and a more progressive tax scheme. When that didn't work, they had to awaken the sleeper cell consisting of one guy who was instructed as a child to do everything he could to make sure he could work at Sidley Austin so that he could live in Chicago, where he would then "pal around" with the reverse sleeper cells of former terrorists and then be elected President.
posted by The World Famous at 5:44 PM on September 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I though the highest display of ignorance I was going to see today were the Arab Street uprisings against YouTube clips.
But, nope. Rush trumps that (albeit with less death and destruction).
posted by Mezentian at 5:45 PM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, man. Rush is fucking tweaking.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:46 PM on September 13, 2012


The harumph is the carrier signal for the logic blackhole.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:58 PM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Slate: The Right Response to the Libya and Egypt Attacks ... "Imagine if Romney had called President Obama, asked how he could be of assistance in this time of crisis, offered to appear at his side at a press conference to demonstrate that, when American lives are at risk, politics stop at the water’s edge..."
posted by crunchland at 6:02 PM on September 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


They're counting on voter suppression for the win.

Voter ID Problem Solved For Jim Cramer’s Dad
posted by homunculus at 6:13 PM on September 13, 2012




"Enough! I have had it with this motherfucking Romney and his motherfucking plane!"
posted by octobersurprise at 7:03 AM on September 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Birther Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State and Romney adviser, wants certification from Hawaii officials that the long-form birth certificate made public by the White House and available online is authentic.

I'm not sure if this is rampant insanity or a desperate grasping at straws. A little of both, I expect.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:42 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]








Here we go again. Romney insists that the middle class is families making $200,000:
‘‘No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is (to) keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers,’’ Romney told host George Stephanopoulos.

‘‘Is $100,000 middle income?’’ Stephanopoulos asked.

‘‘No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less,’’ Romney responded.
My guess is that for Romney the real middle income family, those making $50,000 a year, fly so low under his radar they don't even count.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:22 PM on September 14, 2012 [3 favorites]






From the “Modesty: It’s nothing to be ashamed of” pamphlet:“Since men are particularly visual, immodesty in church can trigger lustful thoughts.”

“My men’s bible study group talks frequently about controlling our lust, thoughts, and eyes. Yes the problem and responsibility are ours, but is it really reasonable for the women of the church to make it THIS difficult for us?”


Yes in the fundamentalist world this is known as "defrauding men." That is, the woman by showing off her knees or by dressing so that the outline of her body can be seen (rather than in loose, billowy layers) is causing the men she comes into contact with to have lusty thoughts. The sin falls on the woman however; it is the woman's fault because (apparently) men cannot control themselves.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:33 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I first read this:
Mezentian: "Republicans Want To Take Away Your Internet Porn and ‘Game of Thrones’ Sexposition"
I thought: "okay, but surely this is just a result of the GOP platform document being a catch-all for the policies that the most passionate reactionary freaks in the party want, so there's no way that mainstream Republicans running in tight races would seriously consider publicly embracing an anti-porn agenda, or if any do, there's no way their Presidential nominee would be among them."

Oops.
Mitt Romney’s campaign told a leading anti-pornography group that the Republican nominee will pursue and prosecute pornography if elected President.
I know Mittens doesn't likey teh pr0n, but when you've already given up on the poor, non-whites, LGBTs, women, etc. can you really afford to turn away rich, white, straight dudes who happen to enjoy watching pornography?
posted by tonycpsu at 1:58 PM on September 14, 2012


The normally uptight Mitt Romney found himself on Friday pondering how best to answer the question, What do you wear to bed at night?

"I think the best answer is as little as possible," the Republican presidential candidate said.

Romney initially misfired when asked who he would like to play Ann in a movie about the Romneys.

"Gene Hackman," he said, having misheard the question and thinking he was supposed to say who he would want to play him.

He finally settled on Michelle Pfeiffer for the Ann Romney role after pointing out Hackman had dressed up as a woman in the movie, "Bird Cage."

And Romney showed some knowledge of popular culture.

"I'm kind of a Snooki fan. Look how tiny she's gotten - her spark-plug personality," he said.

Nicole Elizabeth "Snooki" Polizzi is a cast member on the MTV reality show "Jersey Shore" and recently had a baby.

As for pet peeves, Romney said Ann does not always squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom up and doesn't always put the cap back on.

Ann said her husband needs to look on the bright side more, will sometimes fret, "'This is a problem or that's a problem,' and I say let's keep looking at the good side."

"Who hogs the blankets?" Romney was asked.

"No question about that," he said. "That's Ann."

posted by futz at 2:10 PM on September 14, 2012




‘‘No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less,’’ Romney responded.

And less? Is there a lower end? Or did Romney just define poverty out of existence?
posted by brundlefly at 2:28 PM on September 14, 2012 [3 favorites]




futz: "As for pet peeves, Romney said Ann does not always squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom up and doesn't always put the cap back on.

"Who hogs the blankets?" Romney was asked.

"No question about that," he said. "That's Ann."
"

Hey! These are problems I have in my own household. Romney must understand me and my problems! I think I'm going to vote for him after all! I bet Obama squeezes the toothpaste from the top.

</hamburger>
posted by wierdo at 2:35 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why Romney Will Win, Dick Morris, Real Clear Politics, 14 September, 2012
posted by ob1quixote at 1:28 AM on September 15, 2012


Dick Morris just seems bent on doubling down on the stupid. He seems to pick and choose his numbers and then plain act daft about others. He doesn't mention Romney's massive disapproval ratings, doesn't mention Romney's trailing 5 to 7 points in Ohio and Florida, and almost in the double digits in Pennsylvania, and he doesn't mention a think of how Romney has just repulsed the nation with his amateurish display of disrespect, and he buys in to Rasmussen's new poll which goes against every other major poll taken this week because Rasmussen plays this game to be the Fox News Poll of choice..

And finally, Dick Morris isn't a pollster or a statistician. He's a strategist, who's out of the loop from both camps and seems to mainly appear on Hannity, which you might as well put a stamp on your head that says you're a m0ron.

Last but not least Dick Morris is no Nate Silver. And Nate Silver has the chance of Obama winning at 80% this week.

I think Morris is just trolling the Right wing media outlets to drum up attention for himself, basically. It's pretty pathetic actually.
posted by Skygazer at 2:44 AM on September 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


He just wants to keep a toe in the race.
posted by box at 5:44 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


If Obama has an 80% chance of winning, why bother getting heated about the cockmonsters running and running in the Republican party?

It would be best if, say, Jeb were to start a new party. Call it the "Conservative" party or somesuch Let Mitt and Ryan and the morans that enabled the tea party shitbaggers keep their Wingnut Republican party.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:26 AM on September 15, 2012




In Values Voter Speech, Ryan Defies Campaign Messaging on Abortion: The Romney campaign likes to say the election is all about the economy. Ryan, blasting Obama on social issues at the Value Voters summit, didn’t get the memo.

Oh, I think there's an internal memo that he most certainly got: Ryan's job is to keep the gay-hatin', slut-shamin', baby-savin' base on board, while (R)Money goes out and pretends to care about jobs and the beleaguered middle classes who can't even afford dance lessons for their horses anymore, thanks to socialism.
posted by scody at 1:40 PM on September 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is Romney trying to lose?.
posted by idiopath at 1:47 PM on September 15, 2012


Mitt Romney’s campaign told a leading anti-pornography group that the Republican nominee will pursue and prosecute pornography if elected President.

The Obscenity Police Are Coming
posted by homunculus at 5:45 PM on September 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


My guess is that for Romney the real middle income family, those making $50,000 a year, fly so low under his radar they don't even count.

To be fair, 50,000 can be actually into the poverty level for a lot of people - large families living in expensive cities, in particular. You can't live well on that when decent rent alone is 36,000 a year.
posted by corb at 9:57 PM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney’s campaign told a leading anti-pornography group that the Republican nominee will pursue and prosecute pornography if elected President.

Ironic, given that Jenna Jameson endorsed him.
posted by palomar at 7:29 AM on September 16, 2012


Romney Camp Decides: The Economy Isn't Enough
Mitt Romney’s campaign for president appears to have quietly abandoned its guiding assumption, that the election would center on the struggling economy, and has visibly begun to feel for a new message.

Romney and — particularly — his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, have spent a week road-testing alternatives, going positive and going negative, swinging at the president on everything from faith to foreign policy. The new efforts mark a shift from a summer of fruitless discipline and a convention in which attempts to present a friendly, moderate tone trumped any policy substance. And campaign planners said their moves mark a new campaign consensus.

“No one in Boston thinks this can only be about the economy anymore,” one top aide said last week. “The economy narrows the gap and puts us in contention, but we have to bring more to the table.”
posted by ericb at 11:56 AM on September 16, 2012




Challenged on Medicare, G.O.P. Loses Ground.
posted by ericb at 11:57 AM on September 16, 2012








SNL: Eastwood and Chair
posted by homunculus at 12:16 PM on September 16, 2012 [2 favorites]














Investor Bankrolls Big Romney Campaign.
posted by ericb at 11:49 AM on September 17, 2012




Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled

That POLITICO article is getting a lot of play online and on television today.

Love this line from it:
"As mishaps have piled up, [Mitt Romney’s top strategist Stuart] Stevens has taken the brunt of the blame for an unwieldy campaign structure that, as the joke goes among frustrated Republicans, badly needs a consultant from Bain & Co. to straighten it out."
posted by ericb at 1:08 PM on September 17, 2012


Mitt Romney Video: Barack Obama Voters 'Dependent On Government'
The overwhelming majority of voters who back President Barack Obama do so because they are "dependent on government" and "believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing," Mitt Romney told a closed-door gathering of about 30 major donors earlier this year, according to video of the event that has surfaced on the Internet.

... The videos capture Romney speaking loosely about Obama supporters, immigrants, privilege and a host of other controversial issues. The candidate seems unguarded and displays the sense of humor that is often mentioned by those close to him, but is so rarely on public display.

... It's Romney's remark about the president's backers that might have the most potential to undermine his candidacy, however, as Romney seeks to persuade people who voted for Obama in 2008 to switch this time.

... "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney says in one clip. "All right -- there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."

... As for the other 53 percent? Romney may have been referencing a meme started by conservative blogger Erick Erickson, who has noted that only 53 percent of Americans pay federal income taxes. Erickson argued that the rest of the country, and in particular the Occupy Wall Street movement, should "suck it up you whiners."
posted by ericb at 1:13 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]








In the same video ericb posted at 4:13, romney apparently also joked that: 'I Say That Jokingly, But It Would Be Helpful To Be Latino.'

Goodbye, dwindling latin@ support!
posted by winna at 2:24 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember when the Lucky Ducky cartoons were my least favorite recurring bit in Tom the Dancing Bug because I found the humor too broad and the target not realistic enough.

Romney's campaign has really exposed me as a fool.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the last hour, the various internets have started to build a up a head of steam on this video. Even conservatives seem to think it's very bad news. I'm still unsure that this is yet another "final" nail in the coffin, not with 50 days to go, but it certainly will be hard to spin.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:55 PM on September 17, 2012




A bit of context via Ezra Klein from his Twitter feed, although I expect it to be in a blog post soon:
Here’s the policy two-step behind Romney’s remarks: Republicans have spent years cutting income taxes and increasing things like the Child tax Credit. This means fewer people pay income taxes. So whenever you hear a stat like "47% don't pay income taxes," remember: Reagan and Bush helped build that. These tax cuts for the poor were partly in order to make further tax cuts for the rich political palatable. But now that fewer people pay income taxes as a result of GOP policies, they’re being called lazy and dependent. And thus the GOP's tax cuts are being used to make a case that the rich are overtaxed and that the less-rich are becoming dependent. Which thus leads to a policy agenda of tax cuts for the rich and cuts to social services for the non-rich.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:35 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


People should start showing him their tax returns.
posted by Artw at 3:46 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Freeloader Myth, Ramesh Ponnuru, The National Review, 28 Nov. , 2011
posted by ob1quixote at 3:55 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be fair to Mitt Romney, he doesn't like 52% of the 53%, either.
posted by octobersurprise at 4:00 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Erickson argued that the rest of the country, and in particular the Occupy Wall Street movement, should "suck it up you whiners."

Speaking of Occupy: More than 130 arrested at Occupy Wall Street anniversary protests

Occupy II: What's Happening Now in Lower Manhattan
posted by homunculus at 4:08 PM on September 17, 2012


Conservatives Embrace Romney's 47% Remarks, Rosie Gray, Buzzfeed Politics, 17 September, 2012
That Romney video was leaked to gin up our base. Bookmark this tweet.— Kyle Raccio (@kyleraccio) September 17, 2012
Raccio later explained in an interview with BuzzFeed that "it only serves to excite the conservative base into knowing that Mitt Romney understands the situation we’re facing in the country."

"Mitt Romney needs to be vocal about that because I don’t believe the majority of Americans want so many people on the government dole unchecked," Raccio said.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:53 PM on September 17, 2012


Mother Jones -- SECRET VIDEO: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He REALLY Thinks of Obama Voters

New thread, btw.
posted by homunculus at 6:24 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


"All right -- there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."


As one of the resident more-conservative-than-somes here, can I ask why this is such a big deal? I mean, from where I stand, this is kind of like a well-known fact of life that even the opposition acknowledges. Democrats (from what I see) promise that if they are elected, they will take care of the people that elect them - make sure their housing is taken care of, make sure they're fed, make sure they have health care. They promise that they'll take away from the rich to "Restore income equality" or what have you. It seems very panem et circenses, but in a contractual kind of way. "If you elect me, I will make sure that the government provides you with these things that you think the government is obligated to give you."

Is this not how Democrats perceive it?
posted by corb at 7:55 PM on September 17, 2012


"If you elect me, I will make sure that the government provides you with these things that you think the government is obligated to give you."

I'm a lefty partially because I want government to provide a safety net for people who are unable to provide necessities for themselves. I don't expect the government to do much for me because I'm privileged enough to be in a position not not require much help. I do appreciate the things it has helped me with (federal student loans, and federal housing loans for example).
posted by drezdn at 8:42 PM on September 17, 2012


When my parents cleaned houses and went to community college at night to provide a better life for their children, they were being responsible. When I worked my way through school, I was being responsible. Tax credits, food stamps, and Pell Grants, enabled us to responsibly go from poor refugees to middle class to upper class in one generation. In as much as the government was responsible for investing in our human capital, it is also responsible for the taxes we've paid back into the system and the small business I helped start two years ago which now employs 60 people.

That is why I'm a liberal. Because I believe that the government's main mission is to improve the lot of its people, and that those people in return have an obligation to improve the country. Moreover, I believe the price for not doing so is instability and revolt, and quite frankly, I've got too much to lose.
posted by snickerdoodle at 9:00 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Democrats (from what I see) promise that if they are elected, they will take care of the people that elect them - make sure their housing is taken care of, make sure they're fed, make sure they have health care. defend the country, defend human rights, protect the environment (clean air and water), help provide equal opportunity to all citizens - even if it means taking action against racism and voter disenfranchisement and other shit-baggery, provide a safety net for people in deep need of assistance (abjectly poor children and senior citizens, and seriously ill who would otherwise be completely wiped out financially), invest in science and technology (NASA), invest in education, invest in industry (auto bailout), not destroy the country financially with unfunded wars, not get us into WWIII unnecessarily, etc, etc.

That being said, I think there is no doubt that healthcare and college education is too expensive in this country. I just think that Obama was too handcuffed to take healthcare on completely. Perhaps if he had more LBJ in him he could have gotten more from big pharma? I'm in no position to know for sure, but obviously that doesn't mean I would vote for Romney. The GOP's primary objective since the 60's as far as I can tell seems to be to overturn the New Deal and the Civil Rights Act all else be damned - both of which I value.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:18 PM on September 17, 2012


I just realized there's an entire thread about this tangent, woe! Sorry. But for those of you who I do really appreciate answering this, I notice you seem to have really similar phrasing on this.

provide a safety net for people in deep need of assistance
safety net for people who are unable to provide necessities for themselves

Genuine, serious question: Can you explain to me how these differ for you? The difference between, say, the "safety net" idea, and the idea of people being entitled to food, housing, and healthcare? I'm having real difficulty understanding the difference. Is it the connotation of the words? For me, they parse about the same, but I recognize that everyone is very different. I would love to understand the perspective - it seems really confusing to me.
posted by corb at 11:11 PM on September 17, 2012


I mean, from where I stand, this is kind of like a well-known fact of life that even the opposition acknowledges.

No, it is not a fact of life. It, in fact, casually conflates so many disparate facts in one giant misconception that untangling it would be a Herculean effort. Suffice it to say that one big error is that those 47% vote in the same fraction as the 53% balance. In addition, much of the support for the Republicans comes from just these people in the South, where they form a bigger percentage and classically vote against their economic interests. There are many, many more misconceptions here as well, but I don't have all that much time.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:07 AM on September 18, 2012


Perhaps if he had more LBJ in him he could have gotten more from big pharma?

LBJ was certainly more of a ballbuster than Obama, but he also had a lot more Democrats in Congress. Democrats controlled 65% of the Senate and 59% of the House in the 88th Congress, when Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. They controlled 50.5% of the Senate and 54.3% of the House during Obama's first term (counting Blue Dog Democrats and Joe Lieberman).
posted by kirkaracha at 10:46 AM on September 18, 2012


Democrats (from what I see) promise that if they are elected, they will take care of the people that elect them - make sure their housing is taken care of, make sure they're fed, make sure they have health care.

"For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me." Then the righteous will answer Him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? And when did we see you a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?" The King will answer and say to them, "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me."
posted by kirkaracha at 10:52 AM on September 18, 2012 [3 favorites]




I didn't watch Clint's RNC performance initially. And then I heard all the flap about it. And then I watched it today after hearing his statement about you get what you get and you don't throw a fit (to paraphrase AND pull in a line from my daughter's old preschool). All things considered, I think his speech was one of the more palatable portions of the RNC. I don't know if Clint Eastwood is really a Romney kind of voter. I understand that he thinks the Obama administration has not done enough to create jobs. But, I didn't think there was anything really wrong with his speech, except I just happened to disagree with his main ideas. I mean, the guy's 82. I have 82 year old relatives and they couldn't have stood up there and done that - not even close.

I've been reading HST's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 and to kind of gently lift something he wrote and apply it currently - if the RNC was like a front tire blow-out for the Romney campaign, then Romney's 47% comment killed the transmission.
posted by PuppyCat at 1:40 PM on September 18, 2012


Corb -- your take is wrong in many, many ways.

Republicans take far more tax dollars than liberals, going by states and by individuals. (Quiz - what % of the budget goes to the military? To the prison-industrial complex? To elderly people who cheer along with Fox News? to oil and gas subsidies? To farm subsidies? Etc. Etc.)

You know who doesn't pay income taxes? Anyone on social security. Kids. Active duty military. 35,000 millionaires. A large proportion of the poor who don't pay income tax -- at least 10% of Romney's 47% -- are working at low wage jobs, sometimes 2 or 3 jobs. They pay social security and medicare taxes at 15.3% -- which just by itself is more than Mitt Romney's entire tax bill on his $20 million for the one year he consented to show us, which is pretty obviously the best looking return he can find, with years to prepare for his run for the presidency. That doesn't even include sales taxes, property tax and other taxes these people might pay.

I could go on and on but is that enough for now?
posted by msalt at 3:06 PM on September 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


I overstated one stat -- it's 2,000 millionaires who pay no income tax, or 35,000 people who make > $200,000/year. sorry about that. I assume that "millionaire" means people who earn that in a year, not those with a million in assets, which is the commonly accepted meaning.
posted by msalt at 12:17 AM on September 19, 2012


I've been reading HST's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72

His best book, a must for any political junkie. They teach with it at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, in a pair with "Boys on the Bus."
posted by msalt at 12:18 AM on September 19, 2012


clint eastwood goes on ellen and discusses the RNC, his liberitarian views, gay marriage, his family's reality show, and his daughter dating tyler shields.

ellen does really good work sometimes, and really fun work most of the rest of the time. i'm basically never disappointed when i watch a clip from her show.
posted by nadawi at 5:20 PM on September 19, 2012




oh god. first of all, that is fucking terrible. as a life long southerner who has lived in former sundown towns, i don't know why i'm surprised anymore, but i actually gasped. secondly, i immediately thought it was a republican politician - i'm at least a little relieved that it's a private citizen.
posted by nadawi at 7:22 PM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]








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